Top 10 highest paid authors of 2011

Forbes has just released their 2011 list of the world's highest paid authors (based on earnings from May 2010 to April 2011), and some of them may surprise you. We'll tell you how much each author made, why you should know their names, and how they beat the recession's effect on the fiction industry.

Our list of the ten highest-earning authors of 2010-2011.

1. James Patterson

The Angel Experiment: A Maximum Ride Novel, by James Patterson, Little, Brown and Company, 464 pp.

James Patterson made a cool $84 million between May 2010 and April 2011 and signed a 17-book, $150-million contract with Hachette Book Group. The reason Patterson is doing so well while fiction sales across the publishing industry have plummeted? He's cornered the adult and the young adult markets. Adults will be familiar with his Alex Cross series – thrillers about an American psychologist – while kids will know him as the author of the "Maximum Ride" series.

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