Transaction believed to be worth in region of €50m
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However EL James of the Fifty Shades trilogy expected to catch up in 2013
James Patterson and Stephen King have topped the Forbes' yearly list of the world's highest-earning authors; however, the publication has predicted that next year’s list will be far more female dominated.
On this year's list of the 15 highest-earning writers over twelve months up to 1 June, nine of them are men, with Janet Evanovich the only woman in the top five.
However, things are expected to change next year when the full proceeds of the first Hunger Games film are taken into account for author Suzanne Collins. JK Rowling should also move higher up the rankings with the publication of her first adult novel The Casual Vacancy, while the real literary talking point, EL James, author of erotic trilogy Fifty Shades, will also make her mark. Forbes predicts that her trilogy, which sold 20 million copies in four months, will assure her "a place near the top of next year's top authors list.
Speaking about the Fifty Shades phenomenon, Forbes said: "At the height of Fifty Shades mania, the erotic novels were estimated to be generating as much as $1.3 million per week for their author, EL James. And that's not counting the $5 million she received from Universal Pictures and Focus Films for the theatrical rights."
Forbes calculates its annual compilation by using official figures and talking to book industry experts.
The world's highest-paid authors in 2012, according to Forbes:
James Patterson: $94m
Stephen King: $39m
Janet Evanovich: $33m
John Grisham: $26m
Jeff Kinney, $25m
Bill O'Reilly: $24m
Nora Roberts: $23m
Danielle Steel: $23m
Suzanne Collins: $20m
Dean Koontz: $19m
JK Rowling: $17m
George RR Martin: $15m
Stephenie Meyer: $14m
Ken Follett: $14m
Rick Riordan: $13m