The World’s Highest-Paid Authors – Forbes
The golden era of books is over. Sales of adult hardcovers, the most expensive and lucrative category of books, were down 23 percent in the first half of 2011 after falling 5.1 percent in 2010. Yet the world’s top-selling authors — people like Stephenie Meyer, Stephen King, Janet Evanovich and, especially, James Patterson — aren’t exactly hurting. In some cases they’re doing better than ever. How? By riding the strong updraft of the fast-growing e-book category while aggressively diversifying their personal brands with multimedia deals and franchises aimed at young adults.
Patterson is a prime example. In the period from May 2010 through April 2011, he was again the world’s top-earning author, with total income of $84 million. Our income estimates are based on sales figures supplied by Nielsen Bookscan, year-end sales totals submitted by publishing houses to Publishers Weekly, and input from numerous agents, managers and editors. That’s a major increase from the $70 million he booked the year before.
The jump comes courtesy of a 17-book, $150 million deal Patterson signed with his publisher, Hachette Book Group, in 2009. The peerlessly prolific Patterson, who works with a team of co-authors to boost his output, published 10 of those books during this period. All told, including his backlist, he had an astonishing 20 titles on PW’s year-end lists of bestsellers, comprising more than 10 million copies. And that’s not even counting e-books, of which he sold at least another 750,000.
Strange Random Author Quote:
Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. – Mark Twain
- James Patterson brand makes him world’s best-paid writer (guardian.co.uk)
- James Patterson tops Forbes list of top-earning writers (cbc.ca)
- A few reasons to be grateful for James Patterson (telegraph.co.uk)
- Awful Books #1 (manbehindthecurtain.ie)
- Book Review: Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson (leeswammes.wordpress.com)
- Dynasts of the Daily Press (nytimes.com)