Unlike the art of sculpting, where the artist's work can be felt and appreciated in the beholder's eye, the beauty of writing lies in the reader's mind. The writer’s work is not easy because the ability of a reader to comprehend a literary work depends on several factors that may or may not be controlled. The richest authors in the world have paid their fair share of dues. They did not shy away from putting in what fellow author Malcolm Gladwell calls the 10,000 hours theory.
Like most things in life, writing needs much physical and mental energy. Nevertheless, an author who can perfect the art of consistently mesmerizing their readers can get all the money they want. The net worth of the richest authors discussed in the following paragraphs is proof that with dedication, authors can make so much from their writing skills.
Top 20 richest authors around the globe
To answer the question, “Who are the top 10 authors?”, check out the net worths of the authors below. Most of those who made it to this list are well known for their ability to keep readers engaged with their books. Below is a list of the highest-paid authors.
1. JK Rowling - $1 billion
Who is the richest author in the world? With a net worth of $1 Billion, it is no other but JK Rowling. This super writer is the first one to have billion dollars financial hurdles. She is renowned for her writing in the magical series popularly known as Harry Potter. The Harry Potter series was adapted into a TV series that is also popular among viewers. This answers the question, who is the richest author in the world 2021?
2. James Patterson - $800 million
This is an old soldier in the literary world. First published in 1976, Patterson has gone on to write over 90 books. He has several awards to his name, including a Guinness World Record and The New York Times record as the author of over 70 sellers. He prospers in several genres of writings, such as romance, nonfiction, and so on. James Patterson net worth of $800 Million is a testament to his writing prowess.
3. Jim Davis - $800 million
Jim makes this list because he has combined his painting skills with a superb knack for writing. He is famous for being the creator of Garfield and The Mischievous Cat. Since his breakthrough, he has not looked back and was part of the Emmy award-winning Garfield TV specials writers. He is worth $800 million.
4. Candy Spelling - $600 million
Spelling did not reach the $600-million net worth only from the sales of her literary works. Stories from Candyland, an autobiography, made it to the list. Some of her fortunes are inherited.
5. Paul Coelho - $500 million
Paulo is the author of the national bestseller, The Alchemist. The book is the most translated book ever written by any author and has sold over 150 million copies worldwide. However, this feat did not come easily, even though he knew he wanted to be a writer as a young boy. So, how much is Paul Coelho worth? His net worth is estimated at $500 million.
6. Stephen King - $500 million
Stephen King net worth makes it to this list, thanks to his ability to spawn thrilling stories that take horror, suspense, and fantasy to another level. Some of King's books like The Shining and IT have been adapted into TV series. King has sold over 350 million copies of his books globally. The 73 years old novelist has a flourishing legacy in the world of literature. What is Stephen King's net worth? He is estimated to be worth $500 million.
7. John Grisham - $400 million
This writer is famous for his fast-paced, action-packed stories about crimes, criminals, and the cracking of mysterious cases. This may be due to his background in law. He has a bestseller, The Firm, adapted into a movie with the popular actor Tom Cruise playing the main character. Today, John Grisham net worth stands at $400 million.
8. Michael Crichton - $400 million
At the time of his demise in 2008, Michael Crichton net worth was estimated to be around $400 million. To date, over 200 million copies of his literary works have been sold. Although he had a background in medicine, he tapped into his innate talent for writing and ended up producing works like Jurassic Park and The Lost World.
9. Nora Roberts - $390 million
Nora Roberts net worth, estimated at $390 million, was accrued from the sales of over 225 books. The American writer did not find this success on a platter as she faced several rejections from publishing houses. She published her first ever bestseller, Playing The Odds, in 1985. She has written using pseudonyms like J. D. Robb, Jill March, and Sarah Hardesty.
10. Danielle Steel - $385 million
Danielle knew and started making writing efforts at an early age of 1 when she wrote her first manuscript. She, however, had to wait till when she was 28 before her first novel was published. Steel has over 70 novels under her pen name. Danielle Steel net worth of $385 million is an accumulation of her works of fiction and children's literature.
11. Barbara Taylor Bradford - $300 million
Barbara has sold over 83 million of her books in about 90 countries, which is a testament to her literary proficiency. Some of her works are now in TV adaptations. Her first novel, A Woman of Substance, was published in 1979, and in 2007, Queen Elizabeth II awarded her the OBE. Currently, Barbara Taylor Bradford net worth is estimated at $300 million.
12. Tom Clancy - $300 million
Although this prolific writer passed away about eight years ago, he lives on through his literary works. He was a movie producer, and many of his books were adapted into movies and video games. Movies like Patriot Games and The Hunt for Red October were adapted from his book. What is Tom Clancy's net worth? The political conservative is worth $300 million.
13. Olivia Harrison - $300 million
Olivia was married to George Harrison of “the Beatles”. She co-wrote the book George Harrison: Living in the Material World. Most of her literary works are related to The Beatles. The British-Mexican writer makes her fortune from her profession as a movie producer, actress, and author. Presently, she is estimated to be worth $300 million.
14. Jeffrey Archer - $200 million
The author cum politician is an Englishman who has successfully sold over 250 million copies of his literary works globally. His imprisonment for perjury inspired his novel series titled Prison Diaries. He is also the author of the Kane and Abel series as well as Clifton Chronicles. Now in his 80s, Jeffrey’s love for writing has not waned as he still finds time to spawn stories to the delight of his fans. It is not a surprise that he is worth $200 million today.
15. R.L Stine - $200 million
Stine made his fortune in the most unlikely aspect of literary genres. He writes horror novels for children as he develops stories that send chilly notes down kids' spines. Blind Dates, Goosebumps and Fear Street, are some of the horror series he has written. If you think he must have a small audience, you are probably mistaken as he has sold over 400 million copies of his horror-inspired fictions, which gives him an estimated $200 million net worth.
16. Dean Koontz - $200 million
Dean’s forte is the suspense genre. His works are themed to portray mysteriousness, science fiction, and a splash of horror. A total of 105 novels have been written by him and translated into 38 other languages. Dean’s most recent book, Elsewhere, was published in 2020. Today, Dean Koontz net worth is estimated at $200 million.
17. Jackie Collins - $180 million
Jackie was a very successful English author with 32 books under her name. She was also an actress, screenwriter, and movie producer. While all of her books made it to the New York Times bestsellers list, eight of them have movie adaptations. So, how much is Jackie Collins worth? She is $180 million rich today.
18. Dan Brown - $160 million
Dan Brown has successfully created religious controversies in some of his books, including The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. His books have a massive inclination towards art, symbolism, and hidden secrets. He became famous after one of his Robert Langdon series, The Da Vinci Code, which was adapted in a movie starring the popular actor Tom Hanks. Over 200 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide, and he boasts of about $160 million net worth.
19. David Oyedepo - $150 million
David is a Nigerian pastor and the richest of Nigeria’s numerous pastors. Although he is the General Overseer of his church, The Faith Tabernacle, he has written more than 70 books, introducing his followers worldwide to the miracle of Faith. He has a publishing company, Dominion Publishing House, which publishes all of his books. His current net worth is estimated at $150 million.
20. Stephenie Meyer - $120 million
If you are an avid fan of the Twilight series, this author needs a little introduction. She authored Twilight, a novel series that gotten its TV adaptation. Stephenie is said to have grossed over $40 million in movies and book royalties between 2010 and 2011. Are you asking, "How much is Stephenie Meyer worth?" She currently has an estimated net worth of $120 million.
Who is the top-selling author of all time?
Williams Shakespeare is arguably the most popular author to have walked the Earth. He was a playwright, actor, and poet. Like most successful writers, his fortune did not just fall into his laps. It was a result of sheer grit and continuous improvement.
Who is the #1 best-selling author?
According to the New York Times, as of the 25th of April, 2021, Amanda Gorman ranks as the best-selling author under the combined print and E-book fiction category.
There are numerous writers around the world since almost everyone has a story to tell. Nevertheless, the ability to weave these stories compellingly and catch the reader's fancy is non-negotiable. The richest authors discussed so far have understood these dynamics.
Considering some of the richest kids in America, how they made their fortunes is one of the often asked questions. A recent post on Briefly.co.za discussed how these kids made their millions and shot into the limelight.
Find out who the kids are and how much each of them is worth in this post.