‘Fifty Shades’ author E.L. James worth $58 million, despite being spanked by critics

EL James

Author E.L. James, who is dominating bestseller lists with her new book “Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian,” is worth about $58 million.

(Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images)

E.L. James might not have as much money as Christian Grey, the kinky billionaire featured in her “Fifty Shades of Grey” books. But she’s getting close.

The Guardian reports that James is now worth at least $58 million, a total that doesn’t include money she earned from this year’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie adaptation, or from her recently published “Grey,” which retells the first “Fifty Shades” book from Christian’s perspective.

It’s likely that “Grey” will add a significant sum to James’ bottom line. Despite receiving a spanking from several critics, the novel sold more than a million copies in four days, and it remains the top-selling book at Amazon.

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She’s also likely to earn a hefty amount from the film adaptation of “Fifty Shades Darker,” the second book in the series featuring Christian and Ana, set for release in 2017. The screenplay for the movie will be written by Niall Leonard, James’ husband.

James is one of the wealthiest authors in the world, though she still has a ways to go to catch up to writers like James Patterson, who was named by Forbes as the highest-paid author in the world, earning $89 million this year.

But James has beaten Patterson before when it comes to yearly earnings. In a 2013 Forbes list of the world’s top-earning authors, James took the top spot, with Patterson in second place. They were followed by “Hunger Games” creator Suzanne Collins, Bill O’Reilly and Danielle Steel.

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