And the Highest-Earning Author Is ...

'Fifty Shades' writer EL James nearly made nine figures

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 14, 2013 8:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – Want to be a fabulously wealthy author? Loosen up those fingers. The route to riches seems to be with a series of related books rather than a one-off blockbluster. Forbes rounds up the top 10 highest-earning authors from June 2012 to June 2013. The top five:

  1. EL James, $95 million: Her three Fifty Shades of Grey books are the only books she's written (so far).
  2. James Patterson, $91 million: How's this for a stat: "One of every 17 hardcovers sold in the US is his," says Forbes. That includes adult thrillers as well as books for young adults.
  3. Suzanne Collins, $55 million: The Hunger Games has been her gold mine.
  4. Bill O'Reilly, $28 million: The Fox host's non-fiction books Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy were best-sellers; next up: Killing Jesus.
  5. Danielle Steel, $26 million: She's reaping the rewards of a four-decade career.
Click for the full list, which includes the Diary of a Wimpy Kid author and a certain well-known horror writer.

No. 1: EL James, $95 million
No. 1: EL James, $95 million   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP, file)
No. 2: James Patterson, $91 million
No. 2: James Patterson, $91 million   (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin, file)
No. 3: Suzanne Collins, $55 million
No. 3: Suzanne Collins, $55 million   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
No. 4: Bill O'Reilly, $28 million
No. 4: Bill O'Reilly, $28 million   (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invsion/AP, file)
No. 5: Danielle Steel, $26 million
No. 5: Danielle Steel, $26 million   (PRNewsFoto/Danielle Steel, Brigitte Lacombe)
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