Sunday, 1 May 2011

How To Make Money From Writing....

by Matt Lynn

It might not always feel like it, but there is money in the thriller writing business….eventually. The TV channel Alibi has put together a list of the highest-earning crime and thriller writers, on both sides of the Atlantic. Ian Fleming is top of the British list, with earnings of a £100 million-plus, followed by Agatha Christie, and then by Jeffrey Archer (although I don’t think of him as a thriller writer).

Over in the US, it is headed by John Grisham on an extraordinary $600 million, followed by Dan Brown on $400 million – although I reckon if work it out per book, Brown has done better.

Are there any lessons in this for the rest of us writers? Two, I think. The first is that it takes a long time. All the writers on both lists have been writing for a long time – even Dan Brown published his first book in 1998 and it was a while before he had any success.

The second is that you have to write a lot. All the writers on the list are prolific, knocking out book after book. There are no one-hit wonders.

Anyway, I guess the moral is to keep plugging away. Riches await….although hopefully not after I’m dead.


  1. Jeffery Deaver told me he was an overnight success and it only took him 25 years. 25 years... I'll be... no, don't ask. Suffice it to say, I won't be! Must keep on plugging away!

  2. My first book was published in 1980 by Macmillan. I'm still plugging away. My next book, THE BOY FROM BERLIN is due out in December. Will this be the one, I wonder?