Thursday 4 August 2022 10:07 PM ALISON BOSHOFF: Watch out, JK Rowling! Here comes £60m author Alice Oseman trends now

Thursday 4 August 2022 10:07 PM ALISON BOSHOFF: Watch out, JK Rowling! Here comes £60m author Alice Oseman trends now
Thursday 4 August 2022 10:07 PM ALISON BOSHOFF: Watch out, JK Rowling! Here comes £60m author Alice Oseman trends now

Thursday 4 August 2022 10:07 PM ALISON BOSHOFF: Watch out, JK Rowling! Here comes £60m author Alice Oseman trends now

Forget J.K. Rowling, Sally Rooney and David Walliams, there is a new publishing phenomenon in town.

Alice Oseman, 27, has sold nearly a million pounds worth of books every month — and is on course to pocket £60 million globally — in 2022 alone.

The secret to the author’s staggering success? The Heartstopper series, which started life as a crowd-funded, self-published graphic novel for teens, about a shy 15-year-old boy called Charlie who falls in love with a rugby- playing lad in his class called Nick.

The books were already a big hit with young adults but, after being adapted for TV by Netflix, have gone from cult status to global brand.

Alice Oseman, 27, has sold nearly a million pounds worth of books every month — and is on course to pocket £60 million globally — in 2022 alone.

Alice Oseman, 27, has sold nearly a million pounds worth of books every month — and is on course to pocket £60 million globally — in 2022 alone.

The Netflix show, simply called Heartstopper, launched in April, and stars a clutch of teenagers, most of whom are in their first acting jobs.

Despite this, it has made it to the streaming giant’s Top 10 in more than 50 countries and two more series have been commissioned, with the second going into production later this year. Unusually, Oseman adapted her own novels for the screen.

Oscar-winner Olivia Colman plays the screen mum of Nick (Kit Connor, who has just signed with the A-list talent agency WME). TikTok star Yasmin Finney — Doctor Who’s new companion — is also in the cast.

Buoyed by the show, sales of the graphic novels (and even the colouring book) have gone through the roof. The Heartstopper series alone has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide and is a Top 10 bestseller in 10 markets including the U.S. — with publishing rights secured in 33 countries to date.

In the UK, Oseman titles netted £5.5 million from January to June. That puts her ahead of David Walliams (£4.7 million), J.K. Rowling (£3.8 million), Lee Child (£2.1 million) and Sally Rooney (£1.3 million).

She looks set to earn more than £10 million domestically; and the popularity abroad, particularly in America, suggests she could make as much as £60 million worldwide.

The Netflix show, simply called Heartstopper, launched in April, and stars a clutch of teenagers, most of whom are in their first acting jobs

The Netflix show, simply called Heartstopper, launched in April, and stars a clutch of teenagers, most of whom are in their first acting jobs

Critics rave about the wholesome and emotional impact of the uplifting books, which tell the story of sweet, awkward first love and are set in a school modelled on Rochester Grammar, which the author attended.

Oseman wrote the first of the series in 2016, though its heroes Charlie and Nick appeared in an earlier book, Solitaire (which earned her a publishing deal at 17 and drew comparisons with The Catcher In The Rye).

Charlie has already come out as gay, but is enduring homophobia.

Oseman said: ‘I do believe things have improved, even since I started writing Heartstopper; but definitely since I was in school myself. There’s still a lot of homophobia, transphobia, and bullying out there, though; so I’m sure some people will relate.’

Critics rave about the wholesome and emotional impact of the uplifting books, which tell the story of sweet, awkward first love and are set in a school modelled on Rochester Grammar, which the author attended

Critics rave about the wholesome and emotional impact of the uplifting books, which tell the story of sweet, awkward first love and are set in a school modelled on Rochester Grammar, which the author attended

Heartstopper started out as a free- to-read webcomic in 2016. In 2017, she crowd-funded a self-published edition, raising £58,000 and mailed the first 2,000 books out herself. Her books are now published by Hachette and HarperCollins.

In 2020, Oseman released novel Loveless, about sexual identity. She told an interviewer: ‘It explores asexuality and aromanticism — which is what I am. I’m an asexual aromantic. It was kind of a coming-out journey, a deep dive into something that had affected me throughout my life.’

She is believed to have completed the Heartstopper series — eight books — and is considering moving on from teen fiction to the adult market.

Why Lesley prefers rags to riches...

Lesley Manville says it was easier playing Ada, a cleaning woman, than portraying Princess Margaret in The Crown.

Manville takes the title role in the heartwarming film Mrs Harris Goes To Paris, an adaptation of the beloved 1958 Paul Gallico novel.

Manville, 66, said: ‘It is in my bones. That was the life I knew, because I had working-class parents. It’s been more of a stretch when I’m playing someone like Princess Margaret, because I had no knowledge of that life.’

The film, out here next month, tells the story of widowed Ada, a hard-working housekeeper who decides she wants to spend her life savings on a Dior dress, after seeing one being worn by a wealthy client.

She scrimps and saves (and gambles at the dog track) to raise enough money and finally arrives at Dior’s Avenue Montaigne headquarters, where she charms everyone.

Lesley Manville says it was easier playing Ada, a cleaning woman, than portraying Princess Margaret in The Crown

Lesley Manville says it was easier playing Ada, a cleaning woman, than portraying Princess Margaret in The Crown

The fairy tale is complete when she moves to Paris and starts making some changes — for the better — at the fashion house.

Manville reflects: ‘I didn’t know the book at all. It came to me as an offer, so it was nice to read it, knowing it was mine if I wanted it.’

Manville got on so well with co-star Isabelle Huppert that the pair are now thinking about doing a play together. Manville said: ‘She’s got such style, which appeals to me, because we both love clothes.’

She admitted she ad-libbed various lines in the film, including exclaiming ‘Gordon Bennett!’ and observing that things had gone

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