James Patterson ($94 million)
Stephen King ($39 million)
Janet Evanovich ($33 million) ====>
John Grisham ($26 million)
Jeff Kinney ($25 million)
Bill O'Reilly ($24 million)
Nora Roberts ($23 million)
Danielle Steel ($23 million)
Suzanne Collins ($20 million)
Dean Koontz ($19 million)
J. K. Rowling ($17 million)
George R. R. Martin ($15 million)
Stephenie Meyer ($14 million)
Ken Follett ($14 million)
Rick Riordan ($13 million)
Some interesting points to note:
1. There is only one nonfiction author in the top 15: Bill O'Reilly.
2. The list is dominated by authors who have been around 20 years or more: Patterson, King, Evanovich, Grisham, Roberts, Steel, Koontz, Martin, and Follett.
3. Almost all of the authors have had at least one movie made from their novels. Most have had five or ten movies or TV shows based on their novels.
4. Earnings estimates were based not only on book sales but also sales of movie and TV rights.
5. I suspect there are a number of nonfiction authors who have made more in the past year than many on this list, but Forbes has not counted them. I'm not sure why. My guess is that Forbes did not include income from speaking, merchandising rights, websites (other than Pottermore), ancillary sales, subsidiary rights, etc.
6. Let this list of top-earning book authors inspired you in your writing and marketing!