E.L. James is highest-paid author with $95 million debut
E.L. James made a big splash with the release of her best-selling trilogy, "Fifty Shades of Grey." The former fan fiction author reportedly made $95 million over the past year, making her the top-earning author between June 2012 and June 2013. A reported 70 million copies of "Fifty Shades of Grey" were sold during the first eight months of the book's release.
Forbes writes that "the e-book format was a key factor" to landing James at the top of the magazine's annual list. Following close behind her was longtime juggernaut James Patterson, who made $91 million in the same time period.
Coming in third place is "The Hunger Games" author Suzanne Collins, whose franchise earned her $55 million. Then there's Bill O'Reilly, who made $28 million thanks to his two books "Killing Lincoln" and "Killing Kennedy," and Danielle Steel, whose back catalogue of 128 titles earned her $26 million.
Rounding out the list is "Diary of a Wimpy Kid's" Jeff Kinney with $24 million, Janet Evanovich with $24 million, Nora Roberts with $23 million, Dan Brown with $22 million, Stephen King with $20 million, Dean Koontz with $20 million, John Grisham with $18 million, David Baldacci with $15 million, Rick Riordan with $14 million, J.K. Rowling with $13 million, and "Game of Thrones" scribe George R.R. Martin with $12 million.