It does pay off to be a publisher – at least for some

Last Sunday, the Sunday Times Rich List placed Waterstones’ owner Alexander Mamut as the highest-ranking trade figure. Mr Mamut is placed 54th on the list, with a fortune of £1,483m according to the newspaper supplement; however, his riches are not all down to Waterstones, but due to his substantial Russian assets in property, construction and oil fields. However, there are several authors on the list, as well as other publishers. Viscount Cowdray and the Pearson family are in joint 224th place, down from a joint 164th place last year. The supplement has discounted their estimated fortune by £100m, and put the family stake in the Pearson media group, Penguin’s parent-company, as being worth “only” £150m, below the 3% declarable limit. Nigel Blackwell, co-founder of the Blackwell bookshop chain is placed in in joint 414th place on the list together with his family with a fortune of £195m, the same amount as in 2012 and 2011. The Macmillan family with the Earl of Stockton were placed 653 on the list, with a fortune of £120m, made from selling their stake in the Macmillan publishing business. As for at least the past decade, author J.K. Rowlings is on the list, keeping her places as the wealthiest author in the UK with a fortune of £560m, earning the Harry Potter author 156th place in the list. She was also names the 20th richest woman on the list, though her £560m fortune had not changed since 2012’s list, despite the release of her novel The Casual Vacancy, a book which unfortunately did not have the same impact as the Harry Potter series. But then again, what would? Other authors on the list are Barbara Taylor Bradford and Jamie Oliver tied in 522nd place, each with a fortune of £150m, while Lord Archer is valued at £135m, in joint 590th place. Jackie Collins also makes the list this year, with her fortune of £60m, followed by fellow authors Jack Higgins and Ken Follett (£55m). Meanwhile, Sir Terry Pratchett is the eighth richest author with a fortune valued at £42m by the Sunday Times supplement’s compilers. I am personally surprised that he did not make it higher up the list, but that is probably because I am biased, being such a great fan of his. Alexander Mamut

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