The Book Catapult

I’m Jame$ Patter$on, beeotch!

Forbes has announced their list of the World’s Highest Paid Authors for the year – guess who’s on the top of the mountain again?
James Patterson – $84 million
Danielle Steel – $35 million
Stephen King – $28 million
Janet Evanovich – $22 million
Stephenie Meyer – $21 million
Rick Riordan – $21 million
Dean Koontz – $19 million (but Best Hair)
John Grisham – $18 million
Jeff Kinney – $17 million
Nicholas Sparks – $16 million
Ken Follett – $14 million
Suzanne Collins – $10 million
J.K. Rowling – $5 million

JPatt managed to garner a $14 million increase in his wages from last year by selling over 10 million copies of his books, along with somewhere around 750,000 eBooks. I had hopes that my 117 Days would have chipped away at his sales a bit, but he still made more money than Tiger Woods ($75 million for sucking at golf) and Leonardo DiCaprio ($77 mil) – the highest paid athlete & actor, respectively. (To illustrate how unfair the gender split is in sports & Hollywood, tennis player Maria Sharapova made “only” $25 million and Angelina Jolie $30 million. 4 out of the 10 authors are women, so not too bad of a split.)

Other fun facts: apparently, Ken Follett will be paid $50 million total for his current trilogy of historical fiction, while Janet Evanovich (who just might be worthy of her own 117 day blasting) commands a $10 million advance for every book. (Last year, she wanted a $50 million advance from her then-publisher Macmillan, who refused, hence her new deal with Ballantine.) Danielle Steel has something like 600 million copies of her books in print, with 2.3 million sales in 2010. Rowling will be somewhere in the top half of the list next year when she opens Pottermore & starts selling eBooks.

How Stephen King managed to rake in that much cash without writing a new book is beyond me. 

Bonus fun fact: I’ve met Nicholas Sparks & Jeff Kinney and they were both assholes. Nothing says “romance” and “children’s books” like egomaniacal douchebags.

One other thing: why are we paying these people so much? Does JPatt work 2333 times harder than me? ‘Cause his pay would indicate that he does. I’m just sayin’.
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6 comments on “I’m Jame$ Patter$on, beeotch!

  1. Greg Zimmerman
    August 18, 2011

    I'm astounded at the $50 million Ken Follett figure. But good for him – he's the only on that list (I guess Stephen King, a little) I like.

    Really? Nic Sparks was a douche? That's utterly, utterly shocking. (Sarcasm font!)

  2. Biblibio
    August 19, 2011

    I'm actually a bit surprised Suzanne Collins topped J.K. Rowling, but I guess it's because her books are still relatively new and in eBook format whereas most people have already had the opportunity to read all of Rowling's books and they've been out for a while…

  3. Christine
    August 19, 2011

    Hahahaha! Read How I Became a Famous Novelist.

  4. Anonymous
    August 19, 2011

    Right on, Seth! You're the man! I love, love reading your opinions and comments. Keep telling it staight up, because it's a world full of horse… Keep rolling on, Seth!

  5. Ben
    August 22, 2011

    Who the fuck is Jeff Kinney? Also, I'm very surprised that Ken Follett earns so much money. He's all right, but he's not the most compelling bastard out there. I mean King beats him into the ground as far as storytelling goes.

    Anyway…I hope James Patterson retires with him mountain of cash. So he can stop cluttering my bookstores with his twenty fucking books a year.

  6. Ruby
    August 23, 2011

    And don't forget about our library reserve lists! Love your humor though Seth! And yeah, Nicholas Sparks is a douche? No news there!

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