Despite ongoing worries about periodical sales for comics, graphic novels seemed to do just fine in 2015, according to figures reported at Publishers Weekly. Graphic novels sales were up 22% with 10,591,000 copies sold, up from 8,669,000 in 2014.
Graphic novels trailed only classics and SF in pencentage gain among fiction categories. In nonfiction, art/architacture was up an amazing 60% due to the adult colloring book fad, which affected many categories.
Juvenile book categories don’t break out graphic novels separately unfortunately; it would be fascinating to see how this category has grown, but until BISAC breaks it out as its own category (something that is being actively campaigned for) we won’t know.
The numbers are based on Bookscan reporting, a flawed metric, but a consistent one. As a category graphic novels trail general fiction, mysteries, suspense and romance, as you’d expect, but the 10 million copy number is comparable to the combined sales for fantasy/SF which are broken out separately; it’s hard to deny the impact that comics have had on the book business, which has survived digital disruption in a remarkable fashion.
These numbers don’t report what the #1 selling GN in bookstores was. In comics shops it was Saga Volume 4.
|Total Adult Fiction||138,712||141,690||2%|
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.