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ruining it for everybody else

Wealthy Authors Perpetuate Myth of Successful Writing Careers

Stephen King and J.K. Rowling are better than the rest of us, because they are insanely rich.

While no one becomes a writer for the money, that hasn’t kept a bunch of them from raking in a crapload of ducats and making the rest of us feel more inadequate than usual. In a Forbes article ranking authors by income made between June 2007 and June 2008, J.K. Rowling made $300 million, but she has an unfair advantage with the last Harry Potter book. She makes James Patterson’s $50 million seem so … paltry. Stephen King made $45 million by rereleasing The Mist on its own and writing a novel, Duma Key, about a messed-up guy who lives on a scary island. That steady gig as an EW columnist adds up, too! The rest of the list is familiar to anyone who reads the book ads on the subway: Tom Clancy, Dean Koontz, Nicholas Sparks, et al. Our favorite success story is Janet Evanovich, whose series about “a lingerie buyer turned bounty hunter” earned the author $17 million. Finally, Ken Follett owes Oprah at least a muffin basket. By choosing Pillars of the Earth for her book club, he not only made $20 million from a book originally out in 1989 but also just signed a $50 million, three-book deal. Somewhere, Jonathan Franzen’s agent is weeping.

The World's Best-Paid Authors [Forbes]

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