Forbes has announced their list of the World's Highest Paid Authors for the year - guess who's on the top of the mountain again?
James Patterson - $84 million
Danielle Steel - $35 million
Stephen King - $28 million
Janet Evanovich - $22 million
Stephenie Meyer - $21 million
Rick Riordan - $21 million
Dean Koontz - $19 million (but Best Hair)
John Grisham - $18 million
Jeff Kinney - $17 million
Nicholas Sparks - $16 million
Ken Follett - $14 million
Suzanne Collins - $10 million
J.K. Rowling - $5 million
JPatt managed to garner a $14 million increase in his wages from last year by selling over 10 million copies of his books, along with somewhere around 750,000 eBooks. I had hopes that my 117 Days would have chipped away at his sales a bit, but he still made more money than Tiger Woods ($75 million for sucking at golf) and Leonardo DiCaprio ($77 mil) - the highest paid athlete & actor, respectively. (To illustrate how unfair the gender split is in sports & Hollywood, tennis player Maria Sharapova made "only" $25 million and Angelina Jolie $30 million. 4 out of the 10 authors are women, so not too bad of a split.)
Other fun facts: apparently, Ken Follett will be paid $50 million total for his current trilogy of historical fiction, while Janet Evanovich (who just might be worthy of her own 117 day blasting) commands a $10 million advance for every book. (Last year, she wanted a $50 million advance from her then-publisher Macmillan, who refused, hence her new deal with Ballantine.) Danielle Steel has something like 600 million copies of her books in print, with 2.3 million sales in 2010. Rowling will be somewhere in the top half of the list next year when she opens Pottermore & starts selling eBooks.
How Stephen King managed to rake in that much cash without writing a new book is beyond me.
Bonus fun fact: I've met Nicholas Sparks & Jeff Kinney and they were both assholes. Nothing says "romance" and "children's books" like egomaniacal douchebags.
One other thing: why are we paying these people so much? Does JPatt work 2333 times harder than me? 'Cause his pay would indicate that he does. I'm just sayin'.