Thriller author James Patterson has topped a Forbes.com list of the world’s ideal paid authors with an income of $70 million US last year.
Patterson, author of more than 50 bestsellers including the Alex Cross and Maximum Ride series, recently signed a deal to write 17 more books by the end of 2012.
Patterson, 63, came in ahead of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer with $40 million and horror master Stephen King with $34 million in income.
All three earned money from film and TV rights, gaming and other merchandise deals, as well as from their bestselling books.
Others in the multi-million dollar club included romance writers Danielle Steele, Nicholas Sparks and Janet Evanovitch as well as J.K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter series continues to be a money spinner.
Ken Follett, whose The Pillars of the Earth has been adapted for TV, earned $20 million while U.S. author Dean Koontz earned $18 million with The Husband, which was optioned for film.
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