What if the world’s wealthiest authors made their money per word? In reality, big-name writers like Stephen King and Nora Roberts get the majority of their pay from movie deals, merchandise, signings, and other avenues, but what if we turned the modern author pay scale into something past authors from the Victorian era had to deal with: pay per word? The official J.K. Rowling net worth numbers are quite different when seen through that lens. (Could you imagine getting paid nearly a thousand dollars per word?) To find this number, we asked ourselves, “How much do bestselling authors make in a year?” and then compared it with their completed word count for that year. Take, for instance, James Patterson: Net worth estimates put him at $87 million per year, but he’s completed only slightly more than 300,000 words, and most of that wasn’t alone! What we found out for the top 11 richest authors is pretty incredible. How much do authors get paid? It can vary wildly, even among the world’s top-selling, most wealthy authors!
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