Harry Potter’s creator made $95 million in the past year; James Patterson is close by
Her boy wizard is the gift that keeps giving.
Almost 10 years after she first topped Forbes’ list of the world’s best compensated authors, “Harry Potter” writer J.K. Rowling again reclaims the spot. According to the business magazine, the 52-year-old made $95 million in the year to May 31, 2017, more than anyone else. Rowling is the only woman to crack the 2017 index’s top five, though Nora Roberts, Paula Hawkins, E.L. James and Danielle Steel all make the top 11.
Her re-ascendance is primarily due to two big hits. The script of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” an on-stage production, sold over 2 million copies in North America within 48 hours of its release last summer. And Rowling also made bank from the on-screen success of “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them,” which grossed $814 million at the global box office.
Forbes pegs Rowling’s net worth at $650 million. Alongside her cut from the seven books in the blockbuster “Harry Potter” series, which have sold close to half a billion copies, Rowling’s fortune is also padded by a share of proceeds from nine movies and royalties from theme parks. The Edinburgh-based author has also donated about $150 million to various charities including Lumos, a non-profit she founded that has a mission to support and eventually end orphanages.
Snapping at Rowling’s heels is James Patterson, who previously topped the magazine’s list. Patterson is known for producing over a dozen books a year, most of them co-written with authors based off a plot jointly developed with the 70-year-old author. While Patterson has been criticized for reducing the literary arts to a factory production, he won’t likely mind. He made $87 million last year and has an upcoming thriller with none other than President Bill Clinton.
Here is the entirety of Forbes’ list:
1. J.K. Rowling- $95 million
2. James Patterson- $87 million
3. Jeff Kinney- $21 million
4. Dan Brown – $20 million
5. Stephen King- $15 million
6. John Grisham- $14 million
7. Nora Roberts – $14 million
8. Paula Hawkins- $13 million
9. E.L. James- $11.5 million
10. Danielle Steel- $11 million
10. Rick Riordan- $11 million
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