It is not an easy thing—becoming a successful author. Rarely does it happen over night and for many, it doesn’t happen at all. It takes a lot to become a truly successful word weavers, but it can happen. The following authors are examples of that. Selling over 30 MILLION copies each, here are five of writers you need to read.
1. Scott Turow
Lawyer-turned-author Scott Turow has written eleven novels in addition to three nonfiction books, which in total have been translated into over forty languages and sold more than 30 million copies. He is best known for his legal thrillers Presumed Innocent, The Burden of Proof, Pleading Guilty, and Personal Injuries, which was named by Time magazine as the Best Fiction Novel of 1999. Turow has won multiple literary awards, most notably the Silver Dagger Award of the British Crime Writers’ Association.
In addition to this, Turow has no less than six Hollywood movie adaptations under his belt, including Presumed Innocent, starring Harrison Ford, and Reversible Evidence, starring William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman. Turow was elected the president of the Authors Guild in 2010, and was previously president from 1997 to 1998. He still practices law; most of the cases he works are pro-bono, including the 1995 case of Alejandro Hernandez, a man who spent eleven years on death row for a murder he did not commit.
2. Charlaine Harris
New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries series has sold more than 30 million copies as well as becoming a hit TV show, True Blood. Harris has penned at least twenty-five novels including the Aurora Teagarden Series, the Lily Bard series and the Harper Connelly series.
After much ghost-story writing and teen angst poetry, Harris began her novel writing career with Real Murders, the first in the Aurora Teagarden series which was nominated for Best Novel 1990 at the Agatha Awards. 1996 saw the release of the first in the Lily Bard series, set in small town Arkansas where Harris lived at the time. In 2001, Harris released the first Sookie Stackhouse mystery, Dead Until Dark, which won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery. The series would become the Southern Vampire Mysteries, later adapted by HBO into hit TV show True Blood.
3. Neil Gaiman
Author of such beloved modern classics as Stardust, Coraline, and American Gods, among many others, Neil Gaiman is something of an institution at this stage. Straddling the dual worlds of novel writing and graphic novel writing, Gaiman’s Sandman series of graphic novels alone have sold over 30 million copies, while his novels have shifted an additional 10 million copies.
Among Gaiman’s countless accolades the the Newbery and Carnegie medalsHugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards. In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.
4. Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, which has inspired two film adaptations, has sold a cool 55 million copies and been translated into forty-two languages. He first got the idea for the Percy Jackson series, which follows a young boy who discovers he is the son of ancient Greek god Poseidon, when inventing bedtime stories for his sons, one of whom has ADHD and dyslexia, thus influencing Riordan’s decision to have the character Percy deal with these conditions, also.
Riordan co-created the children’s series The 39 Clues, and has penned many additional books including the The Maze of Bones, which topped The New York Times Best Seller list.
5. Veronica Roth
Divergent author Veronica Roth is the youngest author on this list, having penned hit YA dystopian tale Divergent at just nineteen, and since selling over 40 million copies of Divergent and its sequels. She had a publishing deal before graduating Northwestern University, and each of the books, Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant were made into Hollywood films films.
In January 2017, Roth released a new YA novel, Carve the Mark, the sequel to which, The Fates Divide came out in April 2018.
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