21 Richest Authors in the World

Richest Authors in the World
Richest Authors in the World (Source: Deadline)

21 Richest Authors in the World!

Yes, you definitely can make a good living with your power of imagination and penning down your ideas.

As a matter of fact, you can make billions as a writer like some of the authors in this article.

However, penning down the words to come up with a novel or book is not an easy task.

Just like any other physical labor, writing needs much mental as well as physical energy.

You never know what your audience wants from you, and the beauty of writing solely lies in the reader’s mind.

J.K Rowling
J.K Rowling (Source: VOGUE)

Nonetheless, an author who can mesmerize their audience with the magic of their words is the one who can garner all the money they want.

And no, the Harry Potter franchise author J.K Rowling is not the richest author on our list.

Did you know J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series has sold over 500 million copies worldwide?

Before starting with the article, can you guess who is on the top of the list?

Let’s roll!

Quick Overview

Here is a quick overview of the 20 Richest Authors in the World.

Author Net Worth Genre
21. Theodor Seuss Geisel $75 Million Fiction/Satire/Comedy
20. Bill O’Reilly $85 Million Historical Series
19. Jack Higgins $86 Million Mystery/Thriller
18. Suzanne Collins $90 Million Science/Fiction
17. Paul McKenna $100 Million Self-Help
16. George R.R. Martin $120 Million Fantasy/Horror/Science-Fiction
15. Stephanie Meyer $120 Million Science-Fiction/Romance
14. Janet Evanovich $140 Million Romance/Suspense/Mystery
13. Deepak Chopra $150 Million Spiritual
12. Dan Brown $160 Million Non-Fiction
11. Dean Koontz $200 Million Horror/Fantasy/Thriller
10. Jeffrey Archer $200 Million Fiction
9. Barbara Taylor Bradford $300 Million Romance/Fiction
8. Nora Roberts $390 Million Romance/Non-Fiction
7. Josh Grisham $400 Million Legal/Thriller/Crime/Fiction
6. Stephen King $500 Million Suspense/Horror/Gothic
5. Paulo Coelho $500 Million Drama/Romance
4. Danielle Steel $600 Million Romance/Non-Fiction
3. James Patterson $800 Million Thriller/Non-Fiction
2. J.K Rowling $1 Billion Science/Fiction
1. Elisabeth Badinter $1.7 Billion Non-Fiction

Richest Authors in the World

#21 Theodor Seuss Geisel

An American children’s author and cartoonist, Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, had a net worth of $75 million at the time of his death.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Seuss authored more than 60 books.

Theodor published his first book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” in 1936.

Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss (Source: The Boston Globe)

Some of his most known works include The Lorax, If I Ran The Zoo, Green Eggs and Ham, The Sneetches, and The Butter Battle Book.

Interestingly, even after his death licensing revenue generates $30-$40 million per year for Seuss Enterprises, which was established by his widow Audrey after his passing.

Dr. Seuss has consistently been on the list of Highest Earning Dead Celebrities over the past decade.

#20 Bill O’Reilly

An American author, radio host, former television host, and political commentator Bill O’Reilly has a net worth of a whopping $85 million as of September 2022.

He is mostly known as the host of The O’Reilly Factor on Fox.

During the peak of his show, he earned about $25 million per year from Fox alone.

Out of his several professions, Bill’s major money draw currently is his book royalties and podcast.

Bill O’Reilly
Bill O’Reilly (Source: Time)

The man has written over 15 books, of which several have made it to the top of the New York Times bestsellers list.

His 2006 book Culture Warrior sold over a million copies within the first months of its release.

#19 Jack Higgins

Henry “Harry” Patterson, better known by his pen name Jack Higgins was a British author who had a net worth of $86 million at the time of his passing in 2022.

The best-selling author Jack is known for his thrillers and espionage novels.

His 1975 novel The Eagle Has Landed sold over a staggering 50 million copies worldwide.

Jack Higgins
Jack Higgins (Source: Jack Higgins)

Some of his other notable works include Thunder Point, Angel of Death, The Eagle Has Flown, and Flight of Eagles.

The author, with more than 85 novel credits to his name, sold over 250 million copies worldwide.

#18 Suzanne Collins

An American TV writer and novelist, Suzanne Collins, has a net worth of $90 million as of September 2022.

She is best known for her New York Times best-selling series The Hunger Games and The Underground Chronicles.

Suzanne Collins
Suzanne Collins (Source: Suzanne Collins – Suzanne Collins Photos – Zimbio)

Suzanne began her career as a writer for children’s television shows in 1991 and has since authored many bestselling novels.

Her books have collectively sold over 85 million copies worldwide, making her one of the best-selling authors of all time.

#17 Paul McKenna

A British self-help book author Paul McKenna’s net worth is a whopping $100 million as of September 2022.

Along with being a best-selling author, Paul is also a hypnotist.

Paul McKenna
Paul McKenna (Source: Peters Fraser + Dunlop)

Paul has become one of the most successful and richest non-fiction writers with his titles, I Can Make You Happy and I Can Make You Thin, among others.

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#16 Stephenie Meyer

The author of the tremendously popular “Twilight” book series Stephenie Meyer’s net worth as of September 2022 is a staggering $120 million.

Stephenie Meyer
Stephenie Meyer (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

The “Twilight” series sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been adapted into five film series, which have collectively grossed more than $3.3 billion at the global box office.

Stephenie earned more than $40 million in book and film royalties in 2010 and 2011.

#15 George R.R. Martin

An American author and TV producer, George R.R. Martin, has a net worth as of September 2022 is a staggering $120 million.

Martin is best known for his Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, adapted into the popular HBO series Game of Thrones.

Similarly, his 2018 novel Fire And Blood has been adapted into the prequel series to Game of Thrones, House of Dragon, which is set to be released on August 22, 2022.

George R.R. Martin
George R.R. Martin (Source: Vanity Fair)

Moreover, Martin earns around $25 million yearly between book sales and TV shows.

His per season salary was $15 million on the HBO series Game of Thrones.

He earned a total of $200 million from the series, with the potential to make much more with future spin-offs.

#14 Janet Evanovich

With a massive net worth of $140 million, Janet Evanovich holds the 14th spot on our richest authors list.

Janet Evanovich
Janet Evanovich (Source: Wikipedia)

Janet is best known for her contemporary mystery novel series centered on a female bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.

The American author has a number of best-selling novel credits to her name, and her books have been translated into 40 different languages worldwide.

#13 Deepak Chopra

An Indian-American author Deepak Chorpa has a net worth of $150 million as of September 2022.

Along with being an author, he is also a doctor, guru, businessman, and alternative medicine practitioner.

Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra (Source: Time)

His books have sold more than 20 million, making him one of the best-selling authors in the world.

Deepak’s various business endeavors, including herbal supplements, videos, courses, and massage oil, generate close to $20 million in revenue each year.

#12 Dan Brown

An American author Dan Brown’s net worth as of September 2022 is $160 million.

Brown is best known for his best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, which was adapted into two movies that starred superstar Tom Hanks.

Dan Brown
Dan Brown (Source: danbrown.com)

His books have sold over 250 million copies worldwide.

In a typical year, Dan earns around $20 million from his book and movie royalties and other endeavors.

#11 Dean Koontz

One of the best-selling authors, Dean Koontz’s net worth as of September 2022 is $200 million.

Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz (Source: Deadline)

Koontz’s 14 hardcovers and 14 paperbacks have reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list.

He has sold more than 450 million books worldwide.

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#10 Jeffrey Archer

An English politician and author Jeffery Archer has a net worth of $200 million.

From 1969 to 1975, Jeffery served as a Member of Parliament for Louth. However, he resigned from his duty because of a financial scandal that left him nearly broke.

Jeffrey Archer
Jeffrey Archer (Source: The Real Book Spy)

From 2001 to 2003, he was imprisoned for perjury and perverting the court of justice.

His imprisonment inspired many of his books which have collectively sold over 250 million copies worldwide.

#9 Barbara Taylor Bradford

The British-American novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford has a net worth of $300 million.

She is best known for her debut novel, A Woman of Substance, published in 1979.

Barbara Taylor Bradford
Barbara Taylor Bradford (Source: Barbara Taylor Bradford)

The book sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the Top 10 best-selling novels of all time.

#8 Nora Roberts

An American author Nora Roberts has a net worth of $390 million as of September 2022.

She began writing in the late 70s.

Between 1982 and 1984, she published 23 novels with Silhouette Books.

Richest Authors in the World- Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts (Source: Zimbio)

Nora earned $18 million in 2014 from books, royalties, and other pursuits.

Similarly, between 2016 and 2017, she made $14 million from various endeavors.

#7 John Grisham

A prominent American author John Grisham has a net worth of $400 million.

His books have sold over 300 million worldwide.

Richest Authors in the World- John Grisham
John Grisham (Source: USA Today)

Grisham made his debut in 1989 with A Time to Kill and has since written 28 consecutive number one bestsellers.

He makes around $50 to $80 million yearly in book royalties and advances.

#6 Stephen King

An American horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, and fantasy novelist Stephen King has a net worth of $500 million.

King has published more than 60 novels as of this writing, with over 350 million in worldwide sales.

Richest Authors in the World Stephen King
Stephen King (Source: The New York Times)

He received a mere $2,500 advance for the 1974 horror book Carrie which is around $14,000 in today’s money.

However, he sold the paperback rights to the book for $400,000, which equates to about $2.3 million after adjusting for inflation.

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#5 Paulo Coelho

The author of the best-selling novel “The Alchemist,” Paulo Coelho, has a net worth of $500 million.

In addition to writing books, Coelho is also a musician and lyricist.

Richest Authors in the World- Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho (Source: ThoughtCo)

He has sold over 320 million books worldwide, which have been translated into 83 different languages.

Similarly, his work has been published in 170 countries around the world.

#4 Danielle Steel

With 180 books and 800 million copies sold worldwide, Danielle Steel is one of the best-selling authors in the world.

The American novelist has a staggering net worth of $600 million as of this writing.

More than 20 of her books have been adapted into films and series.

Richest Authors in the World- Danielle Steel
Danielle Steel (Source: Vogue)

With an earning of $23 million in 2014, Forbes ranked her eighth on its list of World’s Top-Earning Authors.

Similarly, she made $35 million in 2013 from book and movie royalties and other business pursuits.

#3 James Patterson

An American producer and best-selling author James Patterson has a net worth of $800 million.

Patterson’s books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide.

Richest Authors in the World- James Patterson
James Patterson (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

The Guinness World Record holder James earns anywhere between $70 and $90 million per year from his book royalties and other businesses.

Each year he is one of the five highest-paid authors in the world.

#2 J.K. Rowling

The first billionaire author J.K. Rowling is known for her Harry Potter series.

One of the richest private citizens in the United Kingdom, J.K Rowling’s net worth is $1 billion.

Her Harry Potter fantasy series has sold more than 500 million copies since debuting in 1997.

Richest Authors in the World- J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling (Source: POPSUGAR)

In a typical year, Rowling earns an average of $50 to $100 million from her various pursuits.

She earned $90 million between 2018 and 2019.

From an unemployed single mother living on welfare to the second richest author in the world, J.K.’s story is an inspiration to everyone who thinks less of themselves.

Rowling has donated more than $150 million to date to various charities globally, proving she is equally generous with her fortune as with her words.

#1 Elisabeth Badinter

With a net worth of $1.7 billion, Elisabeth Badinter is the richest author in the world.

However, Elisabeth did not earn her place among billionaires as a professor or author.

Richest Authors in the World- Elisabeth Badinter
Elisabeth Badinter (Source: Financial Times)

Elisabeth is the largest shareholder of a multinational advertising and public relation company Publicis Groupe which she inherited from her father.

Moreover, her best-known work as an author is the European bestseller “The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women.”

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