The Best-Paid Fiction Authors

This past week Forbes took a look at the authors who are still making money, despite the changes that the publishing industry is undergoing. And while you might not trust the way they figured these figures, it is astonishing to see which writers make this Top Ten list (and where):

James Patterson ($70 million)

Stephenie Meyer ($40 million)

Stephen King ($34 million)

Danielle Steel ($32 million)

Ken Follett ($20 million)

Dean Koontz ($18 million)

Janet Evanovich ($16 million)

John Grisham ($15 million)

Nicholas Sparks ($14 million)

J.K. Rowling ($10 million)

So we asked ourselves, do these Forbes findings make sense?

Morgan's Take: I am very surprised that Charlaine Harris and Nora Roberts aren't on this list. But, look at how many of these authors are women! I know that Agatha Christie has been a perennial best seller, but that four out of the ten authors are women just makes me so happy. Also, all of these authors are genre fiction writers. That is really surprising but I love it.

Whitney Weighs In: I was surprised to see that Stephenie Meyer didn’t top the list with her on-going Twilight-mania. But, I suppose that the Patterson's list-topping figure makes sense, because he has so many books across so many different genres. Patterson supplies something for everyone, mystery, fantasy and romance. 

I bet that because Meyer, Rowling, Sparks and Evanovich all have upcoming movies tied to their names, they are a bit higher up on the list than they would be otherwise. And although that doesn’t really jive with the notion that most authors don’t get much money from their movie ventures… I’m pretty sure that that statement is not true for Meyer or Rowling. 

One final thought: I was surprised that romance biggies Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber weren't on the list!

Tell us what you think: does this list represent the people you think are the best paid fiction authors?