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Top 10 highest-paid authors: James Patterson is #1

If your kids ever needed any prodding to do their English homework, just show them this Forbes list of the 10 highest-paid authors. 

James Patterson, the one-man publishing conglomerate, sits atop the list, with an estimated $70 million in earnings from books, film rights, television, gaming deals and other income from June 1, 2009, through June 1, 2010.

That's understandable because he acts more like a CEO, building a staff of writers. Still, the sheer numbers are staggering: One out of every 17 novels bought in the U.S. are authored by Patterson, Forbes says.

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Rounding out the top three are Stephenie Meyer ($40 million) and Stephen King ($34 million).

Photo courtesy of Little, Brown

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