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The World's Wealthiest Authors

Updated on January 14, 2015

As per the results released by Forbes magazine as of the year 2014, the following are the wealthiest authors in the world. Interesting, all seem to be from North America.

Copies of their books have been sold in their millions and they have been listed in New York Times Bestsellers list. The sale of their books has enabled them to earn over a million US dollars.

James Patterson is the only author who has remained for a long time in position one.

The list includes a little background of the authors. It has not exhausted the 15 wealthiest authors as listed in Forbes magazine, but the five wealthiest authors and some from the 6th to the 15th position.

(1) James Patterson ($94 million)

The highest paid author, over 270 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide.

He has written over 69 books.

He has received numerous awards for his works which include: The BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year, Edgar Awards, The International Thriller of the Year, and The Children’s Choice Book Award for Author of the Year.

His other works are: 7th Heaven, When the Wind Blows, The Midnight Club, Run for Your Life and Kiss the Girls.

Patterson was born in New burg, New York on March 22, 1947. He attended Manhattan College later at Vanderbilt University where he graduated with B.A and M.A in English.

(2) Stephen King ($ 398 million)

Over 350 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide.

Stephen King, an household name is also a producer, screenwriter, short story writer, film director and producer, columnist and actor.

He was born in Portland, Maine on September 21, 1947. He studied for a Bachelor of Science in English at the University of Maine.

King has received numerous awards for his works which are: British Fantasy Society, Grand Master, Bram Stroker, World Fantasy and The Canadian Booksellers Association Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Some of his other works are: The Dead Zone, The Star Invaders, The Stand, Mystery and Desperation.

John Grisham
John Grisham | Source

(3) Janet Evanovich($ 33 million)

She was born in South River, New Jersey on April 22, 1943. She attended Douglass College where she studied for B.A in English.

Evanovich has received awards for her works, some of which are: Silver Dagger, Dily, John Creasey Memorial, Lefty and Last Laughs Awards.

Some of her other novels are: Hard Eight, Notorious Nineteen, Fearless Fourteen, One for the Many and Sizzling Sixteen.

Evanovich specializes in the genres of suspense, romance and mystery.

(4) John Grisham ($26 million)

Another household name, Grisham has written several books among them: The Runaway Jury, The Client, The Rainmaker and The Runaway Jury.

Over 250 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide and some of his novels have been turned into films.

Grisham has also been practicing criminal law for a decade and was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives.

Top 10 Richest Authors in the World 2015

(5) Jeff Kinney ($ 25 million)

A game designer, actor, producer, cartoonist and author, Jeff is one of the top fifteen wealthiest authors in the world.

He is well-known as an author of children’s books. The kid book series ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ has been turned into feature films and over 58 million print copies were sold all over the world as of 2010.

Some of the other series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid are: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Do It Yourself and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw.

Jeff is a fulltime online game designer and writer. He was born in Maryland in 1971 and studied for his degree at the University of Maryland.

(7) Nora Roberts ($ 23 million)

Born in Silver Spring, Maryland on October 10, 1950, Nora Roberts is one of the bestselling authors in the world.

She has written over 200 novels and has been listed in New York Times Bestseller list including USA Today. She has written more bestsellers than any other author according to Publishers Weekly.

68 novels of hers both paperbacks and hardbacks were listed as bestsellers in New York Times magazine from 1999-2000. In 2005 alone, around 12 million copies of her books were sold while on January 9, 2009 over 400 million copies of her books were printed. Her books’ have been published in 35 countries and has won several awards.

Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts | Source

(8) Danielle Steel ($ 23 million)

She has written over 90 books which have been bestsellers, as over 600 million copies of her works have been sold worldwide. Her books have been translated to more than 25 languages and have also been published in 69 countries.

Apart from writing fiction books, she has also written for children and 21 books of hers have been adapted for television.

Her first bestseller was The Promise which was published in 1978.

Danielle was born on August 14, 1947 as an only child to Norma da Camara Stone dos Ruis and John Schulein Steel in New York.

She attended Lycee Franceuis de New York, graduating in 1963, later studied for Literature Design and Fashion Design at Parson’s School of Design in 1963 and at New York University from 1963-1967. Her growing years were mostly spent in France.

Her first job was at Supergirls Ltd which was a public relations firm.

Some of her works are: Power Play, No Greater Love, Answered Prayers, Leap of Faith, Friends Forever, Legacy, and Special Delivery.

(10) Dean Koontz($ 19 million)

Over 450 million copies of his works have been sold and several of his books have been named New York Times Bestsellers.

He specializes in horror, thriller, suspense and science fiction. He has written his books using various pen names such as Aaron Wolfe, David Axton, Owen West, John Hill and Brian Coffey.

A novelist, producer, poet, short story writer and screen writer, Dean was born on July 9, 1945 was born to Raymond and Florence Koontz in Everett, Pennsylvania.

He attended Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania where he studied for B.A in English, graduating in 1967. At the university he won fiction competition which was sponsored by Atlantic Monthly Magazine.

Some of his works include: Whispers, Cold Fire, Dark river of the Heart, Intensity, The Key to Midnight and Hideaway.

(13) Stephenie Meyer ($ 14 million)

She was the bestselling author in Author in America in 2008 and 2009. This is attested by the fact that over 29 million books of hers were sold in 2008 and in 2009, over 26 million books were sold.

Her most successful work is Twilight, a vampire romance series: the first series was Twilight, followed by New Moon, the third was Eclipse and the fourth, Breaking Dawn. The twilight novels have been translated 37 languages and more than 100 million copies have been sold.

Stephenie has appeared in ‘100 Most Influential People in 2008’ in Times Magazine’s list, appearing at number 49. She appeared number 26 in Forbe’s list of ‘World’s Most Powerful Celebrities’ in 2008.

Stephenie was born to Stephen and Candy Morgan in Hartford, Connecticut but grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She attended Chaparral High School and later studied for B.A in English at Brigham Young University, graduating in 1997.

She concentrates in writing science fiction, vampire romance and young-adult fiction. Her other works are: Midnight Sun, Eclipse and the international bestseller, The Host.

She has also won awards: Teen Choice, Razzie and Blimp Awards.

Before embarking on the career of a novelist, Stephenie used to work as a receptionist in a property company.

(14) Ken Follett ($ 14 million)

Specializing in thriller and historical fiction, Ken Follett has written 29 books of which 130 million copies have been sold.

Ken has appeared number one in New York Times Bestseller list in several of his books such as Fall of Giants, Winter of the World and Down with Lions.

He was born on June 5, 1949 in Cardiff, Wales to Martin and Lavinia Follett, the first born of four. At the age of 10 his parents moved to London where he attended harrow Weald Grammar School, then to Poole Technical College, later studying Philosophy at University College London.


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    • Ben716 profile image

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 2 years ago from Kenya

      Thank you Jackie Lynnley

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Forgot a t in your title.

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