Though E.L. James has received recent headlines for the phenomenal sales of "Fifty Shades of Grey," stalwart James Patterson remains the highest-earning author, according to Forbes.
The magazine estimates that Patterson made $94 million last year, with nearly all of that revenue coming from book sales and relatively little from TV and film royalties. Patterson published 14 new titles in 2011, Forbes said.
Patterson manintains his prodigious output because he works as a writer/editor, often teaming with others who bang out thrillers under his direction. For example, the fall release list includes "Zoo" by Patterson & Michael Ledwidge on Sept. 3, "Confessions of a Murder Suspect" by Patterson and Maxine Paetro on Sept. 24, "NYPD Red" by Patterson and Marshall Karp on Oct. 8, "Daniel X: Armageddon" by Patterson and Chris Grabenstein on Oct. 15, "Merry Christmas, Alex Cross," by Patterson solo on Nov. 12, and "I Funny" by Patterson and Chris Grabenstein on Dec. 10.
Whew. Doesn't leave much time for holiday shopping.
Trailing Patterson on the Forbes list were Stephen King, $39 million; Janet Evanovich, $33 million; John Grisham, $26 million; and University of Maryland grad Jeff Kinney, $25 million.