The highest paid authors of 2015/2016 have been announced: Is your favourite on the list?

by |August 4, 2016

According to Forbes, the highest paid authors of 2015/2016 earned a combined US$269 million – with movie and television adaptations helping to drive sales.

James Patterson, whose television adaptation of Zoo was signed up for a second season, has topped the list for the third consecutive year. He earned US$95 million pre-tax. His latest book, Never Never, co-authored by Australian Candice Fox, will be released this month. Watch the book trailer here.


Creator of the children’s Wimpy Kid series, Jeff Kinney, has come in second with US$19.5 million … for a series that was originally intended for adults! Telling Forbes, “I wrote the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid for adults … The whole time I thought I was writing comics for grownups, and then my publisher told me I had actually written a children’s series. If you don’t write down to kids, you have a better chance of reaching them.”


Coming in third is J.K. Rowling with US$19 million, whose Harry Potter books (including the newly released Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), stage play and theme park continue to be a draw for children and adults alike.

j.k. rowling

Newcomer to this list is Paula Hawkins, whose The Girl on the Train has sold 11 million copies worldwide. A movie adaptation is set for October.

Not making the list this year is Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn, The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins and the author of the Stephanie Plum series, Janet Evanovich.

The full list (in US dollars):

  1. James Patterson $95m
  2. Jeff Kinney $19.5m
  3. J.K. Rowling $19m
  4. John Grisham $18m
  5. Stephen King $15m
  6. Danielle Steel $15m
  7. Nora Roberts $15m
  8. E.L. James $14m
  9. Veronica Roth $10m
  10. John Green $10m
  11. Paula Hawkins $10m
  12. George R.R. Martin $9.5m
  13. Dan Brown $9.5m
  14. Rick Riordan $9.5 m
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About the Contributor

Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.


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