J.K. Rowling Tops “Forbes” World’s Highest-Paid Authors 2019 List

J.K. Rowling has reclaimed the top spot of the Forbes World’s Highest-Paid Authors 2019 list after dropping to second place in 2018.

According to Forbes, Rowling earned $92 million in the 12-month period from June 1, 2018, to June 1, 2019, a huge increase compared to her 2018 total of $54 million.



Although the list highlights the highest-paid authors in the world, the majority of Rowling’s income did not come from book sales.

Instead, the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in November 2018 and ticket sales from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child account for a large portion of Rowling’s earnings. The 12-month period encompassed the majority of the first year of Cursed Child on Broadway as well as the first six months of the Melbourne production and the continuing popularity of the show in the West End.

Forbes also states that another significant part of Rowling’s income has been from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter themed areas at Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Universal Studios Japan. With the arrival of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in June 2019, rumored additional expansions to the theme park in Orlando, and a Wizarding World presence at the upcoming Universal Studios Beijing, this portion of Rowling’s earnings is only sure to grow.

Also included in the list of highest-paid authors were Stephen King (It, Misery, Pet Sematary), Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series), Michelle Obama (Becoming), and James Patterson (Along Came a Spider, The President Is Missing).

Lucy O'Shea

I was given a copy of Philosopher's Stone in 2001, and instantly, I was hooked. Since then, my passion for Potter has been equaled only by my passion for fair access to education (and watching motorsport). A spell I wish could exist in the Muggle world is the summoning charm because this Hufflepuff is not a "particularly good finder"!