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In publishing, LGTBQ book sales are booming and Adam Silvera’s “They Both Die in the End” is leading the charge.
In 2021, LGBTQ fiction titles doubled sales from the previous year, according to market research firm The NPD Group. So far in 2022, their sales have continued to grow by 39%.
“The continued strength of this topic across all areas of the market suggests that there is an opportunity for publishers to expand into these topics or cross-reference LGBTQ themes with other high-growth areas of the market,” Kristen McLean, book industry analyst for NPD said in a statement. “The growth of the young adult categories, in particular, reflects a generational shift towards a more open and inclusive attitude towards gender diversity and sexual orientation.”
The biggest gains were in YA fiction. Adam Silvera’s novel, “They Both Die in the End,” a USA TODAY bestseller, had the biggest gains, NPD said. The novel follows Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio, who become friends and form a strong bond on the day they meet, which is also the day they die. The book appeared on the list in February 2018 and remained on the list for 69 weeks.
Silvera himself was also influenced by YA books featuring LGBTQ characters. Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments” series introduced the author to literary diversity. It was “the first time I was exposed to a gay character in a fantasy novel or even any book, period. I didn’t even know we could write weird characters in books,” Silvera told USA TODAY in 2021. connection strings that are built between a player and a character.
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Another YA title that helped boost sales is Alice Oseman’s “Heartstopper” series. The series follows two teenagers, Nick and Charlie, who meet at a British high school, quickly become friends and fall in love. The series was also released as a teen drama TV series on Netflix this year.
Although not as huge, sales of adult fiction have also increased, led by USA TODAY bestsellers like TJ Klune’s “The House In The Cerulean Sea”; “One Last Stop,” by Casey McQuiston; and “On Earth, We Are Briefly Magnificent”, by Ocean Vuong.
“Like the diverse world it reflects, LGBTQ fiction is woven into all parts of the fictional landscape,” McLean said. “What was once considered a publishing niche is now becoming mainstream, with a number of titles topping national bestseller lists and books being shared among generations of readers. It is something to celebrate today and every day.