Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jacki 

Did your favorite author make the list?

James-Patterson-006What makes a book a bestseller? And what makes a book not only a bestseller, but can create a loyal fan following? Well, Forbes answered that by releasing top earning writers and it seems that sex and crime sells! At least this year it sold and it sold big! Earning herself a number one spot with a cool $95 million was the debut writer E.L. James for her sexy trilogy, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Not a bad start for her first set of novels!

Second came as no surprise to me as I have been a loyal fan of his novels for many years – James Patterson. Patterson claimed second with $91 million for his wonderfully crafted crime novels. He has been in the top earners for many years, and I believe he will be there for many more to come. An interesting factoid from the Forbes article on Patterson was that out of every 17 hardback books sold in the U.S., Patterson’s work is one of them. That is when you know you have a large following of readers!

These salaries were not overly shocking to me, as I knew many writers had established a very healthy career for themselves. Anyone who takes a look at the New York Times Bestseller’s list will recognize the same authors year after year; such as Patterson, Sparks, Rice, King, Grisham, etc. What did surprise me was the entrance of new debut novelists and the staggering paychecks they received for their first time works. We saw this years ago when J.K. Rowling turned our youth’s generation upside down with her fantastic Harry Potter series and we are seeing it again with E.L. James and even Suzanne Collins for her Hunger Games series – which landed her on the third highest paid this year with $55 million.

It is us, the readers, who help these authors become masters of their craft and earn these high salaries. I think it is awesome that we can play a part in their lives, just as they play a part in ours for a few hundred pages at a time. I do not know if I agree with who tops this year’s list of the highest paid writer, but I look forward to next year’s list and all the books that will put those writers there.  Happy Reading!