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James Patterson is the world's highest-earning author

13th August 2012

US thriller writer James Patterson remains the highest-earning author in the world, according to the latest data published by Forbes magazine, which reveals that the 65-year-old generated GBP 60 million through book sales in 2011-12.

It is the second consecutive year that Patterson has topped the list, thanks mainly to the sheer volume of titles published – 14 books with Patterson's name on the cover were released in the past 12 months.

The Forbes report was compiled using data from authors, publishers, agents and Nielsen BookScan and shows that Stephen King was the second highest-earning author of the past 12 months.

Though his GBP 25 million in earnings is less than half the total generated by Patterson in the same period of time, King only published two novels – the time-travelling conspiracy debunker 11/12/63 and The Dark Tower accompaniment The Wind Through the Keyhole.

Janet Evanovic was third on the list, earning GBP 21 million in 2011-12, while John Grisham was fourth, boosted by sales of his latest legal thriller, The Litigators.

The fifth spot was taken by Jeff Kinney, whose Diary of a Wimpy Kid series made him the bestselling children's author in the world last year.

According to Forbes, it expects E. L. James - author of the enormously popular Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels – to feature highly on next year's list.

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