How much is Meyer worth?

The addendum to my last post got me thinking about comparing Meyer's paycheck to what she's earning her publisher. As I said, Forbes estimates that Meyer made $21 million between May 2010 and May 2011. That would be from all sources--movie money and what have you.

That sounds like a lot, but Lagardere estimates that the Twilight books made the company $160 million in 2010.

Oh, I'm sorry--they're not saying that, in total, the Twilight books made the company $160 million. No. They're saying that when the Twilight books were selling exceptionally well, they were bringing in $160 million per year more than they brought in in 2011, a year when Twilight sales fell to more normal levels, whatever those may be.

We don't know the baseline of Twilight sales here. They could still be bringing in $160 million, and in 2010 they brought in $320 million. Maybe they're just bringing in a paltry $21 million, and in 2010 they brought in $181 million. We have no idea.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that there was only (or "only") $181 million of Twilight money sloshing around in 2010 (and we'll pretend the Forbes figures run from January to January, not May to May). $21 million went to Meyer; $160 million went to her publisher.

She made less than 12% of what her publisher did. Probably much less, because we're pretending that Twilight didn't sell a single copy in 2011, and Largardere doesn't claim that. And of course, Meyer's take from the books was presumably less than $21 million, since that number includes movie money.

Something to think about, eh?