Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper has achieved the title of being the UK’s top-selling graphic novel in record time.
The newest release in Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper series, aimed at LGBTQ+ young adults, has broken records as the fastest-selling graphic novel in the UK.
In the first three days after its release on December 7th, Heartstopper Volume 5 sold 60,012 copies. This book was the top-selling title of the week in the UK, surpassing all other categories such as adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction.
The Heartstopper series centers on the romantic journey of two made-up British high school students, Nick Nelson and Charlie Spring, and delves into themes of companionship, self-acceptance, and psychological well-being.
“I am utterly astonished by this news,” stated Oseman. “Heartstopper is a tale that holds immense significance for me, and for it to achieve such success is beyond my wildest dreams.”
“I am filled with hope to see Heartstopper, a story focused on joy, love, and queerness, being embraced by readers of all ages,” the author expressed. “I am sincerely grateful for the fans who have stood by me and the journey of Heartstopper. It is truly a remarkable experience.”
Oseman’s most recent publication outsold the second-ranked book, Pinch of Nom: Express, by approximately 15,000 copies in the charts. Additionally, the Heartstopper book achieved the status of being the best-selling children’s book in more than two years.
In September 2015, trade magazine the Bookseller reported that Joe Sugg, Amrit Birdi, and Matt Whyman set the previous launch-week record for adult and children’s graphic novels with their book “Username: Evie.” It sold almost 14,000 copies during its first week on sale.
Oseman’s Heartstopper novels have been transformed into a Netflix show, with the first two seasons already available and a third one in the works. The show received five Emmy awards in the children’s and family categories during its debut season.
Bea Carvalho, the head of books at Waterstones, believes that Oseman’s success is well-deserved. According to her, the author’s depiction of friendship and young love is universally relatable and uplifting, which has earned her a devoted following from both teenagers and adults.
She mentioned that it was wonderful to witness a significant increase in book sales due to the highly acclaimed and faithful television adaptation. After the first week of airing, there was a 220% rise in sales throughout the entire series.
Oseman ranks as the third highest-selling graphic novelist since Nielsen began keeping records in January 1998. She has sold copies worth £11.5m, following behind Alan Moore, the author of Watchmen and V for Vendetta, who has sold £13.1m, and Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, who has sold £15.2m.
The first four books in the Heartstopper series are currently the top-selling adult and children’s graphic novels of all time. In the UK, a total of 1.1 million copies of the five volumes have been sold since their initial publication.
According to Philip Stone, an employee at Nielsen BookData, the organization responsible for producing the book chart in the UK, there has been a significant increase in the sales of graphic novels in recent years. This is due to the growing interest in adaptations of these novels for both film and television. One such example is Heartstopper, which has gained worldwide success and received high praise from both critics and viewers. This has resulted in a surge in sales for the original source material.
The Heartstopper series began as a web comic on Tumblr and Tapas. Oseman started working on the series during her last year of studying English. She described it as a “strange hobby” in an interview with the Guardian last year. Oseman successfully raised funds through crowdfunding and Hachette Children’s Group released the first volume in 2019.
Hilary Murray Hill, CEO of Hachette Children’s Group, expressed immense pride in releasing the Heartstopper series, describing Oseman as a unique and exceptionally talented writer and illustrator.
“It has been a pleasure witnessing the graphic novels push boundaries and revolutionize the world of publishing. Achieving this milestone is a true testament to Alice’s exceptional talent,” she stated. “We understand the significance of teenagers seeing themselves and their experiences represented in the stories they consume.”
In April, Oseman revealed that the sixth installment of the Heartstopper series will be released, and she stated that this will be the last volume.
The popularity of Heartstopper has expanded worldwide, with over eight million copies sold in 37 languages and still growing. Readers of all ages have embraced this series, as noted by Hill. While originally aimed at teenagers, Heartstopper has gained a significant following among older readers as well, making it a story for all to enjoy.