Helena Lyng Blak
8 weeks ago

Stephen King is one of the world's richest authors - and it all began exactly 50 years ago

‘Carrie’ turns 50 years old. We take a closer look at the famous author's finances.
Funko POP vinyl figures of Pennywise, Carrie and Jack Torrance fictional characters from Stephen King books
esthermm / Shutterstock.com

In a week, on April 5, ‘Carrie’, the story of an abused and bullied teenage girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers and uses them to wreak havoc and seek revenge, turns 50. It was published on April 5, 1974.

The novel was the debut of one Stephen King. Back then, King was a humble English teacher and short story writer. The novel initially sold modestly before becoming a bestseller in 1976, boosted by the success of its film adaptation.

Today, King is known as - fittingly - the ‘King of Horror’. He has written more than 75 books, including novels, non-fiction, and short story collections. Throughout his career, he has sold over 350 million copies of his work, according to Marca and has an estimated net worth of $500 million.

However, according to The Richest, a significant part of King's wealth does not stem from book sales but rather from lucrative deals concerning the adaptations of his work.

Instead of selling the rights to his work upfront, the, perhaps very business-savvy, author has retained media rights for the adaptations of many of his most successful works, meaning he profits from the earnings—including sales of merchandise.

What that means is that when "It Chapter One," for example, becomes the highest-grossing horror movie of all time, King will have made a pretty penny off of that.

King has spent some of his wealth giving back. The author has in the past been noted for his philanthropy, and donates, according to himself, about $4 million each year to various charitable efforts.


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