Fiction fascination

Bestselling thriller fiction author James Patterson who earned $70 million, topped the list of high-paid writers.


Express August 21, 2010

The book publishing industry may be experiencing lean times and lower sales, but a new survey shows fat incomes for many of the world’s top authors in the past year.

Bestselling thriller fiction author James Patterson who earned $70 million, topped the list of high-paid writers released on Friday by Forbes.com.

The rankings were based on earnings from books, film rights, television, gaming deals and other income from June 1, 2009, through June 1, 2010.

Vampire romance author Stephenie Meyer, whose Twilight series has been adapted into a top-grossing film series, earned $40 million despite not releasing a new book in the time frame. Her new 192-page novella, her first title in two years, was released in June.

Stephen King, the horror and suspense perennial bestseller, placed third with $34 million, including $8 million from backlist sales, according to the survey. His last novel, Under the Dome, was released in November, selling 600,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan.

Coming in fourth place was romance writer Danielle Steel, who earned $32 million, followed by British writer Ken Follett, whose 1989 acclaimed novel The Pillars of the Earth has been adapted into a US TV miniseries. He raked in $20 million.

US author Dean Koontz was No 6, taking in $18 million with The Husband, which was optioned for film, while romance adventure author Janet Evanovich, famed for the Stephanie Plum romantic adventure book series, made $16 million.

Legal thriller writer John Grisham, romance writer Nicholas Sparks and prolific British author JK Rowling, who made $10 million — a smaller sum for the billionaire after she did not release a new book in the past year — rounded out the top 10.

But do these statistics match the choices of Bollywood celebrities? B-town celebrities’ favourites include The Idiot, Chariots Of the Gods, The Kite Runner and Interview With A Vampire.

Bobby Deol

I haven’t read a book in some time, but I used to love vampire books. I was obsessed with vampires. I love Interview With A Vampire by Anne Rice.

Neil Nitin Mukesh

My favourite book is by a man called Shiv Khera and the book is You Can Win. The reason it’s one of my favourite books is it makes you feel rather positive about life and about yourself in general. I have read it almost four times and every time I read it, it teaches me something new.

Deepika Padukone

I read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and I really liked it. It’s a wonderful book.

Arbaaz Khan

Mario Puzo’s The Godfather is one of my favourite books. I have read it a couple of times.

Chunky Pandey

I’m currently reading a series of books by Erich von Däniken, the one I just finished is called Chariots Of the Gods. I loved it. The book is based on the premise that what humans across the globe refer to as gods were actually extra terrestrials and aliens who visited earth and gave us advanced technology that was described as miracles in ancient texts around the world.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2010.

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