If you’ve been anywhere near a bookshop in the last couple of months, you’ll know that the latest installment of the Twilight saga, The Complete Twilight Saga Boxed Set, is perched on the bestseller list. It’s the perfect marriage of book and movie, with the former acting as a companion piece to the latter.
The young adult novel on which the films are based, Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer, has now sold over 110 million copies worldwide and been translated into over fifty languages. It’s the biggest-selling book of all time, and it’s only been on the bestseller list for a couple of months! While we wait for the next instalment of the Twilight series, here’s a look back at the bestselling novel that made the franchise a global phenomenon.
It’s fair to say that Stephanie Meyer is one of the world’s most influential figures when it comes to young adult fiction. Not only did Twilight become one of the biggest-selling and most popular series of all time, but her other novels have also spent extended periods on the bestseller list. (Think of the bestselling novels that are part of the Lunar Chronicles, the Dombey series, and the Deathless series.) It’s not just about the success, either. Meyer has been praised for her exceptional writing and storytelling skills and won several awards for her body of work. She was even named one of People magazine’s Most Influential Women in 2016.
Luminous, the prequel to Twilight, was released in May and became a real surprise bestseller. It was the first Stephanie Meyer book in many years that didn’t feature vampires or mythical creatures, and it received largely positive reviews from critics. It was also named one of BookPage’s best YA books of the year. Although it was overshadowed by the much-anticipated Twilight release, it’s still managed to rack up over 100,000 copies in print. (There are actually two versions of Luminous: the softcover edition and the limited edition with a signed bookplate by the author.)
A Room With A View
A Room With A View, the first book in the Tales of the Unexpected series, was another surprise bestseller this year, debuting at number two on the overall list but far from the worst performing of the bunch. The publisher revealed in March that over 500,000 copies of the novel had already been sold in the first two months of release. It was also the best-performing English-language book in 2018 based on downloads on the Apple Books app.
Wonderful Wishes, the first book in the Tuckshop Tales series, was actually released in 2017 but spent over a year on the bestseller list after its initial publication. The publisher, Walker, revealed in November that it had shifted over 500,000 copies in print, and fans of the author have been flocking to her work ever since.
The series, which is a spin-off of Meyer’s popular Twilight series, follows the fortunes of twelve-year-old Clementine, who after making some very strange and complicated wishes, suddenly finds herself in a fairy tale world. (Her latest book, The Galley Wall, is the final installment of the series and was released in March at number three on the overall list and in hardback format at number two on the Kindle Bestsellers list.)
Significant Others, the first book in the For the Women Only series, was another bestseller this year, not only on the list but also on the Kindle e-reader store. The book focuses on Sasha, a sixteen-year-old living in London who is struggling to find her footing in life. When she receives an invitation to a wedding in the country, she jumps at the chance to go, even if it means leaving Paul, the man she loves, behind. While there, she befriends a group of women whose influence she is drawn to, and she begins to see some hope for a more independent life. (The book was also made into a short-lived TV series earlier this year.)
More Perfect, an excellent short story by Meyer about a woman who seeks revenge on those who’ve wronged her, was released in March and spent only one week on the list before falling off.
Meyer’s 2017 book The Accident, about a twelve-year-old living in Brooklyn who stumbles upon a near-fatal accident involving a celebrity and is determined to find the person who killed him, was a New York Times bestseller (and Amazon Prime Bestseller) and was shortlisted for the prestigious 2016 Carnegie Medal. While some critics slammed the book for being ‘too dark for teenage readers’, it’s an exceptional piece of writing and the perfect example of what makes Meyer’s work so special. While The Accident is set for a sequel, Meyer has stated that she has no plans to write further instalments of the Twilight saga. Fans hope that this will not be the case, but only time will tell. (The sequel is entitled Twisted and will be published in April 2019.)
It’s been an incredible year for the Twilight series and its fans, with all four books reaching the number one spot on the overall list. Twilight, the first in the series, was released in 2010 and spent 284 weeks on the list. The second and third books in the series, New Moon and Eclipse, both became international bestsellers and were released in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and quickly became major items on the list. Finally, 2013’s The Breaking of Dawn, the conclusive installment of the saga and the last in print, spent an astonishing 485 weeks on the bestseller list. (It was also the only book in the series to achieve a perfect score on the BookPage reader survey, scoring 100% on appeal, information, and entertainment.)
All These Books
It’s been an incredible year for the entire Stephanie Meyer empire, with all four of her 2017 novels reaching the number one spot on the overall list. While the year began with a bang as the complete Twilight Saga set became the biggest-selling item in print last month, it was all down hill from there. (This was also the first year that Amazon did not feature the Twilight books on their bestsellers list, only revealing them at the top of the overall list.)
The complete set of novels spent only three weeks on the bestseller list in December, and it plummeted to number twenty-two the following month. A somewhat predictable slump was predicted by many fans, who had been waiting for the inevitable lull after such unprecedented success. But the novel still managed to sell over 55,000 copies in December and over 42,000 in November, proving that there’s still plenty of interest in this famously successful series. And who knows? Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a surprise number one hit in the new year.