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Anyone looking for professional writing jobs has no doubt wondered what a freelance writing salary might look like. While there is a wide variety of jobs for writers available online, many writing jobs won’t earn you millions of dollars.
However, by building up your portfolio and pursuing all kinds of freelance writing jobs, you could eventually work your way up to compete with some of these highest-paid authors around the world. Together, these writers banked more than $200 million in 2016.
10. John Green - $10 million: While Green hasn’t released a book or movie this year, he’s still continuing to sell copies of his popular young adult novels “Paper Towns” and “Looking for Alaska.” He is scheduled to release his latest novel, “Turtles All the Way Down,” in October 2017.
9. Veronica Roth - $10 million: Roth released the first novel in her bestselling “Divergent” trilogy when she was only 23 years old – and while sales of the books have slowed and the third film in the series grossed just over $60 million more than the movie’s estimated budget, she is still banking a solid profit. And at 28, she has many more years of writing left ahead of her.
8. E.L. James - $14 million: The adaptation of James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” novels as a series of films earned her a solid share of the profits, and with the 2015 release of “Grey,” she sold 168 per cent more copies of her bestselling series. Her latest effort continues the series with a retelling of the story from the perspective of the male protagonist.
7. Nora Roberts - $15 million: Although print sales of this bestselling author’s romance and crime novels have slowed alongside the publishing industry, she continues to attract new and returning fans with her eBook releases. On average, Roberts generates at least five manuscripts each year.
6. Danielle Steel - $15 million: Despite still using a 1946 Olympia typewriter, this romance novelist has released more than 125 books – and has sold over 650 million copies. She shows no signs of slowing down, publishing several new offerings each year.
5. Stephen King - $15 million: The latest update on King’s body of work is a live-action adaptation of his series “The Dark Tower,” which stars Idris Elba and was released in 2017. Over the course of his lengthy career, King’s creepy stories have earned him more than $450 million.
4. John Grisham - $18 million: Since 1988, this prolific author has managed to generate at least one hardback crime novel each year – and they continue to delight his faithful audience. His 2015 release, “Rogue Lawyer,” sold almost 2 million copies in the US alone.
3. J.K. Rowling - $19 million: While most of Rowling’s earnings come from her everlasting Harry Potter series (and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks that have opened up), she has now ventured into writing more adult fiction.
2. Jeff Kinney - $19.5 million: Currently working on the eleventh installment of his enduringly popular “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, Kinney has mastered the art of combining text with cartoons.
1. James Patterson - $95 million: Along with his team of co-writers, Patterson released more than a dozen books over the past year. Recently, he’s launched a series of novellas known as “BookShots” to try and encourage more people to start reading.
Young and experienced writers can start building their online presence by looking for professional writing jobs on our site, which offers plenty of jobs for writers of all kinds.