Being an author and running other enterprises are both possible because it is one of the most adaptable professions around. Depending on their preferences, gifted authors may produce captivating books that persuade readers. These stories may be either true or fanciful. Even if not every writer becomes a millionaire (or a billionaire, as in the case of J.K. Rowling), many authors make good money by showcasing their creative prowess. We have listed the 20 richest authors in the world in the sections below.
The stories written by most writers are typically good enough to be adapted into films or merchandise. Many writers spend years crafting manuscripts that they then submit to publishers only to be rejected. Find out those authors that have made breakthroughs in writing, and have made it to the world’s richest authors list.
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Top 20 Richest Authors in the World 2023
- 20. Dan Brown ($160 million)
- 19. Michael Crichton ($175 million)
- 18. Jackie Collins ($180 million)
- 17. R. L. Stine ($195 million)
- 16. Jeffrey Archer ($200 million)
- 15. Allison DuBois ($200 million)
- 14. Nigel Blackwell ($292.5 million)
- 13. Olivia Harrison ($300 million)
- 12. Tom Clancy ($300 million)
- 11. John Grisham ($300 million)
- 10. Barbara Taylor Bradford ($300 million)
- 9. Pleasant Rowland ($310 million
- 8. Nova Roberts ($390 million)
- 7. Stephen King ($400 million)
- 6. Paul Coelho ($500 million)
- 5. Danielle Steel ($600 million)
- 4. Candy Spelling (600 million)
- 3. James Patterson ($750 million)
- 2. J. K. Rowling ($1.1 billion)
- 1. Elizabeth Badinter ($1.7 billion)
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20. Dan Brown ($160 million)
Dan Brown is an American author who is best known for his novel “The Da Cinci Code”. His notable works include:
- The Da Vinci Code (2003)
- The Lost Symbol (2009)
- Inferno (2013)
- Origin Digital Fortress (2017)
- Angels and Demons (2000)
Dan Brown is on the list of the richest authors in the world. His net worth is estimated at $160 million, making him the 20th richest author ever as of 2023.
His novels are treasure hunts that usually take place over a period of 24 hours and feature themes of cryptography, art, and conspiracy theories. Brown’s books have been translated into 57 languages and, as of 2012, have sold over 200 million copies. Three of them, Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and Inferno, have been adapted into films.
19. Michael Crichton ($175 million)
Michael Crichton is an American author who amassed a net worth of $175 million before his death on November 4, 2008. His career as an author began in 1966 when he wrote a novel called Odds On. This was about the robbery of a hotel that was planned by a computer program.
In 1969, he wrote the bestseller ‘The Andromeda Strain’. This science-fiction novel was about a killer virus from outer space. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and over a dozen have been adapted into films. His literary works heavily feature technology and are usually within the science fiction, techno-thriller, and medical fiction genres
With an estimated net worth of $175 million before his death in 2008, Crichton was the 19th richest author of all time, as of 2023.
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18. Jackie Collins (180 million)
Jackie Collins was an English romance novelist and actress. She was one of the most prolific British authors of all time. She has 32 books under her name and eight of them have been adapted into films, including the Stud’ and ‘The Bitch’. Jacqueline Jill Collins OBE was an English romance novelist and actress.
All the 32 novels she had written appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list. Her books have sold more than 500 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages.
She died of breast cancer on September 19, 2015, at 77 years of age. With a worth of $180 million as of 2023, Jackie is one of the richest authors of all time.
17. Jeffrey Archer (195 million)
Jeffrey Archer is an English novelist and former politician with a net worth of around $195 million as of 2022. London-born Archer is most famous for his writings while incarcerated for perjury.
After his release from prison, he continued to write bestsellers, including the series Clifton Chronicles. He has sold more than 330 million copies of his books worldwide and received several awards.
Another famous series of books written by Archer was the Kane and Abel series. With an estimated net worth of $195 million, Archer is one of the richest authors in the world in 2023.
16. R. L. Stine ($200 million)
Stine is an American writer and producer who has a $200 million fortune. He is most known for penning the “Fear Street” and “Goosebumps” book series. Over 400 million copies of Stine’s books have been sold globally to date.
After earning his degree from Ohio State University, he relocated to New York and started penning children’s comedies. He published his first children’s horror book, Blind Date, in the 1980s. Stine became one of the richest authors in the world by making his money in one of literature’s most improbable subgenres.
Blind Dates, Goosebumps and Fear Street, are some of the horror series he has written series of five novels called the ‘Hollywood Series.
Stine is one of the richest authors in the world in 2023, with a net worth of $200 million.
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15. Allison DuBois ($200 million)
Taking up the 15th spot on our list of the top 20 richest authors in the world is Allison DeBois with a net worth of $200 million.
The millionaire author is an author and a psychic. She has used her psychic prowess to solve crime through her work as a medium. All four of the books she has written are based on psychic phenomena.
14. Nigel Blackwell ($292.5 million)
Nigel Blackwell is a transfer to the Blackwell staff. In 2006, Blackwell Publishing was sold for 572 million euros. Almost all of that was earned by Toby and his nephew Nigel.
The estimated value of Nigel Blackwell’s net worth is $292.5 million. Nigel Blackwell is the 13th richest author in the world.
13. Olivia Harrison (estimated net worth- $300 million)
Olivia Harrison was born in Mexico City on May 18, 1948, and is the widow of George Harrison who was in the famous band, ‘The Beatles. She has written content for books relating to The Beatles and also co-wrote the book ‘George Harrison: Living in the Material World which was published in 2011.
Presently, she is estimated to be worth $300 million, making her one of the richest authors in the world in 2023. She takes up the 13 positions on our list of the top 20 richest authors of all time.
12. Tom Clancy ($300 million)
On our list of the wealthiest authors ever, Clancy stands in the 12th spot with a net worth of $300 million. His technically intricate spy and military science plots that are set during and after the Cold War are what he is most known for. Hollywood has adapted several of his finest books into blockbuster movies, like The Hunt for Red October.
More than 100 million copies of his books have been sold, and 17 of them are bestsellers. Many of this author’s writings have been adapted into movies and video games by this film producer. The most popular movies based on his works were “Patriot Games,” “The Help,” The Hunt for Red October’, ‘The Sum of All Fears’, and ‘Clear and Present Danger.
11. John Grisham ($300 million)
John Grisham is an internationally well-known American writer who while he was practicing the law served on the House of Representatives for Mississippi. He is the 11th richest author on the list, with a net worth of almost $300 million. About 8 of his works have been featured in films; The Firm, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Client, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas.
More than 300 million books have been sold globally by John Grisham as of today. His debut novel, A Time to Kill, served as the catalyst for his climb to prominence. When Grisham was still a practicing attorney, he authored the book.
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10. Barbara Taylor Bradford ($300 million)
Completing the list of the top 10 richest authors in the world in 2023 is Barbara Taylor Bradford with an estimated net worth of $300 million).
Barbara Taylor Bradford is a British American novelist. Her books have sold more than 80 million copies in 90 countries. Taylor Bradford is the 10th richest author in the world according to reported net worth figures of $300 million.
Barbara Taylor Bradford’s debut book, A Woman of Substance, ignited her literary career. The series continued with six more works, solidifying the English author’s status as a major figure in literature. The show centers on Emma Harte, a young, underprivileged lady striving to improve her lot in life.
A Woman Substance,” published in 1979, was one of the best-selling books of all time. She has written almost 140 novels, with more than 90 million copies sold. Her husband, Robert Bradford, has featured some of her books in his film production.
9. Pleasant Rowland ($310 million)
Pleasant Rowland was born in Chicago in 1941 and has a net worth of $310 million. She is an American author, educator, entrepreneur, and reporter. She is best known for creating the American Girl brand which includes dolls, books, and related merchandise.
Many fans of the series remember how Rowland’s books taught them about history while also delivering a captivating story.
Pleasant Rowland is the 9th richest author on our list, with a net worth of $310 million).
8. Nova Roberts ($390 million)
Eleanor Marie Robertson best-selling American Novelist, writer, and author born on October 10, 1950. She began writing in the late 1970s and her work was initially rejected by Harlequin. However, Silhouette Books accepted her submission and went on to publish 23 of her books between 1982 and 1984.
Her first bestseller was ‘Playing the Odds’ which was published in 1985. As of August 2023, Nora Robert’s net worth is approximately $390 million, making her one of the richest authors in the world.
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7. Stephen King ($500 million)
Stephen King is an accomplished author of contemporary suspense, fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He bases his content on crimes, science-fiction, fantasies, supernatural fiction, and suspense. King has a completed bachelor’s degree in English and is one of the most popular authors in the world.
As of March 2023, Stephen King’s net worth is estimated to be $500 million.
The American author has sold more than 350 books worldwide. In addition, a large number of his books have been shown on the TV screens as “IT” and “The Shining”.
6. Paul Coelho ($500 million)
Paulo Coelho is the sixth richest author in the world with an estimated net worth of $500 million.
He is a multi-talented Brazilian novelist, singer, journalist, theater director, and lyricist. His best-known novel, The Alchemist, was originally written in Portuguese and was later translated to English and 79 other languages. It is not only his best-selling book but also the most translated book by a living author.
5. Danielle Steel ($600 million)
Danielle Steele is an American novelist and the fifth richest author in the world popularly known worldwide for her romance novels. According to Forbes, she is one of the best-selling living authors in the world after selling more than 800 million copies of her works.
She writes about romance and modern literature, and some of her writings have been adapted into cinema plays and other languages. One of her books was on the New York Times bestseller list for 381 straight weeks, setting a Guinness Book of World Records.
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4. Candy Spelling ($600 million)
Candy Spelling is an American author, philanthropist, television personality, and theater producer. She is the spouse of renowned American TV producer Aaron Spelling. Stories from Candyland, her autobiography, was a New York Times bestseller when it was first published.
After the death of Aaron, Candy became the only heir to his inheritance. The estimated net worth of Candy Spelling is $600 million. Spelling is the fourth richest author in the world.
And now….. the top three richest authors in the world are..
3. James Patterson ($750 million)
James Patterson is the third richest author on the list with a net worth of around $750 million. The Jailhouse Lawyer and The Noise: A Thriller are two of bestselling author James Patterson’s best-known thriller books.
Each of Patterson’s best-selling novels features Alex Cross, a fictitious character who keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Since the release of his debut book, “The Thomas Berryman Number,” in 1976, he has recorded the publishing of almost 200 books.
He is well known for his work on the Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, Maximum Ride, Michael Bennet, Funny, and Middle School series.
2. J. K. Rowling ($1.1 billion)
Joanne Kathleen Rowling is a British author and the world’s second-richest author with an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion as of 2022. Rowling gained prominence worldwide for her contribution to the seven-volume children’s fantasy series, Harry Potter, which was a commercial success.
J.K Rowling is a British author who is the 2nd richest author in the world. She is best known for the Harry Potter series which has sold more than 500 million copies, cementing her place in the billionaires club.
1. Elizabeth Badinter ($1.7 billion)
Elisabeth Badinter is a French philosopher, author, and historian with an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion as of 2023. Her intellectual writings on feminism and the place of women in society have gained her a reputation.
She was voted “France’s most influential intellectual” in a 2010 Marianna news magazine survey. Publicis Groupe, a company that specializes in public relations and advertising, counts her as its largest shareholder and chairperson.
With an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion, Elisabeth Badinter is the richest author in history.
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