EL James makes £90k a day from Fifty Shades of Grey

Is she Britains most successful author?


EL James book signing - London

EL James made almost four times as much money as JK Rowling in the last year. Her Fifty Shades of Grey books, the film adaptation, and a host of spin-offs, have earned her an astonishing £33 million in the last year - which works out as £90,000 a day

So does this make the erotic novelist Britain's most successful writer?

According to the Daily Express, her accounts showed that she made £33 million in the last year. The money came from the world-wide sales of the books - which have become a global phenomenon. We reported in February that she has now sold 100 million copies of the books (including 27 million in the UK). The Daily Mail added that she also made money from the film rights and merchandise - such as the two branded wines Red Satin and White Silk.

These results have come three years after the books were first published- and she has made a growing fortune in the interim. Last year Forbes named her as the highest-earning author of the year - knocking James Patterson off the top spot for the first time in years.

Is she Britain's biggest author?

The newspapers have highlighted that she made £33 million in a year when JK Rowling reportedly made £8.6 million from Harry Potter and her growing collection of books for adults. So is she Britain's biggest author?

It's worth pointing out that their personal fortunes are poles apart, as Rowling has been producing best-sellers for 14 years longer than EL James, her canon of work is three times larger, and while EL James has sold an impressive 100 million books, Rowling has sold 450 million copies of the Harry Potter novels.

And, of course, while EL James has a film in production, Rowling has had a modicum of success on the big screen too. It's hardly surprising that in a recent list of the most valuable living authors in the country JK Rowling topped the list by a comfortable margin.

And while their sales are impressive, there are other British writers who have surpassed their success by a very large margin. Agatha Christie is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest-selling novelist of all time. It says that around 4 billion copies of her novels have been sold. Her best-selling book was And Then There Were None - which is estimated to have sold 100 million copies. It was as much of a best-selling phenomenon as the Fifty Shades trilogy in its time.

Barbara Cartland, meanwhile, is said to have sold more than 600 million copies of her books - through an incredible 723 books produced over her 77-year career. This gives her the title of the world's most prolific author - and puts her book sales in another league to EL James.

Enid Blyton is similarly said to have sold over 600 million copies, and her books still sell in their millions every year. This currently makes her Britain's best-selling children's author.

Of course, only time will tell whether EL James or JK Rowling will overtake their success in the course of their careers. But what do you think? Will either of them take the top spot?