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How American Writer Harlan Coben’s Netflix Deal Contributes to his Rising Web Price

How American Writer Harlan Coben’s Netflix Deal Contributes to his Rising Web Price

A doyen of the written word with an uncanny knack for all things mystery, Harlan Coben’s thrilling career is one of incredible highs from awards and a fairytale family to a Netflix deal and an impressive net worth.

In the world of mystery thrillers, award-winning American author Harlan Coben is incomparable. The 62-year-old mastermind behind contemporary favourites like Fool Me Once, The Boy From The Woods, and Tell No One, Coben has garnered a reputation amongst mystery lovers for his excellent storytelling and compelling characters. His genius is substantiated in 35 exhilarating novels, the work of his illustrious career.

With over 80 million print copies sold in 46 different languages across the world, the wordsmith has more than cemented his place as one of the most decorated and best-known mystery authors of our time. From robust book sales to a multi-million-dollar contract with Netflix, Harlan Coben’s earnings and net worth inspire awe — and if his prolific 34-year career is to be believed, it is likely to continue growing.

Who is Harlan Coben?

Beyond the enigma enshrouded pages of his novels, Harlan Coben’s life is suffused with simplicity. Born into a Newark-based Jewish family on January 4 1962, Coben was raised in the town of Livingston, attending Livingston High School alongside his childhood friend and future governor, United States politician Chris Christie. In 1988, when Coben was 26 years old, his father Carl Gerald Coben passed away of a heart attack. Years later, he would also suffer the loss of his mother, Barbara Coben, who battled cancer and passed away aged 60.

Speaking to The New York Times in 2009, Coben expressed envy for the protagonist of his critically acclaimed Myron Bolitar series. Myron, for whom the series is named, differs from Coben in many ways. Yet as all fiction authors do, Coben finds inspiration in his own history, subtly etching the details of his past into the lives of his characters and bringing them to life with minutiae from the heart.

“I’m jealous of Myron because his parents are still alive,” Coben said. Like him, his fictional hero comes from a Jewish background, is a former basketball player, and hails from New Jersey.

harlan coben net worth family netflix
Harlan Coben was the proud recipient of the Honorary Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Global Literature, Arts and Entertainment’, presented to him by Prince Albert II of Monaco during the opening ceremony during the 62nd Monte Carlo TV Festival 2023 (Image: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

That, however, is the extent of their similarities. In the same interview, Coben joked that he would never write a memoir, owing to the boring (read: stable) nature of his personal life. Myron’s, however, is a whirlpool of elaborate intricacies and electrifying affairs, woven together into a suspenseful masterpiece that begs to be unravelled with the turning of each page.

“He’s the man I want to be. He’s funnier, faster, stronger, handsomer, more loyal,” Coben shared. “And the relationship Myron has with his parents is the relationship I imagine I would have had with mine had they lived longer.”

Coben first met his wife, Anne Armstrong, while he was a Political Science sophomore at Amherst College — from which he graduated alongside thriller novelist Dan Brown of The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and Inferno acclaim. He describes his relationship with Armstrong, who is a paediatrician, as a storybook marriage. “I found someone who liked me and held on tight,” he shared.

In contrast, he has jokingly described Myron’s love life as a disaster. Coben and his wife, meanwhile, share four children with whom they have a strong bond.

Coben’s novels, the Myron Bolitar series, and awards he has won

While Coben would come to the realisation that he wanted to write in his senior year of college, it wasn’t until much later that his first novel was published. Following his graduation in 1984, he worked in his grandfather’s travel business, Club ABC Tours, where his mother had also worked prior to her untimely death.

While there, Coben penned his first romantic suspense thriller Play Dead. It would become his first published novel, hitting shelves in June 1990. He quickly followed up with Miracle Cure, which was released just one year later in 1991.

From there, Coben went on to pen the series of thrillers for which he would gain a massive loyal following: the stories of Myron Bolitar, former basketball player turned sports agent with a propensity for falling into murder cases involving his clients. The first of the series, Deal Breaker debuted to critical acclaim, winning the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original in 1996 and earning a nomination for an Edgar Award. Coben’s winning streak would continue; one year later, his third Myron Bolitar book Fade Away won the 1997 Shamus Award and Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original.

The very next year in 1998, Coben’s next Myron Bolitar novel Back Spin would take home the Barry Award, as well as nominations for Dilys and Shamus Awards. Two years on in 2010, Coben was honoured with the crime fiction award, the RBA Prize for Crime Writing worth €125,000 (approx. USD 135,530) for Live Wire. This string of wins is proof positive of Coben’s mass appeal, alluding to sustained public interest in the genre.

Most notably, Coben is the first author to receive an Edgar Award, a Shamus Award, and an Anthony award, the honour firmly placing him and his work in the hall of mystery thriller greats.

Harlan Coben on his Netflix family connection

With the rising popularity of the mystery thriller genre, it was only a matter of time before Coben’s books would be adapted for the silver screen and television. In 2006, Tell No One was adapted by director Guillaume Canet for a French language film Ne le dis à personne. In 2015, No Second Chance served as the inspiration behind a French miniseries of the same name, with Just One Look enjoying the same treatment just two years later.

With his feet firmly planted in television, Coben went on to create a British crime drama show in 2016. Named The Five, the show premiered on the United Kingdom’s Sky 1 channel in April. Emboldened by his success, Coben continued to enrich his television experience, creating a French-British crime drama show Safe, which eventually premiered on Netflix on May 10 2018.

Harlan Coben’s working relationship with the Netflix family further developed in August of 2018, when he signed a multi-million-dollar contract with a five-year term. As per the deal, Coben granted Netflix the rights to 14 of his novels, which would be developed into original Netflix shows or movies. The deal also stated that Coben would serve as an executive producer (and sometimes writer) on all the projects, allowing the author creative control over his life’s work and how it would be portrayed to viewers. In October of 2022, the deal was further extended for another four years, with an addition that made possible the screen adaptation of Coben’s prized Myron Bolitar series.

To date, seven of Harlan Coben’s books have been adapted for Netflix, with another two announced shortly after the critical success of Fool Me OnceMissing You, which is slated to begin production shortly this spring, and Run Away to follow.

In the throes of his success, one thing remains of interest and of note: This author’s penchant for weaving intricate tales of mystery run in the family. Despite his best attempts at maintaining a professional distance from all family connections at work, Harlan Coben found himself thrust into the professional path of his eldest daughter, Charlotte, at Netflix.

As fate would have it, Harlan and Charlotte ended up working together on Stay Close and The Stranger, with the 29-year-old screenwriter also penning the script for the latter’s fifth episode.

She has also been credited as a writer for Fool Me Once and Amazon Prime’s 2023 miniseries Harlan Coben’s Shelter, thus marking her notch in the close-knit family’s incredible journey into the realm of mystery and television.

harlan coben net worth family netflix
Harlan Coben and his daughter Charlotte at the Launch of the Official Competition and The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair screening during the 1st Cannes International Series Festival in 2018. (Image: Dominique Charriau/WireImage)

Speaking to Express, Coben shared that the experience has opened his eyes to his daughter’s talent for storytelling. “That was something not that I wanted to do and kind of kept away from her but now on all the shows that I work on, I really rely on her,” He shared.

The net worth of Harlan Coben

Given the widespread success of his life’s work, it makes sense that Harlan Coben has amassed an incredible net worth to date. As of 2024, Celebrity Net Worth lists the net worth of Harlan Coben as USD 25 million, a figure that owes its enormity to the author’s critically acclaimed work across literature and television.

While no verified figure is available online to accurately reflect the payout Coben received for his Netflix deal, reports have suggested that the figure was in the ‘multi millions’. That, when paired with the money Coben would have received for his bestselling books, appropriately accounts for his notable wealth.

A low-key suburban dad, Coben uses his wealth to fund a comfortable, if simple lifestyle that he shares with his wife, their four children, and two shaggy Havanese dogs Winslow and Laszlo.

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Around 1998, the couple moved into a Victorian house in Ridgewood, where they have stayed since. The family, which Coben has described as perfectly fairytale, is close-knit, with all six of them frequently enjoying golf together. His wife Anne is a paediatrician, which no doubt contributes a significant portion to the couple’s combined net worth.

Considering the long held stability of Harlan Coben’s family life and the continued success of his Netflix shows, it can easily be surmised that his net worth will only continue to grow.

Watch Harlan Coben’s Netflix collection here.

(Main image: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images; featured image: Harlan Coben/Instagram)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– How much does Harlan Coben make?

With 35 novels published and over 80 million copies sold worldwide in 46 translations, Harlan Coben has amassed an impressive net worth. While his Netflix deal was for an undisclosed amount, his total net worth stands at USD 25 million as of 2024 — likely accumulated through book sales, book advances, and prize monies.

– How many books has Harlan Coben sold?

Harlan Coben has sold over 80 million copies of his books worldwide.

– Is Harlan Coben still married?

Yes, Harlan Coben and his wife, paediatrician Anne Armstrong-Coben are still married. The couple live in a Victorian house located in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Source: Prestige Online

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