Rick Riordan is a novelist of some note. Generally speaking, he is known for writing mythology-inspired novels aimed at a younger audience. However, Riordan has written novels for adults as well. On the whole, he can be said to be a true success, as shown by Celebrity Net Worth’s estimate that he is worth $35 million in the present time.
How Did Rick Riordan Reach a Current Net Worth of $35 Million?
Background-wise, Riordan comes from San Antonio, TX. For his education, he went to the music program at North Texas State University so that he could become a guitarist. However, Riordan didn’t stick with that, which is why he went on to study English as well as history at the University of Texas at Austin. In time, he received his teacher certification from the University of Texas at San Antonio, with the result that he went on to teach English as well as history for eight years.
As mentioned earlier, Riordan tends to be better-known because of his mythology-inspired novels for a younger audience. However, his earliest novel was Big Red Tequila, which was aimed at a much older audience. After all, it was a crime story about a private investigator heading home for the purpose of looking into the unsolved murder of his father, who was the County Sheriff. Something that gets him pulled deeper and deeper into danger. Amusingly, it is worth mentioning that the protagonist is supposed to be someone who has studied English as well as history, so there seems to be something of a personal touch in said character. In any case, Big Red Tequila was met with a very positive reception in its own right. This can be seen in how it won both the Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel and the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original. Furthermore, this can be seen in how Big Red Tequila launched the Tres Navarre series, which consists of seven novels released between 1997 and 2008. Suffice to say that isn’t the kind of thing that happens without people to read those books.
Regardless, those books tend to be overshadowed by Riordan’s mythology-inspired books for a younger audience for good reason. As the story goes, his son struggled with schools because of his ADHD as well as dyslexia. However, Riordan’s son was fascinated by Greek mythology, which is why Riordan would relate tales from Greek mythology as bedroom stories. Eventually, he was convinced to write the Percy Jackson novels when he ran out of tales because his son asked him why he couldn’t just come up with his own to tell. Certainly, the Percy Jackson novels reflect this origin. For example, the titular character has ADHD as well as dyslexia, which was meant to fill up a lack of heroes who struggle with said issues in the relevant markets. Similarly, the Percy Jackson novels were very much aimed at the same kind of audience as Riordan’s son, which is something that drew comparisons to the Harry Potter series at the time.
The first Percy Jackson novel sold for enough money that Riordan could quit his job for the purpose of becoming a full-time novelist. Furthermore, it indeed managed to live up to expectations by placing on bestsellers lists. On top of that, it was turned into the movie Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which managed to earn $226.4 million on a $95 million budget. Granted, said movie met with a poor reception from Riordan as well as Riordan’s fans. Something that was caused by its less than impressive writing, its changes that made it more appealing to older moviegoers than its source material’s original audience, and its changes that made it difficult for the relevant parties to make further movies in the series. Still, a sequel called Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Sea of Monsters was made, which earned $200.9 million on a budget of $90 million. Said movie met with a reception that was no better than that of its predecessor, with the result that a third movie was never made. However, it is interesting to note that in spite of these missteps, there are much more recent efforts to get a live action series for Disney+ that would remain much closer to its source material. Something that speaks volumes about the series’s lasting power.
As for other examples of the Percy Jackson novels’ lasting power, well, suffice to say that Riordan has continued writing novels based on not just Greek mythology but also other mythology belonging to other cultures. For example, the Kane Chronicles are based on Egyptian mythology. Similarly, the Magnus Chase novels are based on Norse mythology. Moreover, The Trials of Apollo consists of five novels that came out between 2016 and 2020, which should make it clear that Riordan isn’t done with Greek mythology by a long shot. Riordan’s success can be further seen in how he has his own Disney-Hyperion imprint called “Rick Riordan Presents.” This was revealed in 2016, but Riordan was offered the opportunity well before that point. Initially, he declined because he didn’t think he could handle it given his already heavy workload. However, Riordan eventually went ahead with it under the premise of the imprint being a platform for other novelists to tell similar stories rather than a brand extension for him. Nowadays, the imprint is quite active, as shown by the numerous novels that have already been released and the numerous novels that are being planned for the foreseeable future.
Summed up, the source of Riordan’s current net worth isn’t exactly mysterious. His novels meant for adults were successes in their own right. However, Riordan’s Percy Jackson novels were what launched his writing career even further. This can be seen in the two movies that were made. Furthermore, this can be seen in the live-action series that is planned for Disney+, which is particularly impressive because the two movies were notorious in the fandom. Currently, Riordan is just in his mid 50s, so it seems safe to say that interested individuals will continue to see mythology-inspired novels as well as related products being released for a long time to come.