By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
‘This Tangible Recognition’
Close on the heels of Judith Kerr being named a Specsavers Platinum Bestseller Award winner for The Tiger Who Came to Tea. novelist Victoria Hislop has been given a quadruple accolade, being handed one platinum and three gold citations.
The certification is for her debut, The Island (Headline, 2005). The platinum honor is for a title that Nielsen Book’s research indicates has sold more than a million copies.
The gold citations, indicative of selling more than 500,000 copies each of these books, are for:
In a prepared statement for the media announcement, Headline managing director Mari Evans is quoted, saying, “Victoria is fast achieving national treasure status as a novelist. Her unique brand of storytelling, which is wholly immersive and so very evocative of place, has always resonated strongly with readers–and not only in the UK.
“Her domination of bestseller lists around the world means she’s beloved by millions. Victoria encourages the most creative approaches to publishing in the teams that work with her and as one of those team members, I couldn’t be more delighted to see this tangible recognition of her bestseller success.”
Speaking for Nielsen Book, managing director Andre Breedt is quoted, saying, “We’re delighted to be able to recognize great sales of any title, but to be able to recognize four bestselling titles from the same author is an amazing achievement. And with her latest novel, Cartes Postales from Greece, at the top of the charts at the moment, an award for Victoria’s fifth bestselling novel can’t be far away.”
Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins said, “Since her debut novel was first released, Victoria Hislop’s books have become synonymous with sandy beaches and salty air–the perfect holiday reads. It’s such a pleasure to see her huge achievements rewarded with the Specsavers Bestseller award–it’s very well deserved.”
Hislop’s first book, The Island, was inspired by her visit to a former leprosy colony in Greece and was made into a Greek television series. Her newest title, Cartes Postales from Greece (Headline, 2016), is illustrated with photographs and, as Breedt suggests, following the others in the charts. It has been a major seller in the UK as a hardback and the paperback edition, published last month, as become a Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller.
The Specsavers awards, a partnership with Nielsen Book, have recently been relaunched as a kind of parallel to the music industry’s album-sales certifications.
To date, only 68 authors and 111 titles have achieved Platinum status, Nielsen says, since tracking began almost 20 years ago.