|Rick Riordan and his Wimpy Kid|
First, here's the list:
1. James Patterson ($94 million)
2. Stephen King ($39 million)
3. Janet Evanovich ($33 million)
4. John Grisham ($26 million)
5. Jeff Kinney ($25 million)
6. Bill O'Reilly ($24 million)
7. Nora Roberts ($23 million)
8. Danielle Steel ($23 million)
9. Suzanne Collins ($20 million)
10. Dean Koontz ($19 million)
11. J.K. Rowling ($17 million)
12. George R.R. Martin ($15 million)
13. Stephenie Meyer ($14 million)
14. Ken Follett ($14 million)
15. Rick Riordan ($13 million)Is this what we have come to, Reading World? I admit to enjoying some of Stephen King's work (especially his "long short stories" or novellas), Ken Follett's historical fiction, and some early Grisham, but the rest of this lineup has me shaking my head. Don't even get me started on hacks like James Patterson, though, because none of us can spare that much time.
Note: I am also giving a pass to Jeff Kinney of the Wimpy Kid series because anything that gets kids excited about reading is OK by me - and these actually look good. And O'Reilly's Lincoln is a cut above his usual stuff, too, although there's not much of a track record there.
It's almost all genre and YA fiction. And next year, as the Forbes article points out, we will almost certainly see 50 Shades of Tripe author E.L. James crack the list for the first time. Are serious adult readers really outnumbered by such a huge margin that not a single "literary" writer could crack this list? Gore Vidal must be cursing out there somewhere.
The scariest thing about a list like this is that, with the demise of so many bookstores and traditional publishers, this might be all we can find in the future - this and a haystack of millions of self-published e-books within which it has become impossible to locate worthy offerings. I need a beer...