Can comics become legitimate bestsellers, the Beat’s own John Shableski has been asking in a series of publishing procedurals. But in truth…comics already ARE legit best sellers!
Every week Publishers Weekly runs bestseller lists based on BookScan’s charts, with actual numbers. And there are graphic novels already on the charts.
This week, for instance, Chris Ware’s BUILDING STORIES weighs in at #22 on the Top Hardcover Fiction list, with more than 9,000 copies sold to date.
More expectedly, Matthew Inman’s HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CAT IS PLOTTING TO KILL YOU has enjoyed a lengthy run with more than 28,000 copies sold to date. This week it’s at #17, down from #11. The Oatmel is the Garfield of today.
Rolling back the clock a bit, on the week of October 29th, THE WALKING DEAD COMPENDIUM VOLUME 2 hit the trade paper list at #21, with more than 12,000 copies sold to date.
And that same week, the kids list had two bestselling graphic novels—not counting WIMPY KID and DORK DIARIES, which are juggernauts all on their own. Lincoln Pierce’s BIG NATE MAKES THE GRADE and Raina Telegemeier’s DRAMA both made the chart. BIG NATE has sold more than 37,000 copies and DRAMA more than 14,000.
All these numbers are all most certainly less than the books have actually sold — BookScan is anywhere from 50-75% of actual sales. And for the kids books, the sales numbers are WAY higher due to book fairs.
Also, every book on the list is creator-owned. Just sayin’.
Okay we took a dip — Torsten, it’s all yours.
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.