The world’s top-earning writers

The world’s top-earning writers
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It’s not just the owners of technology conglomerates and businessmen who become billionaires. The most popular and sought-after writers have accumulated sizable sums of money in their accounts. See which among the famous authors earn the most.


In 2021, the global book market generated profits in excess of 138 billion US dollars, and the richest writers are billionaires. Here are the top 10 highest earning writers in the world.

1. Elisabeth Badinter – $1.7 billion

This French philosopher, writer and historian is currently the richest author in history. In 2010, she was named France’s most influential intellectual by Marianna News magazine. She is famous for her philosophical treatises on feminism and the role of women in society.

2 J. K. Rowling – $1 billion

The author of the Harry Potter book series is the second richest writer in the world. In addition to the huge income generated by her books about the young wizard, Rowling has generated large profits from the film adaptations of her novels. Indeed, the Harry Potter films are the highest-grossing film series in history.

3. James Patterson – $800 million

James Patterson has written more than 90 books and boasts 20 bestsellers. He is the author of crime novels and thrillers, the most famous of which are: Along Came the Spider, Where’s the President, Stigma of Cain or Alex Cross Must Die. 

4. Paulo Coelho – $512 million.

His “The Alchemist” is the most translated book in history, with more than 150 million copies sold. It is said that even as a young boy Paulo Coelho knew he wanted to become a writer. The Brazilian writer has published a total of 28 books, 5 of which have been translated into as many as 45 languages.

5. Stephen King – $400 million

Stephen King is one of the most popular authors in the world. He is considered the undisputed master of horror. Many of his books have been filmed. Readers’ favorite items are: The Shining, The Green Mile, Carrie, Salem Town, The Shawshank Sentence, Sack of Bones, Doctor Sleep or the Dark Tower series.

6. Nora Roberts – $390 million

This American bestselling author has published more than 200 romances. It is hard to believe that at the beginning of her writing career she faced numerous rejections from publishers. She wrote under pseudonyms: Jill March, J. D. Robb and Sarah Hardesty.

7. Danielle Steel – $385 million

Danielle Steel is the world’s best-selling living author, according to Forbes. She has more than 800 million copies of books sold to her credit. She is said to have written her first manuscript as a child of several years. She published her first novel at the age of 28.

8. John Grisham – $375 million

John Grisham is famous for his detective novels, which feature fast-paced plot twists and plenty of mysterious cases. He is the author of the bestseller The Company, which lived to see a film adaptation starring Tom Cruise. Grisham is a lawyer by profession and has served in the Mississippi State House of Representatives.

9.Jeffrey Archer – $195 million

This English writer and former politician has a slew of bestsellers to his credit. The most famous of these are: Kane and Abel, Prisoner of Birth, But That’s Not All…, On the Cat’s Paw, A Matter of Honor, and the Clifton Chronicles series. His books have sold over 330 million in circulation.

10. Dan Brown – $178 million

Dan Brown is best known for his novel The da Vinci Code. Both the film adaptation of this book and Angels and Demons have become some of the most popular movies in the world. 

main photo: Calvet B.

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