2013 Top-Earning Authors

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Originally a 'Twilight' tribute titled 'Master of the Universe,' 'Fifty Shades of Grey' vaulted its author from fan-fiction websites straight to the top of every best-seller list. The e-book format was a key factor, giving readers an easy way to purchase the sex-filled sequels -- and a discreet way to read them in public.  (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/Getty Images)
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E.L. James: $95 million Originally a "Twilight" tribute titled "Master of the Universe," "Fifty Shades of Grey" vaulted its author from fan-fiction websites straight to the top of every best-seller list. The e-book format was a key factor, giving readers an easy way to purchase the sex-filled sequels -- and a discreet way to read them in public.  (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/Getty Images) Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

E.L. James: $95 million Originally a "Twilight" tribute titled "Master of the Universe," "Fifty Shades of Grey" vaulted its author from fan-fiction websites straight to the top of every best-seller list. The e-book format was a key factor, giving readers an easy way to purchase the sex-filled sequels -- and a discreet way to read them in public. (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/Getty Images) Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

James Patterson: $91 million Only a phenomenon the size of "Fifty Shades of Grey" could knock Patterson from his longtime perch atop the top-earning authors list, and chances are he'll be back at No. 1 next year. One out of every 17 hardcovers sold in the U.S. is his, and with his "Maximum Ride" and "Witch & Wizard" series he's increasingly as much a force in the young adult market as adult thrillers, his mainstay.(Alex Quesada/Polaris)  [Photo via Newscom] Source: Forbes

James Patterson: $91 million Only a phenomenon the size of "Fifty Shades of Grey" could knock Patterson from his longtime perch atop the top-earning authors list, and chances are he'll be back at No. 1 next year. One out of every 17 hardcovers sold in the U.S. is his, and with his "Maximum Ride" and "Witch & Wizard" series he's increasingly as much a force in the young adult market as adult thrillers, his mainstay.(Alex Quesada/Polaris) [Photo via Newscom] Source: Forbes

Suzanne Collins: $55 million The blockbuster release of the first "Hunger Games" film, starring Jennifer Lawrence, helped launch Collins from the ranks of up-and-comers to the Olympian heights of J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. A former children's television writer, she's also the author of the five-book series "The Underland Chronicles." Photo by Graylock/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Suzanne Collins: $55 million The blockbuster release of the first "Hunger Games" film, starring Jennifer Lawrence, helped launch Collins from the ranks of up-and-comers to the Olympian heights of J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. A former children's television writer, she's also the author of the five-book series "The Underland Chronicles." Photo by Graylock/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Bill O'Reilly: $28 million He'll always be known primarily as a television talking head, but with the publication of "Killing Lincoln," book writing became more than just a sideline for the Fox News host. After the publication of follow-up "Killing Kennedy," he held the No. 1 and No. 2 slots on the New York Times hardcover non-fiction best-sellers list, and his next volume, "Killing Jesus," could be the biggest of the series. (Credit Image: Stan Godlewski/ZUMA Press/Newscom) Source: Forbes

Bill O'Reilly: $28 million He'll always be known primarily as a television talking head, but with the publication of "Killing Lincoln," book writing became more than just a sideline for the Fox News host. After the publication of follow-up "Killing Kennedy," he held the No. 1 and No. 2 slots on the New York Times hardcover non-fiction best-sellers list, and his next volume, "Killing Jesus," could be the biggest of the series. (Credit Image: Stan Godlewski/ZUMA Press/Newscom) Source: Forbes

Danielle Steel: $26 million In 40 years as a published author, Steel has published 128 titles, averaging more than three a year. Most have been romances, but she's also written children's books, nonfiction and even a volume of poetry. She's sold more than 600 million copies. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Danielle Steel: $26 million In 40 years as a published author, Steel has published 128 titles, averaging more than three a year. Most have been romances, but she's also written children's books, nonfiction and even a volume of poetry. She's sold more than 600 million copies. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Jeff Kinney: $24 million Written for children and younger adolescents, Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series has spawned seven installments (with No. 8 due in November 2013) and three theatrical films. "The Third Wheel" sold more than 1.4 million copies last year. (AP Photo/Gretchen Ertl) Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Jeff Kinney: $24 million Written for children and younger adolescents, Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series has spawned seven installments (with No. 8 due in November 2013) and three theatrical films. "The Third Wheel" sold more than 1.4 million copies last year. (AP Photo/Gretchen Ertl) Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Janet Evanovich: $24 million "I motivate myself to write by spending my money before I make it," Evanovich has written. "My favorite exercise is shopping." Thanks to the success of her Stephanie Plum detective novels, she must be getting an awful lot of exercise these days. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini) Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Janet Evanovich: $24 million "I motivate myself to write by spending my money before I make it," Evanovich has written. "My favorite exercise is shopping." Thanks to the success of her Stephanie Plum detective novels, she must be getting an awful lot of exercise these days. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini) Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Nora Roberts: $23 million She made her name writing the kind of bodice-rippers you see at the supermarket checkout or the airport bookstore, but lately Roberts has become the queen of the e-book: She sold more than 3.2 million digital copies in 2012, more than any other author not named E.L. James. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)  Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Nora Roberts: $23 million She made her name writing the kind of bodice-rippers you see at the supermarket checkout or the airport bookstore, but lately Roberts has become the queen of the e-book: She sold more than 3.2 million digital copies in 2012, more than any other author not named E.L. James. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Dan Brown: $22 million "Inferno," Brown's third novel about the adventures of occult mystery-solver Robert Langdon, was the best-selling book of 2013's first half, moving 369,000 copies. Still, it didn't come close to the sales of its predecessors, "The Da Vinci Code" and "The Lost Symbol."  (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images)  Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Dan Brown: $22 million "Inferno," Brown's third novel about the adventures of occult mystery-solver Robert Langdon, was the best-selling book of 2013's first half, moving 369,000 copies. Still, it didn't come close to the sales of its predecessors, "The Da Vinci Code" and "The Lost Symbol." (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images) Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Stephen King: $20 million Less prolific than some of the other authors on this list, King has his up and down years, but he's enjoying yet another moment of cultural ubiquity, with CBS's "Under the Dome" one of the biggest new hits on network television and a long-awaited follow-up to "The Shining" coming to bookstores. King also has two sons who are successful novelists. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images)  Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

Stephen King: $20 million Less prolific than some of the other authors on this list, King has his up and down years, but he's enjoying yet another moment of cultural ubiquity, with CBS's "Under the Dome" one of the biggest new hits on network television and a long-awaited follow-up to "The Shining" coming to bookstores. King also has two sons who are successful novelists. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images) Source: Forbes The Top-Earning Authors Of 2013

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