J.K. Rowling Tops 2017's Highest Paid Authors List

by Kerri Jarema
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J.K Rowling doesn't necessarily need any more kickass accolades, but that doesn't mean she's done earning them — literally. Forbes released its list of The World's Highest Paid Authors of 2017 and, no surprise, Rowling is right there at the top with an astounding $95 Million.

According to Forbes, it's the first time in almost a decade that Rowling has secured first place on the list, unseating the incredibly prolific James Patterson, who came in second this year with $87 million in earnings.

It's likely that the release of The Cursed Child, the screenplay of the West End Production (soon to hit the Broadway stage) based on Rowling's original story had a lot to do with her bump up the list, as well as the continued release of the new illustrated versions of her books and the popularity of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. But with Rowling's many charitable pursuits, we're always pleased to see her continuing success.

Unfortunately, Rowling is the only woman in the Top 5 earners, which, after Patterson include Jeff Kinney, author of the insanely popular ongoing middle grade series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with $21 million; Dan Brown, author of The DaVinci Code, with $20 million; and Stephen King, celebrated mystery and horror author, with $15 million. All of the authors in the Top 5 could be considered genre authors, and Patterson, Brown and King are all mystery/thriller writers, giving us an interesting take on what readers want right now.

Other curious factoids include the authors who fell off the list this year entirely: Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin and YA powerhouse John Green. Neither author has written a new book in the past year, likely creating a huge drop in earnings. But, both men are set to return to the publishing world soon: Martin has four Game of Thrones prequels planned and Green recently announced that he will be releasing Turtles All The Way Down in October, his first book since The Fault in Our Stars was released in 2012. Will they make it back on top? We'll have to stay tuned to find out.