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E.L. James is still riding the wave of popularity from Fifty Shades of Grey, which still continues to be a huge success for the publishing world. She easily topped Forbes’ list of top-earning authors, even surpassing veteran authors like James Patterson and Stephen King.
Forbes found that James earned $95 million between June 2012 and June 2013. The Fifty Shades trilogy’s popularity was fueled by the e-reader, even if it started out as Twilight fan-fiction. Universal and Focus Features are working on a film adaptation, which will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. It has been scheduled for Aug. 1, 2014.
Patterson took No. 2, making $91 million in the past 12 months. The magazine notes that one in 17 hardcover books sold in the U.S. are written by Patterson.
Suzanne Collins, the writer of The Hunger Games trilogy, made $55 million. She has also written The Underland Chronicles and stands to make even more money thanks to Lionsgate’s Hunger Games films with Jennifer Lawrence.
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly comes in a distant fourth with $28 million. He’s having success with Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln and is working on Killing Jesus, which could outsell both of them.
Danielle Steel, who has written 128 books in 40 years in the business, is at No. 5 with $26 million. Diary of a Wimpy Kid writer Jeff Kinney made $24 million, while Janet Evanovich, who created Stephanie Plum, also made $24 million.
The rest of the Top 10 includes Nora Roberts ($23 million), Dan Brown ($22 million) and King ($20 million).