updated 08/13/2013 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 08/14/2013 AT 7:30 AM ET
E L James won’t be saying “laters, baby” anytime soon.
James earned an estimated $95 million from her kinky tale of romance between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele – which was originally written as fan fiction based on Twilight’s vampire characters. (We hope James is sending Twilight author Stephenie Meyer a huge thank-you present.)
Forbes reports that James, a former TV exec who lives in the U.K. who also earned $5 million for the right to a film version of the sex-filled story, sold more copies faster than any other author in history – more than 70 million in the first eight months they were on sale in the U.S.
The success is attributed to the books’ availability in the e-book format, which meant the steamy love story could be discretely downloaded to Kindles and iPads.
James beat out authors James Patterson, Hunger Games writer Suzanne Collins, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and Danielle Steele.