Last year’s successful “Harry Potter”bonanzahas restored J.K. Rowling as the richest author on the Forbes list yet again. It’s mostly all credit to ‘Potter’ spin-offs like the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the script and ticket sales of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” that earned Rowling $95 million over the past one year. She beat James Patterson to reclaim the top spot on the list- for the first time in nine years. 2017 also marks the 20th year of the first Harry Potter, making it a nostalgic year.
It’s true that Rowling hasn’t topped the list for many years, but she is known for her wealth in the literary world. Back in 2004, she was the first person to achieve the billionaire status as an author. In 2012 however, she had dropped out of the billionaire club, partly because of British taxes.
Patterson, on the other hand, is a thriller writer who mostlymakes the most by churning out coauthored books which regularly dominate bestseller lists. He earned an estimated $87 million last year.
Both he and Rowling are competitors not just for the top spot as the richest author, they are well-known for their philanthropic activities also. Rowling donated so much to charity that it led to her dipping below the billionaire mark. It was speculated that in 2012, she had donated $160 million to charity, including her foundation Lumos, which helps children around the world who are in orphanages and similar institutions.
At present, Rowling may be earning faster than what she can give away, but that dynamics is likely to change soon. The combined magic of her new “Harry Potter” projects coupled with the 20th anniversary this year, boosted her annual haul by $76 million over the last year.