E.L. James Tops Forbes List Of Top Earning Authors

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E.L. James is the Forbe's list highest paid author over the last year.  Her best-selling trilogy may be mediocre and offensive. That is to those rational people who think forming a 'sex contract', even in literature, is not an acceptable form of behaviour. I use the term 'literature' generally, please note I do not want to offend other authors by putting them in the same category as this particular one.

E.L.James
E.L. James at a book signing in London.

However, the public seem to love Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and have no issue with James' limited use of language or her inability to describe orgasm in more than one way. 

But I digress: evidently the public adore the concept of misogyny enough to have purchased the books in sufficient quantity that she is the highest paid author of the year, according to Forbes. 

James' Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy earned the author approximately $95 million over the past year. This is likely to increase over the coming year in correlation with the hype of the film adaptation of her books. The movie is due to be released next summer although no casting arrangements have been revealed as yet. 

So who shall star in the movie which glamorises women sleeping their way into jobs, by way of a few marital aids, is currently unknown. I'd like to think any actor worth their salt would decline appearing in the role of Christian Grey, the unpleasant and controlling owner of a corporate enterprise. Or indeed, what woman would want to be associated with the insipid and unrealistic Anastasia Steele. 

James Patterson
James Patterson at the 2012 Miami International Book Fair.

The Forbes series of lists range from this category to the most influential celebrity; best paid actress/actor; the same for television actors and the wealthiest within the business world. Released annually, they surmise (by questioning those close to the authors i.e. literary agents) how much an author made from one year (from June to June).

The rest of the top five consists of James Patterson, earning almost as much as James with $91 million; Hunger Games creator Suzanne Collins ($55 million); Bill O'Reilly ($28 million) and Danielle Steel ($26 million). Although one would suspect J.K. Rowling, to rank higher on the list, she came in at number 15. Also somewhat shockingly, George R.R. Martin, the creator of Game of Thrones, followed Rowling at number 16.

Suzanne Collins
Suzanne Collins at the premiere of Charlie Noades R.I.P. in Liverpool.


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