Making a living as a writer is hard. Some authors have written spectacularly plotted books that didn’t sell well because of poor marketing. Then there are those writers who can’t even land an agent or get an email back from a publishing house to start with.
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Fortunately, there many writers who have managed to bring in millions of dollars by bringing to life the intricate fictional worlds they’ve concocted in their minds. The 10 authors on this list have not only put forth hundreds or thousands of hours into perfecting their craft, landing an agent and getting a book deal, they’ve seen the return on that investment, ten times over.
Here are 10 authors who are worth at least $100 million.
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10 Jeffrey Archer – $195 Million
Jeffrey Archer is a former politician turned novelist. He served on the British Parliament during the early ’70s, but left the profession after one term. Jeffrey went on to become a novelist, a decision that has served him well.
Some of his most famous works include Kane and Abel, Prodigal Daughter, and Cometh Thy Hour. Several of his works have been adapted into series, mini-series, or movies, most of which have been extremely successful. He is worth a reported $195 million.
9 John Grisham – $220 Million
John Grisham is a novelist and former attorney. He’s used his legal knowledge to pen highly successful legal thrillers. His first novel, A Time To Kill, remains one of his most popular. The Chamber, The Client, and The Pelican Brief are just a very few of his novels that have been adapted for the big screen.
John Grisham’s net worth is reportedly around $220 million.
8 Nigel Blackwell – $292 Million
Nigel Blackwell is also a thriller author. There’s not much information about his personal life online, other than that he lives in Texas with his wife and daughter. He obviously prefers to let his work speak for itself.
Speaking of Nigel’s work, he’s made a nice living for himself, mostly from teaming up with Diane Capri, and helping her complete their many projects together. He’s often credited as a co-author on many of their projects, some of which include titles like Fatal Distraction, Fatal Game, and Fatal Bond. Nigel Blackwell is worth $292 million.
7 Barbara Taylor Bradford – $300 Million
Barbara Taylor Bradford is an English novelist, whose first-ever book sold over thirty million books wordwide! Her first novel was titled A Woman Of Substance and was published in 1979. In the years since, Barbara has published over thirty five books in total. And get this, all of them have topped the bestsellers’ lists.
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Though Barbara’s first book wasn’t published until she was in her mid-forties, her early life proved to be great practice for her profession. When she was just a teenager, she typed for a local magazine.
Barbara Taylor Bradford is worth $300 million.
6 Danielle Steel – $310 Million
Danielle Steel is reportedly the best selling author that’s still living. In her seventy-one years of life, she has sold over 800 million copies of the 179 books she’s had published. Focusing mostly on romance, Danielle Steel started off her career in 1971 after she completed her first manuscript.
Of Danielle’s lengthy catalog, her most popular books included titles like The Echoes, The House, and Dating Games. Twenty-five of her books have been adapted into films. Danielle Steel is worth $310 million.
5 Nora Roberts – $390 Million
Nora Roberts is also an accomplished romance writer. Her first novel is titled Irish Thoroughbred. She’s published over 225 novels alone, with many of them becoming bestsellers, in the years since. That output might seem nearly impossible, but Nora has stated that she writes eight hours a day, every day.
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Her dedication has obviously paid off. Nora is also the first writer ever inducted into the Romance Writers hall of fame. She’s also been a constant fixture of the New York Time’s bestseller list for the last twenty years. Talk about an impressive resume! Nora Roberts is worth $390 million.
4 Stephen King – $400 Million
Stephen King is one of the most highly respected writers in the world, and definitely the most respected horror writer of all time. Several of his novels have been adapted for the big (or small) screen.
Carrie, It, Cujo, and Under The Dome are a few examples of such works, of which there are almost too many to name. They’re also some of his most famous works, though he’s written over 200 novels and short stories over his career. His most recent foray on the big screen involves part two of the remake of his cult classic horror movie, It.
Stephen King is worth $400 million.
3 James Patterson – $560 Million
James Patterson is the third richest author in the world. Some of his most famous works include Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, and Witch and Wizard. Several of his books have been adapted into movies.
Unlike some authors, James Patterson dabbles in several genres. Over the course of his career, he has sold over 300 million copies of his books. He is worth $560 million.
2 J.K. Rowling – $1 Billion
J.K Rowling is the creative mind we have to thank for the Harry Potter franchise, which includes seven novels, eight movies, and several novellas and extra content. Her wealth has been made mostly from royalties from the books and movies, as well as fees for speaking engagements.
J.K Rowling also writes under the name Robert Galbraith. Other titles that she’s penned include Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Lethal White, and The Cuckoo’s Calling.
She is worth $1 billion.
1 Elisabeth Badinter – $1.3 Billion
With a net worth of $1.3 billion, Elisabeth Badinter is the richest author in the world. Elisabeth is an author, historian, and liberal feminist, and has incorporated her views and professional opinions into many of her works.
Unlike most of the authors on this list, Elisabeth’s books mostly revolve around non-fiction topics, instead of fictional creations. Some of her best sellers include titles like Dead End Feminism, The Conflict: How Motherhood Undermines The Status Of Women, and Mother Love: Myth and Reality: Motherhood in Modern History.
Despite Elisabeth’s success as a writer, most of her wealth is due to her inheriting 19 millions shares of public relations company, Publicis Groupe, from her father. In addition to writing, Elisabeth is also a passionate, involved advocate of women’s rights.
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