Patterson, who released 14 titles in the year from May 2011 to May 2012, has a bevy of writers researching and penning novels for him. He earned $ 94 million US from adult thrillers and fantasy/sci-fi novels and movie rights.
Rowling earned $ 17 million, including an $ 8 million advance for her first adult book, The Casual Vacancy, as well as proceeds from e-book sales, the Pottermore site and movie spinoffs of the Harry Potter series.
And the great unknown quantity for future years is E.L. James whose 50 Shades of Grey series was building in popularity mid-year, so that next year she should gain a foothold on the list. In addition to the three titles, which are flying off e-book shelves, there is a movie franchise in the works.
Children’s author Jeff Kinney is bringing in readers and dollars from his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and a movie version of Dog Days. Another young adult writer, Rick Riordan, is number 15, while Stephenie Meyer continues to earn from the Twilight series.
A newcomer to the list is George R.R. Martin, whose Game of Thrones series is selling after an addictive TV series made it a household name. This year he published the hotly anticipated A Dance With Dragons. Forbes bases its list on official figures from Nielsen BookScan and interview with authors, agents, publishers and other experts.