EL James highest earning author

EL James highest earning author

EL James highest earning author

EL James’ ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey,’ sold 70 million copies in eight months.

The success of the “Fifty Shades” trilogy has propelled EL James to the top of Forbes’ list of the highest-earning authors, BBC News has reported. The British writer earned $95 million last year, the business magazine said. She knocked crime author James Patterson off the top spot after three years.

He took second place with $91 million.

James’s first novel, “Fifty Shades Of Grey,” sold 70 million copies in eight months. At its peak, the entire trilogy earned her more than $1 million a week. She also picked up an estimated $5 million for the film rights last year.

Artist and film-maker Sam Taylor-Johnson has been selected to direct the movie, which is due out on Aug. 1, 2014. Universal Pictures issued a casting call for the lead roles last week.

James’ success is almost unprecedented, said Forbes, as most of the names on its annual list are established authors whose earnings derive from sales of their extensive back catalogues.

Mainstays on this year’s list include Stephen King and Danielle Steel, both of whom published their first novels, “Carrie” and “Going Home,” in 1973. Patterson, meanwhile, will release his 115th book later this year, BBC News has reported.

Other authors on the list included “Hunger Games” creator Suzanne Collins at number three, and Fox News presenter Bill O’Reilly at number four.

JK Rowling, who topped the Forbes chart in 2008 with $300 million, slipped to 15th place this year, earning $15 million from her adult novels, “The Casual Vacancy” and “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” the latter of which was published secretly under the pen name Robert Galbraith.


1. EL James - $95 mln
2. James Patterson - $91 mln
3. Suzanne Collins - $55 mln
4. Bill O’Reilly - $28 mln
5. Danielle Steel - $26 mln
6. Jeff Kinney - $24 mln
7. Janet Evanovich - $24 mln
8. Nora Roberts - $23 mln
9. Dan Brown - $22 mln
10. Stephen King - $20 mln