While many young writers aspire to write the next great American novel, other writers aspire to write the next “Harry Potter” or “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. And with good reason—the “Harry Potter” brand is currently worth $15 billion and climbing. The authors on this list are lucky enough to do what they love and get paid handsomely to do it. These are the highest paid authors in the world:
1) E.L. James: $95 million
Pictured: E.L. James
Ericka Leonard, better known as E.L. James, is the British author of the best-selling erotic romance novels triology Fifty Shade of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. The novels began as Twilight fan fiction and became a worldwide sensation, selling over 70 million copies worldwide becoming the fastest selling paperback of all time. In 2012, Time magazine named her one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.” The first book in her trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey is currently being made into a film.
2) James Patterson, $70 million
Pictured: James Patterson
With an estimated net worth of $310 million, James Patterson is doing just fine even if he was booted out of first place by E.L. James. Patterson is an American author known for his novels about fictional psychologist Alex Cross, the protagonist of the Alex Cross series. Out of every 17 hardcover books sold in the U.S., one is a James Patterson book. In total he has sold more than 270 million copies of his books.
3) Suzanne Collins, $55 million
Pictured: Suzanne Collins
Suzanne Collins is an American television writer and novelist. Collins is best known as the author of The New York Times best selling series The Underland Chronicles and The Hunger Games Trilogy (which consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay). The Hunger Games has been on The New York Times best seller list for 60 weeks in a row.
4) Bill O’ Reilly, $28 million
Pictured: Bill O’Reilly
Bill O’ Reilly is an American television host, author, and political commentator. He hosts The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel, which is currently the most watched cable news program on American television. His books, Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, and Killing Jesus, have made him the fourth highest paid author in 2013.
5) Danielle Steel, $26 million
Pictured: Danielle Steel
Danielle Steel is an American novelist with a career that spans 40 years and 128 titles. Steel averages three books a year, and while most are romances, she has also written children’s books, nonfiction and a volume of poetry. She is currently the bestselling living novelist and the fourth best selling novelist of all time. Her books have sold more than 600 million copies worldwide.