Wednesday, August 14, 2013

From Forbes: World's Top Earning Authors" - Yuck

Forbes magazine has just released its annual reminder to me (otherwise known as "The World's Top Earning Authors List") that, relative to the kind of fiction that is sold in grocery stores across the country, serious, high-quality fiction is seldom rewarded in the marketplace.  

Yes, it's always good to see that books are still selling well enough to make some serious money for a handful of authors, but come on, world, can't we do better than this?

1.  E.L. James ($95 million) - for poorly written soft porn?

2.  James Patterson ($91 million) - for books he doesn't even to pretend he writes himself anymore?

3.  Suzanne Collins ($55 million) - for milking a one-trick pony series way beyond the point it deserved 

4.  Bill O'Reilly ($28 million) - for a co-written series of pop history books and regurgitating the same old mantra to the faithful

5.  Danielle Steel ($26 million) - on average, more than 3 romance titles per year - and it shows

6.  Jeff Kinney ( $24 million) - I'll give you this one, world.  The "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books are exceptional and young readers seem to love them

7.  Janet Evanovich ($24 million) - How many times can an author write the same old book over and over again?

8.  Nora Roberts ($23 million) - Just the cover of a Nora Roberts book is enough to make a reader cringe

9.  Dan Brown ($22 million) - Proving that a very nice living can be made from poorly written conspiracy theory novels

10.  Stephen King ($20 million) - Still has his moments but is starting to become a parody of himself lately

11.  Dean Koontz ($20 million) - A whole career that would probably never happened if not for Stephen King's success in kickstarting a dead genre...interesting that he made almost exactly the same amount of money that "the master" made last year

12.  John Grisham ($18 million) - Like King, Grisham still has his moments but does seem to be slipping

13.  David Baldacci ($15 million) - Maybe it's me, but I just don't get David Baldacci's tremendous success

14.  J.K. Rowling ($13 million) - Not bad considering that no new Potter books were released

15.  George R.R. Martin ($12 million) - Thrones, thrones, thrones, everywhere, it seems; a one-trick pony who owes much of his success to the HBO network

I think it is a shame that more literary authors never come close to earning this kind of money.  But who ever said the world was fair?  

Rant over; feel free to throw rocks at me.  I even supplied the rocks for you.


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