Publishing’s richest penman James Patterson (and his co-writers) cranked out more than a dozen books in Forbes’ scoring period (June 2015 to June 2016).
The American author is largely known for his novels about fictional psychologist Alex Cross, the protagonist of the Alex Cross series.
His books have sold more than 300 million copies and he holds the Guinness World Record for being the first person to sell 1 million e-books.
His latest endeavour: BookShots, bite-size bargain novellas aimed at boosting readership among the screen-obsessed masses.
A mainstay on the highest-paid author list, Kinney ranks second thanks to his cartoon-and-text series Diary of a Wimpy Kid—the 11th installment is forthcoming.
The American author is also attributed as the creator of the child-oriented website Poptropica. He also appeared in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid films as Holly Hills’ father.
Kinney was born and bought up in Fort Washington, Maryland, US.
JK Rowling is best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series.
The books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards and sold more than 400 million copies.
Though the British novelist has since branched into adult fiction, she still makes the majority of her gold galleons from Potter’s legacy through several Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks.
The American bestselling writer, attorney, politician and activist is best known for his popular legal thrillers. His books have been translated into 42 languages and published worldwide.
With a solid rate of one hardback crime novel a year since 1988, Grisham still manages to record healthy sales for new offerings: he shifted nearly 2 million units in the US, mostly of 2015’s Rogue Lawyer, in Forbes’ scoring period.
Stephen King is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science-fiction and fantasy.
His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, mini-series, television shows and comic books.
King has earned over $450 million in his career; he continues to bank from his spooky page-turners. An adaptation of The Dark Tower starring Idris Elba hits screens in 2017.
The American novelist is currently the best selling author alive and the fourth best-selling author of all time, with over 800 million copies sold.
The romance author has published 129 books and sold 650 million copies. She continues to pen new novels, which she writes on a 1946 Olympia typewriter.
The American best-selling author has over 209 romance novels to her credit. She writes as JD Robb for the In Death series, and has also written under the pseudonyms Jill March and for publications in the UK as Sarah Hardesty.
Roberts pens an average of five or more manuscripts a year. Though her print sales have declined in line with the publishing industry, her romance and crime novels still shift units—particularly as e-books.
EL James ($14 million)
The English author is best known for the erotic romance novel trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. James reportedly tied up a tidy share of the profits from 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey movie.
She also sold 168% more units than a year ago, thanks to the release last year of Grey, a re-telling of the erotic novel from the male protagonist’s perspective.
After The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl, British author Paul Hawkins’ novel The Girl on the Train is the latest literary phenomenon with a calculating female character to hit the bestseller list.
It sold 11 million copies worldwide; a movie version hits theatres in October. Hawkins joins the ranking for the first time.
The American author won the 2006 Printz Award for his debut novel, Looking for Alaska, and his sixth novel, The Fault in Our Stars, debuted at number one on The New York Times’ bestseller list in January 2012.
With no new book or movie out, the young adult author’s earnings dipped from $17 million last year, though his popular Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska continue to sell.
The American novelist and short story writer is best known for her debut New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy, consisting of Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant; and Four: A Divergent Collection. Roth’s earnings dropped from $25 million after sagging book sales and lesser returns on the third movie of her Divergent trilogy, Allegiant, which grossed just $179 million on an estimated $110-million budget. Born in 1988, she is the youngest author on the list.