Highest Paid Authors: Pretty Much Who You'd Guess They Are

Forbes has released its list of the highest paid authors and the results are pretty predictable. Forbes based the rankings on profits from books, TV and film rights between June, 2009 and June, 2010. Here are the top 5 and their earnings:

  1. James Patterson – $70 million
  2. Stephenie Meyer – $40 million
  3. Stephen King – $34 million
  4. Danielle Steel – $32 million
  5. Ken Follett – $20 million

The list also includes Stephen King’s main competitor in the suspense/thriller genre, Dean Koontz ($18 million a year) and Harry Potter series author JK Rowling, who netted a surprisingly low (for Rowling) $10 million. As the first author to ever achieve billionaire status when the Potter series was going strong, Rowling was probably too busy luxuriating in massive piles of pound notes to notice the downswing.