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December 14- December 21, 2006 Edition
List of Top-Earning
Authors for 2006
NEW YORK, NY/12/12/06—Forbes Magazine has released its annual list of top-earning authors. Heading the group in sales this year is Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. With 20 million copies in print in the U.S. alone, the title is now the best-selling book of the decade. Brown banked $88 million last year, ranking him first among top-earning authors and 10th on the overall Forbes’s most influential entertainment list, the “Celebrity 100” (which also includes motion picture stars and celebrities).
To be included among these most powerful names in business, however, takes more than a fat paycheck. It is also based on what Hollywood calls “sizzle.” So, not all top-earning authors are on the Celebrity list. All sales are for the 12 month period ending in July 2006.
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, earned $75 million last year from book sales, film royalties and merchandising, placing her as number two among authors and number 19 on the Celebrity list. Forbes says that Rowling is the world’s first author billionaire.
Author James Patterson ranked number three among top authors and number 66 on the Celebrity, earning $28 million this year. His last 16 books have been bestsellers and he has grossed more than $1 billion in sales on all titles with more than 100 million books in print, according to Forbes. Several of his books have been adapted for film.
Bestselling novelist John Grisham published his first ever non-fiction title this year, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, which has occupied nonfiction bestseller lists since its release in October. Film rights have already been optioned by George Clooney. Grisham’s books earned him $21 million this year.
A surprise member of this authors’ list for 2006 is evangelical pastor Rick Warren has made $25 million from the sale of 4.8 million copies of The Purpose Driven Life (Zondervan, 2002) and ranked number 60 on the Celebrity list. Overall, he has 30 million copies in print and sold 100,000 copies last Christmas alone.
Stephen King and Bob Woodward were also among top-earning authors, but neither made the “Celebrity” list.
For a detailed list of authors, visit Forbes Magazine at www.forbes.com