Highest-Paid Authors in US

James Patterson, Stephenie Meyer lead the way

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 22, 2010 1:47 PM CDT

(Newser) – A tribute of sorts to Harry Potter: JK Rowling isn't putting out new Potter books, but sales of existing ones still put her in the top 10 of the year's highest-paid authors. (She came in 10th with $10 million.) Read the full Forbes list here, but here's the top 5:

  1. James Patterson, $70 million: He'll put out 17 more books by the end of 2012.
  2. Stephenie Meyer, $40 million: Vampires pay.
  3. Stephen King, $34 million: He's even got a musical in the works with John Mellencamp.
  4. Danielle Steel, $32 million: Four new hardcovers this year alone.
  5. Ken Follett, $20 million: His Pillars of the Earth thriller has been adapted to a TV series with Donald Sutherland.

No. 2: Stephenie Meyer of 'Twilight' fame at $40 million.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
No. 1: James Patterson at $70 million.   (AP Photo/ Steve Mitchell)
No. 3: Stephen King at $34 million.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
No. 4: Danielle Steel at $32 million.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)
No. 5: British suspense writer Ken Follett at $20 million.   (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
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