Ken Follett Has Captivated Readers With Thrilling Historical Fiction; Here's His Net Worth so Far

Ken Follett Has Captivated Readers With Thrilling Historical Fiction; Here's His Net Worth so Far
Ken Follet, British, writer, novelist, portrait, Milan, Italy | Getty Images | Photo by Leonardo Cendamo


Name Ken Follett
Net worth $50 Million
Salary $1 Million +
Annual Income $5 Million +
Sources of Income Writing, production, and acting
Gender Male
Date of Birth Jun 5, 1949 
Age 74 years
Nationality British
Profession Author, producer, actor

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Ken Follett, the accomplished Welsh author also known for his acting gigs, boasts of a $50 million net worth earned during a career spanning close to five decades. Known for bestselling thrillers that have captivated readers worldwide, Follett first found success in 1978 with "Eye of the Needle," a suspenseful story set during World War II. With his latest work about the possibilities of World War III, Follett has already sold more than 188 million copies, and owing to experience, he filmed a masterclass on "Writing Bestselling Fiction" for BBC Maestro in 2023.

A graduate of University College London, Follett embarked on a journalistic career, initially serving as a trainee reporter and later as a general assignment reporter for the Evening News. Despite finding his footing in journalism, he would soon discover his true calling as a storyteller.

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Ken Follet attends the final lecture of
Ken Follet attends the final lecture of "The Pillars of the Earth" | Getty Images | Photo by Beatriz Velasco


Ken Follett's writing remains his primary source of income with numerous bestselling fiction novels, including "The Eye of the Needle," "Whiteout," "The Key to Rebecca," and "World Without End." Follett's exceptional storytelling ability has resonated with readers, allowing him to secure lucrative deals by selling the film rights to some of his literary properties. Several of Follett's works have been adapted into Hollywood productions, bringing his stories to life in a visual medium. Notably, "The Eye of the Needle," his breakout novel, was adapted into a successful film in 1981. This cinematic rendition, directed by Richard Marquand, showcased Follett's storytelling prowess to a broader audience.

However, it was the adaptation of "The Pillars of the Earth" that marked a monumental moment in Follett's journey to the screen. This epic historical novel, set against the backdrop of medieval England, was adapted into an acclaimed miniseries in 2010. The television adaptation, spanning eight episodes, not only garnered critical acclaim but also introduced Follett's work to a vast and diverse viewership. The video game adaptation "Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth," crafted by German studio Daedalic Entertainment, made its debut in a trilogy of releases spanning from 2017 to 2018. This interactive adaptation brought Follett's epic narrative to a new dimension, allowing players to immerse themselves in the intricacies of "The Pillars of the Earth." Adding a unique touch to these adaptations, Ken Follett himself made cameo appearances in screen adaptations of his works. Notably, he took on the role of the valet in "The Third Twin" and later appeared as a merchant in "The Pillars of the Earth," offering fans a delightful connection between the author and his creations. Additionally, in 2016, Follett's novel "A Dangerous Fortune" also underwent adaptation, expanding the realm of visual storytelling associated with his literary repertoire.

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Ken Follett's salary

In 2009, Follett appeared on Forbes' list of highest-paid authors, with reported earnings of $20 million. One of his most notable works, "The Pillars of the Earth," achieved remarkable success, with 19 million copies sold. Its resurgence on bestseller lists in 2009, following Oprah Winfrey's selection for her book club, catapulted Follett's earnings. The adaptation of "The Pillars of the Earth" into a $40 million, eight-hour mini-series further contributed to Follett's financial success.

Welsh author Ken Follett at home, UK, 15th February 1998 | Getty Images | Photo by  Colin Davey
Welsh author Ken Follett at home, UK, 15th February 1998 | Getty Images | Photo by Colin Davey


On the property front, Follett put his exquisite beachfront retreat on Jumby Bay Island, Antigua, up for sale, with an asking price of $25 million. Named "Bananaquit," this remarkable 11,000-square-foot estate has played host to Follett's relaxation and served as the backdrop for many of his iconic literary creations.

Ken Follett attends AOL BUILD Speaker Series | Getty Images | Photo by Laura Cavanaugh
Ken Follett attends AOL BUILD Speaker Series | Getty Images | Photo by Laura Cavanaugh


Instagram 56,000 followers
Facebook 416,000 followers
Twitter 52,800 Followers


Ken Follet at a press conference at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair | Getty Images | Photo by Hannelore Foerster
Ken Follet at a press conference at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair | Getty Images | Photo by Hannelore Foerster

Follett has a personal life marked by both success and seclusion. Born in Cardiff, Wales, in June 1949, Follett's early years were shaped by an insatiable passion for reading, cultivated partly due to his parents' decision to restrict his access to television and movies. Ken Follett's illustrious writing career has been marked by a strategic and deliberate choice to embark on the path of storytelling. Born on June 5, 1949, in Cardiff, Wales, Follett's journey into the realm of storytelling began when he made a pivotal decision to pursue a post-graduate course in journalism at the University of London.

This academic choice significantly influenced the trajectory of his career. Ken Follett's choice to pursue a post-graduate course in journalism laid the foundation for his writing career, instilling in him the skills essential for effective storytelling. Ken has been married to Barbara Broer and the couple had five children as well as six grandchildren.

Ken Follett, a prolific British author, stands out in comparison to other renowned authors such as John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Jeffrey Archer, Danielle Steel, Janet Evanovich, and Barbara Taylor Bradford. While John Grisham is known for his legal thrillers, Follett's versatility spans historical fiction, thrillers, and spy novels, showcasing a broader range of genres. In contrast, Nora Roberts excels in romantic fiction, a distinct focus from Follett's historical and espionage narratives. Jeffrey Archer combines drama and suspense, often with political or crime-related plots, while Follett's works dive into historical contexts with gripping narratives.



Follett's literary contributions have earned him numerous accolades and he was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2018 Birthday Honours.

In 2013, Follett achieved the prestigious title of Grand Master at the Edgar Awards in New York, a year after his novel "Winter of the World" received the Qué Leer Prize for Best Translated Book of the Year in Spain.

In 2010, he was recognized as a Grand Master at Thrillerfest V in New York, and in 2008 he got an Honorary Doctor of Literature degree from the University of Exeter.

But his first ever honor came in 1979, with the Edgar Best Novel Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

What are the 4 books in The Pillars of the Earth trilogy?

"Pillars of Earth," "World Without End," "A Column of Fire," and "The Evening and the Morning."

What type of books does Ken Follett write?

Kenneth Martin Follett is a Welsh author of thrillers and historical novels.

How many books has Ken Follett written?

Ken Follett has authored more than 30 books throughout his career.

How many books has Ken Follett sold?

Ken Follett is one of the world's best-loved authors, selling more than 188 million copies of his 35+ books.

Is Ken Follet married?

Ken is married to Barbara Follett. 

How many copies did Pillars of the Earth sell?

More than 175 million copies sold worldwide.


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