• Ideas
  • Books

James Patterson, Jeff Kinney and J.K. Rowling Are the Highest-Paid Authors of 2016

2 minute read

J.K. Rowling may have stolen the headlines this week, but at least two other authors have plenty to celebrate. According to Forbes‘ annual ranking of the highest paid authors of the year, James Patterson and Jeff Kinney have the Harry Potter author beat in total earnings from June 2015 to June 2016.

Patterson, who in addition to his adult novels writes several children’s books a year and recently launched a series of affordable novellas, BookShots, earned an estimated $95 million pre-tax. He’s likely to stay high in the rankings next year, with plenty of upcoming books like Woman of God.

Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, came in second with an estimated $19.5 million. Rowling clocked in just below him at $19 million—but since the numbers ended before the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which has already sold more than 2 million copies), and with the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiering in November, she’s likely to give the others a serious run for their money in next year’s rankings. Forbes calculates figures using sales from books, e-books, audiobooks, TV and movie earnings, and in the case of someone like Rowling, income from theme parks and other products.

The only newcomer to the list this year was Paula Hawkins, whose novel The Girl on the Train is likely to be just as bankable (if not more so) in the year to come: its recently released paperback edition is topping bestseller charts, and the movie adaptation hits theaters in October.


More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors.