For the first time in this decade, J.K. Rowling has exceeded the prolific James Patterson, according to Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid authors. With a combination of print, ebooks, audiobooks, films, and a bunch of other things, Rowling earned an estimated total of $95 million (£72.3 million) in 2017, which is equivalent to $180 per minute.
Much of her success this year derived from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. After the Cursed Child‘s release last summer, the book sold more than 680,000 print copies in the U.K. in three days, and became the world’s fastest selling novel since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Via the Associated Press
Rowling arrived at top three on numerous occasions but never has she made it to the top of the list this decade. Though Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin and The Fault in Our Stars author John Green have completely dropped off the list, the former’s prequels to GoT and the latter’s new book, Turtles All the Way Down, may allow for epic comebacks next year.
Here is the official list of the world’s richest authors:
- J.K. Rowling — $95 million
- James Patterson — $87 million
- Jeff Kinney — $21 million
- Dan Brown — $20 million
- Stephen King — $15 million
- John Grisham (Tie) — $14 million
- Nora Roberts (Tie) — $14 million
- Paula Hawkins — $13 million
- E.L. James — $11.5 million
- Danielle Steele (Tie) — $11 million
- Rick Riordan (Tie) — $11 million
According to the Guardian, Forbes producer Hayley Cuccinello was surprised to see Rowling’s sudden increase in earnings for this year but is skeptical towards how long her winning status will remain.
“But unless Rowling releases another bestselling book in time for next year’s list,” said Cuccinello, “her earnings will almost certainly dip dramatically and she’ll likely relinquish first place.”
Featured image courtesy of Pottermore.