Most authors create their names or brand by landing on the bestsellers list – and maintain such popularity by consistently doing so. However, the exceptional few take it a notch higher by landing a movie deal or by embracing social media. On this list are just some of the more popular authors that have achieved a high level of popularity that made them household names.
1. Neil Gaiman
A well-loved author due to his hands-on approach in communicating with fans, Neil Gaiman writes through a variety of medium like short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. Some of his most popular works are the widely acclaimed graphic novel The Sandman, and novels such as American Gods, Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book, Coraline and Stardust. His list of awards includes the Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards. He has also won Newbery and Carnegie medals, both of which he won for The Graveyard Book – the first one to do so for the same book.
2. Stephanie Meyer
Made popular by her vampire romance series Twilight which has sold over 100 million copies worldwide, Stephanie Meyer was the bestselling author in 2008 and 2009. She was even ranked #49 on Time Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in 2008” and #26 in Forbes Celebrity 100 list of the world’s most powerful celebrity in 2009.
3. Dan Brown
Made popular by his widely-read and hugely controversial novel, The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown is one of the most recognizable brands in the world today. His novels often have elements of cryptography, keys, codes, symbols and conspiracy theories, and have sold over 200 million copies worldwide. Two of his most popular novels – The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons – have been adapted into movies.
His most popular character, Robert Langdon, is featured in most of his novels – all of which coincidentally have similar historical and Christian themes. The latter is often the source of controversy from and censure by the Catholic Church.
4. E.L. James
E.L. James is the pseudonym of British author Erika Leonard. Her bestselling trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed have all combined to sell over 35 million copies in the United States and 70 Million copies worldwide – holding the record as the fastest selling paperback of all time. She was also listed in Time Magazine’s “The World’s 100 Most Influential People in 2012.
5. J.K. Rowling
Joanne “Jo” Rowling is the real name of author J.K Rowling. As the British author of Harry Potter series, she has become one of the most recognizable authors in the world today. With 400 million copies of her novels sold and a lucrative movie deal for the Harry Potter series – the highest-grossing film series in history – she was named as the 12th richest woman in the United Kingdom by Sunday Times Rich List having amassed an estimated fortune of $798 million in 2008.