Big Bucks

James Patterson Is Highest-Paid Author

As readers shift to e-readers, booksellers and publishers may be struggling to make ends meet, but that’s not stopping a select few bestselling authors from making big bucks. Coming in at the No. 1 spot on Forbes magazine’s list of highest-paid authors—with $70 million—is the thriller writer James Patterson, up from the second-place spot two years ago. Following him is vampire romance writer Stephenie Meyer, whose Twilight series earned her $40 million, despite her not releasing a new book in 2009. Stephen King ranks third with $34 million; his 51st novel, Under the Dome, sold 600,000 copies, according to Bookscan. Others on the list include romance novelist Danielle Steel and British writer Ken Follett.