(blogs.thetimes.co.za, Nov. 26)
Forbes Magazine has released its list of the world’s highest paid authors. In a year when financial returns are a great source of consternation, some writers have still managed to rake in the cash. Top of the list is unsurprisingly J.K Rowling who managed to make $300 million over the course of the year. The Harry Potter franchise has generated $4.5 billion dollars since Rowling published the first of the stories dealing with young Harry and his magical exploits in 1998 catapulting the author from an existence as a single mother on welfare to the billionaire status in just ten years.
Second on the list is the ever productive James Patterson who made $50 million dollars this year. Patterson churns out his novels at the rate of at least two a year and has already sold more than 150 million books worldwide.
Third place goes to the king of horror Stephen King with $45 million made this year. The one time school teacher has published over 40 books and sold more than 350 million copies since the publication of Carrie in 1974.
Fourth place belongs to Tom Clancy, king of the political thriller and creator of Jack Ryan star of novels such as Patriot Games, The Hunt for Red October and Clear and Present Danger. Last year Clancy sold videogame rights to Ubisoft for an estimated $100 million.
And finally in fifth place is the queen of the romance novel Danielle Steel who earned $30 million this year. Steel’s books (more than 70 titles) have been published in 47 countries and 28 languages and she also has an Elizabeth Arden perfume and a San Francisco art gallery on her resume.