Top 10: The Highest-Paid Female Authors of All Time

Written by: Syeda Ghaniyah Ali & Edited by Kimberly Anne

Even though men may physically and monetarily dominate the majority of occupations, women have made a significant impact in book writing. Numerous female writers have become millionaires due to the novels they have created. They include children’s literature, novels for young adults, romantic novels, mystery stories, and more.

The highest-paid female authors of all time include J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, and Suzanne Collins just to name a few. Our list includes the authors of famous works such as Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter.

The highest-paid female authors of all time include J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, and Suzanne Collins just to name a few. Our list includes the authors of famous works such as Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter.

Disclaimer: Although Rowling is well recognized for her “Harry Potter” books, she faced backlash in May 2020 for remarks she made on Twitter that some people perceived as transphobic. We do not support discrimination of any kind; however, it was impossible to leave her off of this list based on statistics.

1. J.K. Rowling

According to Forbes, J.K. Rowling is the second-highest-paid novelist in the world, only behind James Patterson. J.K. Rowling is the highest-paid female author in the world. It was once estimated that the UK national J.K Rowling had a net worth of up to $1 billion. She would have been the first female author to reach that mark. She is currently valued at least $670 million.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's / Philosopher's Stone.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Rowling has made a lot from her novel Harry Potter, but they are no longer her principal source of revenue. Most of her income comes from Harry Potter-related enterprises, such as the Wizarding World at Universal Studios and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway.

Best Books by J.K. Rowling

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s / Philosopher’s Stone.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

2. Nora Roberts 

The US-based Nora Roberts is the reigning queen of romance books, and her estimated net worth is $400 million. She started her career in 1975 and has published more than 230 novels.

She is passionate about creating trilogies, crime thrillers, and fantasy romance novels and publishes at least four books annually. In addition to publishing a book every quarter, eleven of her novels have been adapted for television, which has helped boost her wealth. 

The US-based Nora Roberts is the reigning queen of romance books, and her estimated net worth is $400 million. She started her career in 1975 and has published more than 230 novels.

Most Recent Books by Nora Roberts (2021,2022)

  • Faithless in Death
  • Legacy
  • Forgotten in Death
  • The Becoming, The Dragon Heart Legacy 2
  • Abandoned in Death
  • Nightwork

3. Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel was born in 1947 in NYC and started her career in 1965. Current estimates place Danielle Steel’s net worth at $385 million. After divorcing her first husband, Claude-Eric Lazard, at 28, Steele published her first work, a romantic novel.

Danielle Steel was born in 1947 in NYC and started her career in 1965. Current estimates place Danielle Steel's net worth at $385 million. After divorcing her first husband, Claude-Eric Lazard, at 28, Steele published her first work, a romantic novel.

According to Forbes, she is the world’s best-selling living novelist, having sold over 800 million copies of her works. Steele has released more than 170 books throughout her four-decade career, so it’s simple to understand how she became a millionaire.

Popular Books by Danielle Steel

  • All that Glitters
  • Zoya
  • Nine Lives
  • Spy
  • Echoes
  • His Bright Light
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Jewels

4. Suzanne Collins

American book and television writer Suzanne Collins has made millions in her long-standing career as a writer and author. She is well-known for writing the Underland Chronicles and Hunger Games book series.

American book and television writer Suzanne Collins has made millions in her long-standing career as a writer and author. She is well-known for writing the Underland Chronicles and Hunger Games book series.

The Hunger Games movie, whose script was largely written by Collins, was a huge commercial success when it was released in 2012. By that point, the series had sold more than 30 million copies in print worldwide, with e-book sales being particularly strong.

The second and third books were adapted and released in 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively; Mockingjay was split into two parts. Collins also wrote the children’s books Year of the Jungle: Memories from the Home Front and When Charlie McButton Lost Power.

Famous Books by Suzanne Collins

  • The Hunger Games
  • Catching Fire
  • Mockingjay
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
  • Gregor The Overlander

5.  Jackie Collins

Jackie Collins was an internationally recognized British best female author with an estimated net worth of $180 million when she died in 2015. Throughout her career, she published 32 novels, all of which were on The New York Times bestseller list.

The 1983 book Hollywood Wives by British novelist Jackie Collins was her ninth book and was also her most commercially successful one. It sold over 15 million copies

Over 600 million editions of her books have now been sold worldwide, and they’ve been translated into forty other languages. She is also a renowned family member; her sister is actress Joan Collins who played in movies based on Jackie’s books!

The 1983 book Hollywood Wives by British novelist Jackie Collins was her ninth book and was also her most commercially successful one. It sold over 15 million copies.

Famous Books by Jackie Collins

  • Hollywood Wives
  • The World Is Full of Married Men
  • The Stud
  • The Bitch
  • Lucky

6. Stephenie Meyer 

Stephenie Meyer is an American film producer and author. The Twilight Saga which made her a very successful author has an estimated $120 million in net worth. She never published a novel before Twilight. She was published at age 29 based on her dream of writing. Stephenie Meyer is now an International Number One Bestseller.

Stephenie Meyer is an American film producer and author. The Twilight Saga which made her the most successful author, has an estimated $120 million in net worth. She never published a novel before Twilight. She was published at age 29 based on her dream of writing.

Each of her books was a bestseller, and the series was subsequently adapted into a film starring Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart. The series has earned more than $3.3 billion globally.

Popular Books by Stephanie Meyer

  • Twilight
  • Midnight Sun
  • Breaking Dawn
  • Eclipse
  • The Host
  • Twilight/Life and Death

7. E.L. James

Erika Mitchell is known by her pen name, E.L James. She is a British writer, born in London, UK. The writer of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, E.L. James, is reported to have a net worth of $95 million. James never imagined that her series would earn her such an enormous fortune.

Erika Mitchell is known by her sobriquet E.L James. She is a British writer, born in London, UK. The writer of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, E.L. James, is reported to have a net worth of $95 million. James never imagined that her series would earn her such an enormous fortune.

Her steamy series originated as internet fan-fiction in homage to the Twilight series. The 50 Shades of Grey book series was subsequently adapted into a blockbuster film franchise that helped establish the careers of stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.

Famous Books by E.L. James

  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Fifty Shades Freed
  • Fifty Shades Darker
  • The Mister
  • Master of the Universe
  • The Craves of Loring

8.  Janet Evanovich

The American writer known for her romance novel has an estimated net worth of $80 million, making her the nineteenth most decadent novelist in the world. Evanovich began her career as a stay-at-home parent penning short romance novels under the pen name Steffie Hall, but those works did not propel her to stardom.

The American writer known for her romance novel has an estimated net worth of $80 million, making her the nineteenth most decadent novelist in the world. Evanovich began her career as a stay-at-home parent penning short romance novels under the pen name Steffie Hall, but those works did not propel her to stardom.

Instead, she gained international renown when she shifted from romance to mystery and wrote the Stephanie Plum series. Plum, a former lingerie buyer turned bounty hunter after losing her job, made an unexpected career choice to make ends meet. Each of her Stephanie Plum novels topped a variety of bestseller lists.

Popular Books by Janet Evanovich

  • One for the Money
  • The Recovery
  • Game On: Tempting
  • Twelve Sharp
  • Dangerous Minds
  • Plum Lucky
  • Wicked Business
  • The Husband List

9. Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train, a psychological thriller by British novelist Paula Hawkins, which addresses issues of domestic violence, alcoholism, and drug abuse, is her best-known work. The book was made into a movie in 2016 with Emily Blunt.

The Girl on the Train, a psychological thriller by British novelist Paula Hawkins, which addresses issues of domestic violence, alcoholism, and drug abuse, is her best-known work. The book was made into a movie in 2016 with Emily Blunt.

Before attempting fiction, Paula spent fifteen years as a journalist. She is the author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water, both #1 New York Times bestsellers. A big film picture was made from the international #1 best-seller The Girl on the Train, which has sold 23 million copies worldwide.


With 4 million books sold globally, Into the Water was also a Sunday Times and New York Times #1 bestseller.
Hawkins, who was born in Zimbabwe, currently divides her time between Edinburgh and London.

10. Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth is one of the youngest women on our list and has achieved prominence early in her career. The projected net worth of Roth is $30 million, and she is best known for her New York Times bestsellers Divergent and Insurgent. She wrote Divergent when she was 22 years old.

These were the first books she ever authored. Not only were these dystopian novels prevalent, but they were also adapted into a successful film franchise starring A-list actors such as Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, and Kate Winslet.

Veronica Roth is one of the youngest women on our list and has achieved prominence early in her career. The projected net worth of Roth is $30 million, and she is best known for her New York Times bestsellers Divergent and Insurgent. She wrote Divergent when she was 22 years old.

Famous Books by Veronica Roth

  • Divergent
  • The Fates Divide
  • Insurgent
  • Allegiant
  • Chosen Ones
  • Poster Girl

Some of these female authors have created history by being the most extensively translated authors, while others have written hundreds of volumes and series, demonstrating that they never run out of epic story ideas. Each of them earned their fortune via hard effort and determination. Which one of these authors is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
Photo by Rick Han

Some of these female authors have created history by being the most extensively translated authors, while others have written hundreds of volumes and series, demonstrating that they never run out of epic story ideas. Each of them earned their fortune via hard effort and determination. Which one of these authors is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Written by: Syeda Ghaniyah Ali – Syeda Ghaniyah Ali is a Freelance Content Writer who creates content that is both interesting and SEO-friendly. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics and has been a blog, article, and scholarly writer since 2016. She is an extremely competent, enthusiastic, and self-motivated blogger with a five-year track record of achievement.

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