Wednesday, August 14

The World's Top Earning Authors of 2013

The World's Top Earning Authors of 2013

Quick blog post today.

I'm in the middle of polishing a story that's almost ready to be sent off. The love-hate relationship I have with my manuscripts has veered over to the hate side of things and I just-want-to-get-the-bloody-thing-done! It's what comes from going over it about a billion times.

I used to feel guilty about hating my manuscript--the emotion only lasts for a while, after it has been out to door for about a week I'll love it again--until Stephen King admitted in, On Writing, that he sometimes hates his manuscripts too.

In any case, I'll leave you with what I call 'the dream list.' Personally, I'm hoping to be #17 one day. #1 would be great but then my life wouldn't be my own, I'd have to dress up and put on makeup to go to the corner store for milk! #17 has millions of dollars and anonymity. Kudos.

From Forbes: The World's Top-Earning Authors.

1. E.L. James, $95 million
2. James Patterson, $91 million
3. Suzanne Collins, $55 million
4. Bill O'Reilly, $28 million
5. Danielle Steel, $26 million
6. Jeff Kinney, $24 million
7. Janet Evanovich, $24 million
8. Nora Roberts, $23 million
9. Dan Brown, $22 million
10. Stephen King, $20 million
11. Dean Koontz, $20 million
12. John Grisham, $18 million
13. David Balacci, $15 million
14. Rick Riordan, $14 million
15. J.K. Rowling, $13 million
16. George R.R. Martin, $12 million

Photo credit: "Winter Meal" by Jan Tik under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.


  1. Hi Karen! And why shouldn't you be No 17? Hmm...I consider I'm about where Nora Roberts was when she first started publishing for Harlequin...she wasn't the polished author she is today...her early books were quite ordinary, but she worked so hard to improve. Shows how the more you write the better you become. Here's to best sellers!

    1. Hi Denise! To best sellers! (raises a glass) ;)

      That is a very good point. I'd like to read one of those early books and then read one of her latest to see if her style has changed much over the years.

  2. Yeah, I get the ‘hating a m/s’. This Spring I went through that for I hope the last time.

    What I mean is that when I was going through the m/s before pubbing the book on the ‘Zon, I had gone through it post Betas, with the fixes, and then about twice more.

    I am ab-so-lute-ly positive that if I went through my m/s another bazillion times, I’d find stuff that I could fix. However…

    The book is what it is. I have to move on.
    And ‘not for nothin’,’ and yes I do talk like that, the book has only 6 reviews, all five stars, and generated my first fan mail from a paying reader. Actually two fan letters. Now ya wanna talk about Supreme Rush or what…

    Here’s the thing…
    I didn’t read your comments re: Dean Smith and writing a novel in 10 days. My personal take away from the exercise I went through is a question of CONFIDENCE.

    I wrote what I could, and did the best I could. But I got like four other books on the go for Fall releases. My second pass was pretty good on the book I was talking about. My third was even better. But I got to the point where the process became drudgery instead of rewarding for hard work. I know hard work. I can ‘do’ hard work… noooo problem!
    I can even do drudge. I mean laundry and washing dishes… they never stop and stay clean for cryin’ out loud!

    But writing? Hmmm… I know a dynamite author who had a really bad case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and after that was just downright exhausted. She was tired.

    I’m CONFIDANT now that my manuscripts, out of the gate are pretty good. I’m CONFIDENT that my 2nd look makes them better. I’m CONFIDENT that my third pass reflects maybe 95% of my capabilities as a writer. A fourth pass won’t get me to 96. And it will take me at least five more passes to get to 98. Each of which will be drudgery. I’m confident about that too. I look now on multiple passes as a return on investment. Investment of my time….
    You know where the rest of this reply would go, so I’ll end here.


    1. "... the book has only 6 reviews, all five stars, and generated my first fan mail from a paying reader. Actually two fan letters. Now ya wanna talk about Supreme Rush or what…"

      6 is good! Especially when they're all five stars. :-) Big congrats!

      "I got like four other books on the go for Fall releases."

      BIGGER congrats!!

      I do agree, there's a law of diminishing returns when it comes to manuscript revision. I think it's the old 80/20 rule that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

      Great to hear from you Desmond, I'd wish you the best of luck, but you don't need it! (grin)


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