Forbes has just released its list of top-ten-earning authors for 2018. They are

  • 1. James Patterson: $86 million
  • 2. J.K. Rowling: $54 million
  • 3. Stephen King: $27 million
  • 4. John Grisham: $21 million
  • 5. Dan Brown (tie): $18.5 million
  • 5. Jeff Kinney (tie): $18.5 million
  • 7. Michael Wolff: $13 million
  • 8. Nora Roberts (tie): $12 million
  • 8. Danielle Steel (tie): $12 million
  • 10. Rick Riordan (tie): $10.5 million
  • 10. E.L. James (tie): $10.5 million

According to Shelf Awareness of 19 December, James Patterson gave holiday bonuses of $750 each to 333 independent booksellers — individuals not businesses. His generous support for bookselling is well-known and much appreciated. Of course all of these authors, and all others, support bookstores by providing books which they can sell.

These are really quite impressive numbers, and remind us that there’s not too much point in paying any attention to those Jeremiahs who love to moan about the death of the book publishing industry.