Skip to main content

'Forbes' lists E.L. James as top-earning author

By Jennifer Arellano, EW
updated 5:28 PM EDT, Wed August 14, 2013
E. L. James attended a Comic-Con event in San Diego, California in July 2013.
E. L. James attended a Comic-Con event in San Diego, California in July 2013.
  • "50 Shades of Grey" has been good to its author
  • E.L. James raked in an estimated $95 million this year
  • J.K. Rowling was much lower on the Forbes list

( -- E.L. James' ought to revise the title of her publishing juggernaut, 50 Shades of Grey, to 50 Shades of cold hard cash.

After all, the author raked in an estimated $95 million this year, making her the world's top-earning author, according to Forbes.

Rounding out the top five on Forbes' list are familiar names of the crime, fantasy, conservative pundit, and romance genres. In a close second place is James Patterson, earning $91 million, followed by Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins with $55 million, Bill O'Reilly with $28 million, and No. 5 is prolific romance author Danielle Steel with $26 million.

Forbes culled these estimated numbers from sales data available from June 2012 to June 2013.

Much lower on Forbes' list were No. 15 J.K. Rowling with earnings estimates of $13 million for her adult fiction releases The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo's Calling, and No. 16 George R.R. Martin with $12 million, though he was the best-selling paperback author of 2012.

Let's see if these publishing and e-book sales for James translate to box-office green with next summer's 50 Shades movie.

See the original story at

CLICK HERE to Try 2 RISK FREE issues of Entertainment Weekly

© 2011 Entertainment Weekly and Time Inc. All rights reserved.