E L James

E.L. James’ ought to revise the title of her publishing juggernaut, 50 Shades of Grey, to 50 Shades of cold hard cash.

After all, the author raked in an estimated $95 million this year, making her the world’s top-earning author, according to Forbes.

Rounding out the top five on Forbes‘ list are familiar names of the crime, fantasy, conservative pundit, and romance genres. In a close second place is James Patterson, earning $91 million, followed by Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins with $55 million, Bill O’Reilly with $28 million, and No. 5 is prolific romance author Danielle Steel with $26 million.

Forbes culled these estimated numbers from sales data available from June 2012 to June 2013.

Much lower on Forbes‘ list were No. 15 J.K. Rowling with earnings estimates of $13 million for her adult fiction releases The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling, and No. 16 George R.R. Martin with $12 million, though he was the best-selling paperback author of 2012.

Let’s see if these publishing and e-book sales for James translate to box-office green with next summer’s 50 Shades movie.

Fifty Shades of Grey (Book)
  • Book
  • E L James
  • Vintage