If you added up the sales of books written by the ten highest-paid authors, counting only those sold in the the US during the past year, you'd arrive at an impressive number of 25 million copies. Overall, it will naturally be a many times higher number. Let's see if you know all of these authors that made billions mostly thanks to their writing...
The list of most successful authors can change from year to year, because they don't necessarily have a new book coming out every year. Some authors also owe part of their earnings to selling rights to film adaptations or other activities. Therefore we chose ten who are the richest, according to the Forbes magazine and the Celebrity Net Worth server.
1. Élisabeth Badinter (24 billion CZK)
Unknown to many at first glance, this French author, philosopher and historian writes important texts on feminism and the role of women in society. The Forbes magazine considers her one of the richest and most influential French women. She's known, for example, for her book Dead End Feminism.
2. J. K. Rowling (22 billion CZK)
She was made famous by her books about a young wizard Harry Potter, which drew many children to reading and became popular all over the world. Overall half a billion copies of her books were sold, and they were adapted into eight movies. These days J.K. Rowling dabbles in writing regular novels too, under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Other movies set in the wizarding world are also being made (Fantastic Beasts); the author is involved in the production.
3. James Patterson (12.5 billion CZK)
A well-known author of thrillers and drama novels is known for not writing most of his own books these days; he hires other authors and ghostwriters. Thanks to that he publishes multiple books each year, just last year there were 16 of them. He always comes up with the plot of the book himself, and gives detailed instructions on how to write the book to the contributing authors. His own name - James Patterson - is then prominently featured on the cover.
4. Stephen King (8.9 billion CZK)
A world-renowned horror author, whose famous works include Carrie, The Dead Zone or The Shining. The famous movie Shawshank Redemption was also based on one of his short stories. Stephen King has spent his entire life writing, he's written several dozen novels, short story collections and even non-fiction books.
5. Nora Roberts (8.7 billion CZK)
Nora is an American author of over 200 romantic novels. She used to work as a secretary at a law firm and first started writing in 1979 when she got snowed in at home with her children. She simply picked up a pencil and began writing her first story. She quickly rose to fame and became a well-known author. She also writes detective novels set in the near future under the pseudonym J.D. Robb.
6. Danielle Steel (6.9 billion CZK)
A well-known American novelist who is, according to Forbes, the best selling living female author; she's sold over 800 million copies of her books. She published the first one in 1972 and so far has written 179 titles, which equals roughly four books a year.
7. Barbara Taylor Bradford (6.7 billion CZK)
A British author born in 1933; she used to work as an editor and columnist for a gossip magazine and wrote her first novel in 1979, titled Power of a Woman. Three successful publications followed after that, and several of her books were even adapted for TV. Her books have been translated into 40 languages, including Czech.
8. John Grisham (4.9 billion CZK)
He became famous thanks to several of his books, out of which many made it to the big screen. His most famous books are The Firm, The Client, and The Pelican Brief. John Grisham has been publishing approximately one book per year since 1992, and most of them make it onto various bestseller lists.
9. Dan Brown (3.9 billion CZK)
The author of the legendary book series about a symbology professor Robert Langdon became very popular after publishing his controversial novel The Da Vinci Code, which was criticized by the Vatican. His books, often toeing the line between reality and fiction, were adapted on the big screen, starring Tom Hanks in the leading role of the professor.
10. E. L. James (3.3 billion CZK)
This author of an erotic and passionate book series Fifty Shades Of Grey about the love of a regular girl and a billionaire Christian Grey is mostly popular among women. So far she has sold over 125 million copies of these books.