Saturday 7 December 2019

Author John Boyne earns stripes in 'Millionaires Club'

Author John Boyne
Author John Boyne

John Spain Books Editor

JOHN Boyne, author of 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas', has joined the British book trade's "Millionaires Club".

The prestigious group is made up of authors who have sold over one million of one of their books in the UK and Ireland.

Figures just released by the 'Bookseller' magazine show that Mr Boyne was one of three authors who joined the exclusive group recently.

The other two were Joanne Harris for 'Chocolat' and Jodi Picoult for 'My Sister's Keeper'. They joined authors such as JK Rowling in the club which is based on official Nielsen sales records since 1998.

John Boyne's 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' reached sales in seven figures at the end of March, making him only the second Irish novelist, after Cecelia Ahern, to become a member of the Millionaires Club. 'Chocolat' achieved the feat in January and 'My Sister's Keeper' passed the million mark in February.

In total, a combined £16.7m (€21m) has been spent in the UK and Ireland on over three million copies of the three novels, all of which have been boosted by film adaptations.

'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' sold 438,000 copies in the UK and Ireland in 2008, the year its film adaptation was released.

The book has also been a world-wide bestseller, boosted by the movie, with international sales now somewhere between five and six million copies. At the normal level of author royalties, this means that John Boyne's earnings from the book and film rights are probably well in excess of €2m.

Mr Boyne's short novel explores the horror of a World War Two extermination camp through the eyes of two eight-year-old boys; one, the son of the camp's Nazi commandant, the other a Jewish inmate. Mr Boyne wrote the book in a few weeks.

Random House Children's Publishing MD Philippa Dickinson said this week: "'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' has touched readers of all ages all over the world. We're delighted that it has now reached this significant milestone.

"John Boyne is a wonderful storyteller, and we look forward to his latest book, 'The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket', which will be out on August 2."

Irish Independent

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