See How Much J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and Other Top Authors Earn in One Minute
By Emily Petsko
Writing isn’t generally a high-paying gig—unless you happen to be the top-selling author of the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling has a net worth of $1 billion, and she made $95 million between May 2016 and May 2017, according to Wordery, a UK-based online book retailer.
In case you’re wondering how your personal fortune stacks up against those of the world’s top authors, Wordery has a handy tool on its site. Enter your salary (in U.S. dollars or British pounds) in the field below, and it will tell you how long it takes the world’s five highest-paid authors to earn the same amount.
Just be warned: Your pay will probably seem like chump change by comparison. The authors included in this tool—Rowling, James Patterson, Jeff Kinney, Dan Brown, and Stephen King—all made the top five of Forbes’s highest-paid author list from 2017.
Rowling, for instance, made $181 per minute in the 2016-17 fiscal year, which works out to be about $4.37 per word when the average typing speed is taken into account. She is also the first author in the world to hit the $1 billion mark. She achieved this feat in 2004, but lost her billionaire status after donating much of her net worth to charity.
Patterson, whose thrillers net him about $166 per minute or $87 million per year, has achieved a few firsts as well. He was the first author to simultaneously claim the number-one spot on both the adult and children’s bestseller lists published by The New York Times.
Keep scrolling to try out the tool for yourself.
If you’re wondering about the other well-off authors who weren’t featured in this tool, they include John Grisham and Nora Roberts (both of whom earned $14 million pre-tax salaries and tied for sixth on Forbes’s list), followed by Paula Hawkins ($13 million), E.L. James ($11.5 million), Danielle Steel ($11 million), and Rick Riordan ($11 million).