OKAY one more chart. Publishers Weekly has more information on the Bookscan bookstore sales numbers, with a breakdown by genre. As we reported last week, Graphic Novels were up, although according to this piece it was only 11%, not the 12% previously reported. Probably a rounding error, or possibly dollars. This chart does give overall sales showing a tad under 12 million units sold in 2016, up from 10.& million in 2015.
Print unit sales fell 1% in adult fiction in 2016, as a number of genres had double-digit declines. While most of the declining areas were those most affected by sales of e-books (such as romance and mystery), unit sales of classics fell 19%. In 2015, the classics genre benefited from the release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, which led to a surge in sales of her To Kill a Mockingbird. Offsetting the declines were a 12% unit sales increase general fiction—the largest fiction area—and an 11% gain in graphic novels.
This expanded chart shows that GNs were NOT the only category to go up, though. Horror and religion also had gains, but not as much as graphic novels, so roll out the triumphalism! Boo-ya! Who let the dogs out! We rock! etc etc etc
Despite Children’s GNs getting more BISAC codes, they didn’t break them down on this chart, sadly. Year over year sales in children’s graphic novels are something I much desire to see, so anyone who has Bookscan and knows how to run a report is free to leak that to me whenever they want.
Unit Sales by Category, 2015–2016 (in thousands)
|House & Home/Gardening||3,212||2,945||-8%|
|Total Adult Nonfiction||258,490||273,589||7%|
|Total Adult Fiction||141,993||140,221||-1%|
|Total Juvenile Nonfiction||54,735||55,456||1%|
|General Juvenile Fiction||49,315||48,913||-1%|
|Total Juvenile Fiction||171,605||178,043||4%|
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.