10 Writers Who Turn Books Into Bucks

Top earner JK Rowling made $300 million off Potter franchise in past year
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2008 2:43 AM CDT
Horror author Stephen King banked $45 million in the past year, Forbes reports.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – So you think people don't read books anymore? Tell that to JK Rowling, No. 1 on Forbes' list of top-earning authors. The woman behind the Harry Potter juggernaut raked in $300 million in the past year, thanks in part to the movies based on her books—which have sold 375 million copies worldwide. The prolific James Patterson came in second, with $50 million.

Horror institution Stephen King was No. 3, with $45 million earned from June 2007 to June 2008. The rest of the top 10:

  • Tom Clancy, $35 million
  • Danielle Steel, $30 million
  • John Grisham, $25 million
  • Dean Koontz, $25 million
  • Ken Follett, $20 million
  • Janet Evanovich, $17 million
  • Nicholas Sparks, $16 million