Round-Up: the Highest Paid Authors, an Out-of-Print Book’s Sales, and HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD

Black and white picture of Elon Musk.

From the sales of the newest Harry Potter story to a list of the highest paid authors of 2016, here are some of last week’s most interesting literary headlines:

  • This past week, Forbes released its annual list of the world’s highest-paid authors. Unsurprisingly, James Patterson topped the list, bringing in a whopping $95 million last year. This is his third straight year at the top of the list, which consists of twelve writers, including Jeff Kinney, John Green, and Stephen King. Veronica Roth, the author of the Divergent series, is the youngest author to make the list, at the age of 28. The newest member of the list, Paula Hawkins, is the author of The Girl on the Train, which sold 11 million copies, and has a cinematic adaption slated for release this fall.

  • Elon Musk, the billionaire and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, set sales for one book soaring after he voiced his praise. Twelve Against the Gods by William Bolitho is currently out of print, and was, until now, relatively obscure. After Musk stated that the book was “really quite good,” the price of a second-edition of Twelve soared on Amazon (from $6.35 to $99.99). It subsequently sold out at Amazon and used bookseller Abebooks. Twelve was first published in 1929, and follows the lives of twelve prominent figures from history, including Woodrow Wilson. Elon Musk’s love of reading is well documented; his brother, Kimbal Musk, once said that Musk reads two books a day.

  • After the weeks of frenzy surrounding the the publication of script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, sales numbers for the newest addition to the series are in. In its opening weekend alone, the script sold 2 million copies in the US. The publisher of Cursed Child, Scholastic, printed 4.5 million copies for the play’s initial run. Scholastic has been quoted as saying that the numbers are “unprecedented” for the sale of a play’s script. In the United Kingdom, the play overtook erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey as the fastest-selling book of the decade, selling more than 680,000 copies.

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