Making a money as an author is no easy feat, out of the millions of authors, only a few get to make a proper living from their job. More so, self-published authors earn even less compared to those with agents or publishing houses. Hence, when authors bring in millions of dollars, such feats should be applauded.
These days, authors do not only make money from book sales, but also from TV and theatrical rights among other sources. This means that authors have the opportunity of bringing huge sums from one good book, even though only a few receive such recognition and opportunity.
Below is a list of the top 5 authors with the largest paychecks in 2019 according to Forbes.
1. J.K. Rowling – $92 million
Even without large book sales, the iconic J.K. Rowling still racked up $92 million, with majority of that sum coming from theme parks, theatrical productions and a new film about The Boy Who Lived.
2. James Patterson – $70 million
James Patterson’s book, The President Is Missing, which he co-wrote with Bill Clinton was the best selling novel of 2018. In 2019 he sold more than 5.5 million domestic units.
3. Michelle Obama – $36 million
Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming became the best-selling book in the US for the year 2018 after just 15 days. By March 26, 2019, Becoming had sold 10 million copies, bringing in a mouthwatering $36 million.
4. Jeff Kinney – $20 million
Twelve years since the first book was published in 2007, 10 million copies of the books were sold worldwide in 2019. The fourteenth installment in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball, was published on November 5, 2019, and immediately hit #1 on the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times bestseller lists.
5. Stephen King – $17 million
Despite his earnings dropping by $10 million from 2018 , the prolific horror writer still made $17. King’s last book was The Institute published back in September.
Note: Earnings estimates are for the period 1 June 2018 through 1 June 2019.