E.L. James Net Worth: E.L. James, also known as Erika Leonard is the author of the smash hit Fifty Shades books series who has a net worth $80 million dollars. E.L. James currently lives in West London with her family. She became internationally known, after e-publishing what became a bestselling online trilogy. "Fifty Shades of Grey", the first book in the trilogy, has since been published by Vintage Books, and has also become a bestseller. The series was originally a set of fan fiction posts based on the characters in "Twilight", but Ms. James (Leonard) ended up removing the posts, as other fan fiction authors complained about the amount of sex in her stories. The series has become both popular and controversial due to its explicit sex scenes and its depiction of the BDSM lifestyle. While public reception has been almost uniformly positive, the series has met with very mixed reviews from critics. Universal Pictures and Focus Features recently optioned the books for film adaptation. In 2013 alone, E.L. James earned just over $50 million from the success of her books and sale of movie rights.