Top-Earning Authors 2011 - Best-Selling Authors

James Patterson - $84 million

Patterson had 20 titles on the year-end bestseller lists in 2010, including thrillers for adults and teens.

Danielle Steel - $35 million

Romance novelist Steel holds the record for consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list.

Stephen King - $28 million

Universal Pictures just canceled plans for a massive adaptation of his "Dark Tower" series that would have included three films and a TV series.

Janet Evanovich - $22 million

Evanovich earns advances of around $10 million per book.

Stephenie Meyer - $21 million

The film version of "Eclipse" earned $300 million at the box office in the U.S.

Rick Riordan - $21 million

Riordan is known for making extraordinary efforts to be accessible to his young fans.

Dean Koontz - $19 million

His books may be terrifying, but in person Koontz is probably a pretty nice guy, judging from this photo of him smiling.

John Grisham - $18 million

Like James Patterson, Grisham writes both adult thrillers and young adult novels.

Jeff Kinney - $17 million

If you have kids, you know what this whole "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" thing is all about. It's big time.

Nicholas Sparks - $16 million

Sparks makes women cry for a living, yet somehow they never seem to get mad at him.

Ken Follett - $14 million

"Fall of Giants," published last September, was the first installment of a trilogy for which Follett will be paid $50 million.

Suzanne Collins - $10 million

Production has begun on the first film adaptation of her "Hunger Games" series.

JK Rowling - $5 million

Thanks to a new online book storefront, Pottermore, Rowling is about to make mad Gringotts. (That's wizard slang for a lot of money. At least it should be.)

Source: Forbes

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