Publishers Lunch of 8 September brings us news of Forbes’ publication of their annual list of guesses at the top-earning authors. One has to admit these numbers are pretty amazing: I suppose they are more or less true.

James Patterson $90 million

Dan Brown $28 million

Nora Roberts $23 million

Danielle Steel $22 million

Janet Evanovich $20 million

Jeff Kinney $17 million

Veronica Roth $17 million

John Grisham $17 million

Stephen King $17 million

Suzanne Collins $16 million

J. K. Rowling $14 million

George R. R. Martin $12 million

David Baldacci $11 million

Rick Riordan $10 million

E. L. James $10 million

Gillian Flynn $9 million

John Green $9 million

Of their methodology Forbes says “we look at print, ebook and audiobook sales from Nielsen BookScan figures, consider TV and movie earnings and talk to authors, agents, publishers and other experts. Earnings are tabulated from June 2013 to June 2014 and are pretax; other fees are not deducted.” Of course they don’t have access to the contracts so can’t know for sure what royalty rates apply, but who am I to suggest this procedure wouldn’t at least give a rough approximation?

 

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