Sunday, August 22, 2010

No, Virginia, Life Is Not Fair

No realist ever said life is one with his eyes open ever believed it was.

According to Forbes magazine, these are the best paid writers from June 1, 2009 to June 1, 2010:
1.  James Patterson at $70 million  (one out of every seventeen novels bought are "written" by "the quickie") 
2.  Stephenie Meyer at $40 million  (will the public never grow tired of vampires and werewolves?) 
3.  Stephen King at $34 million  (I admit to having enjoyed a whole lot of King, and still look at his new books to see if they appeal to me)  
4.  Danielle Steele at $32 million (receives $7 million advance per book and had four new ones in the twelve month period) 
5.  Ken Follett at $20 million (I can live with this one, having enjoyed Pillars of the Earth and others of his - much of his earnings came from revived interest in Pillars
6.  Dean Koontz at $18 million (frankly, I used to think of Koontz as King-lite, but he has carved out a nice genre niche for himself)  
7.  Janet Evanovich at $16 million (astonishingly, she sells at an amazing annual pace and has a new publisher willing to give her an even more astonishing advance per book) 
8.  John Grisham at $15 million (the man has had some good moments, I agree)

9.  Nicholas Sparks at $14 million (give me a break)

10. J.K. Rowling at $10 million (the billionaire writer falls all the way to number ten, poor thing)
No, boys and girls, life is not fair, and this list proves it once again. Appealing to the lowest common denominator will beat out quality every single time, be it in books, movies, television or music.


  1. Maybe some of these reader will venture out into something better? Ah, well...

  2. I think it's hopeless. My Mother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law trade Danielle Steele books like they are liquid gold. I just want to scream---"look at these really good ones!!!"

    I can't stand James Patterson. Like you, I look very warily on Stephen King these days, however, I loved his writing 20-25 years ago. I thought he was a better writer then. I don't know if he has changed or I have changed.

    A new book I enjoyed immensely was The Passage by Justin Cronin. It was over 700 pages, but I could hardly put it down. It probably wouldn't appeal to everyone because of the subject matter (kind of science fiction), but it was very thought provoking. My husband just finished it also and we keep discussing the characters.

    I do enjoy your blog and am always interested in your thoughts. You review books better than I would. I can't seem to put into words why I like something other than I just like it--kind of blah.

  3. I always hope that happens, Jenclair, but the same folks are on the list year after year. And some of them really, really, really don't deserve to be there.

  4. It's hard to bite your tongue sometimes, isn't it, Maxine? My wife was on a Danielle Steele kick a few years ago and I quickly learned to keep my opinion of Ms. Steele's novels to myself. :-)

    I'll have to take a look at The Passage...not familiar with that one.

    Thanks, too, for the kind words about the blog.

  5. It's always the blockbusters that make these lists isn't it? I can't believe Nicholas Sparks is on it, except that I can, but is he really a 'writer'? I do love JK though, and would give her $10million just to talk to me!!

  6. I can live with the same ones as you said, especially Uncle Steve.

  7. Elise and Susan, amongst all of us I think we average about 1.5 out of 10 authors as being worthy of this list. :-)