On Tuesday, Forbes released its annual list of top-earning authors, revealing that Fire & Fury author Michael Wolff is estimated to be one of the year's highest-grossing writers. Coming in at No. 7 on the Top 10 list, Wolff is believed to have earned an estimated $13 million for his White House tell-all, which hit store shelves in January. Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House was the single best-selling title for much of 2018, and was dethroned only recently by Michelle Obama's Becoming.
Published just one year into Donald Trump's presidency, Wolff's book contained jaw-dropping quotes shocked readers. Claims from the book include Rupert Murdoch calling Trump a "f*cking idiot," Trump using the C-word to describe former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and the puzzling claim that Trump did not know who former Speaker of the House John Boehner was. As Bustle and other outlets reported earlier this year, Fire & Fury's claims were not entirely trustworthy.
That did not stop Wolff's book from selling out at both bricks-and-mortar stores and online retailers, however. Excerpts from the book, published before its official release, had interested parties clamoring for more information. Demand for Fire & Fury was so high at the New York Public Library that the initial 49 copies in the NYPL system were soon joined by an additional 450, to help get books into the hands of more than 1,100 readers anxious to find out what other bombshells Wolff had to drop. Fire & Fury reached No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller List shortly after its release.
Fire & Fury's success scored journalist Michael Wolff his place on Forbes' list of the year's top-grossing authors. The full list includes:
- James Patterson (Target: Alex Cross), $86 million
- J.K. Rowling (Lethal White, as Robert Galbraith), $54 million
- Stephen King (The Outsider), $27 million
- John Grisham (The Reckoning), $21 million
- Jeff Kinney (The Meltdown), $18.5 million (tie)
- Dan Brown (Origin), $18.5 million (tie)
- Michael Wolff (Fire & Fury), $13 million
- Danielle Steel (The Good Fight), $12 million (tie)
- Nora Roberts (Of Blood and Bone), $12 million (tie)
- Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze), $10.5 million
Knowing that Becoming surpassed Fire & Fury's yearly sales when it hit stores on Nov. 13, you may be surprised to find that Michelle Obama's name is not listed among the year's top-grossing authors. That's because Forbes' list only takes into account sales made between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018. We'll all have to wait until next year to find out whether or not Becoming's success places Michelle O. on the Forbes list.