The newest volume in Alice Oseman’s powerhouse LGBTQIA+ graphic novel series Heartstopper broke a British record in its first week of sale – becoming the UK’s fastest selling graphic novel ever with the release of its fifth book on December 7, 2023. This feat was achieved in a mere three days. The series is published by Hodder Children’s Books in the UK and Graphix in the US (December 19, 2023).


According to  The Bookseller, within three days Heartstopper vol 5 had sold 60,012 copies – making it the highest selling book across all categories that week (roughly 15,000 more copies than Kate & Kay Allinson cookbook Pinch of Nom Express, published by Bluebird). By a whopping 300%, Heartstopper vol 5 had smashed the existing record set in September 2015 by the UK’s last highest selling graphic novel – Joe Sugg, Amrit Birdi and Matt Whyman for Username: Evie (Hodder & Stoughton), which sold almost 14,000 copies in its first week. 

Talking about this milestone in a Guardian article, Oseman said:

“I am completely blown away by the news. Heartstopper is a story I care so much about and for it to break records is something I could never even have imagined.


Heartstopper is a story that centres joy, love and queerness, and to see it embraced in this way by so many readers, young and old, gives me a real sense of hope. I am extremely grateful to all the fans who have supported me and the Heartstopper journey, it all feels incredibly special.”

The LGBTQIA+ graphic novel series of boy-meets-boy had already been a consistently strong seller based on word of mouth and social media. Its growth was turbo-charged by the 2022 release of the Netflix series – driving sales up in the UK by over 200% in 2023 alone, following the conclusion of its second season – and turning it into an international phenomenon. A third season of the show is currently in production. Volume 5 is the penultimate book in the beloved series, which is also serialised on Webtoon and Tapas, with the final volume expected sometime in 2024.

According to Nielsen BookData – which has been tracking UK book sales since January 1998 – Alice Oseman stands as the third highest selling graphic novel author, having sold £11.5 million ($14.65 million) worth of copies, behind the work of comics writers Robert Kirkman (£15.2 million/$19.36 million) and Alan Moore (£13.1 million/$16.68 million). This would arguably place Oseman as the highest selling solo graphic novel author in the UK.

In August 2023, a Guardian editorial had said about the series:

“Though many people above a certain age may be unaware of it, Heartstopper is a cultural powerhouse. Popularised through social media channels, it helped to keep bookshops afloat through, and after, the pandemic, while spreading a feelgood spirit among its young, multimedia-savvy, readers, to whom it has sold 8m copies. Whether it would have become so huge in happier times is a moot point. But the phenomenon casts a revealing light on rapidly changing relationships both in the real world and in the interlinked media industries that represent it.”