Some online comics sales watchers — and we know there are a LOT of you — have wondered about why COUNTDOWN suddenly surged in the charts this month with the thirteenth issue. Spurge was wondering about it, and DC Sales Chart Vizier Marc-Oliver Frisch wrote in with a startling theory:
Countdown sales in August follow pretty much the same pattern as the sales of 52 a year ago: With the 13th issue, there’s a sudden 20 percent increase, for no apparent reason.
What’s been suggested to me, and what I think makes sense, is that it’s because the first twelve issues of each series were made returnable by DC (provided retailers ordered a specific amount, and at a 10 percent fee per returned copy, mind you), which made Diamond bump off a token 20 percent from the actual numbers for their charts.
In fairness, I’ve only heard it from one source. But it seems reliable, and I’m inclined to believe it, because it fits the numbers precisely.
What is that one source? Well, possibly it’s Marvel’s own communications guy, Jim McCann, who recently posted this on the Bendis board:
Countdown explination: This is the first month that the books were not returnable, so this is the first month you actually see the real Countdown numbers. When books are returnable, Diamond releases the numbers and takes a percentage off. So, these numbers didn’t go *up*, they just didn’t go down any more than the %-off numbers of the month before.
Am I making sense? (sorry, I can’t give what % they take off, but I can tell you it is in double digits…)