James Patterson has once again taken first place in Forbes’ annual list of the world’s highest-earning writers. Patterson is estimated to have made a whopping $94m, far ahead of second-placed Stephen King on $39m. But the real story is that women are finally starting to make a real impact on the list, and there are even the first signs of self-published authors entering the running.
Janet Evanovich is third on the list, while other prominent female writers include Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel and Suzanne Collins. But as the Forbes article notes, E.L. James is raking in huge sums with her Fifty Shades… trilogy and is highly likely to take a high-ranking slot on next year’s list; if she does, she’ll show that authors who start out self-published can achieve success by any measure.
The other notable trend from this year’s list is that genre fiction and young adult novels seem to be the most popular, along with romance titles. Perhaps that’s not really very surprising, since literary fiction has never tended to do particularly well on the Forbes list.