Perhaps the biggest thing to happen while we were away was this wholescale lid-ripping by Brian Hibbs who gets hold of the Bookscan graphic novelssales chart for all of 2007 and analyses the top 750 items. We’ve seen Dirk’s response, and a briefer analysis by Tom Spurgeon, but we’re still digesting the numbers and don’t want to rush our own findings.
In any event, Hibbs does the unthinkable and reveals actual sales numbers on a ton of books — we’ve seen numbers from time to time, but this is a wholescale rumble. We’ll have our own comments tomorrow but in the meantime, here’s the most quoted part of Hibbs’ piece:
Not one of the Minx titles makes the Top 750, nor does any CMX title except for Megatokyo, which is OEL. Looking deep into the Long Tail, Minx’s Plain Janes sells 3201 copies, none of the other four Minx titles even manages to crack a meager 800 copies sold in the bookstore environment. Aren’t those books specifically designed for the bookstores, and the customers that shop there?
There’s a lot of conventional wisdom that suggests that things like the Minx and Vertigo books sell oodles and oodles better in the bookstore market than the do in the DM, but I have to tell you, now that I’m looking at the “full” BookScan list, I can guarantee you that this is simply false. Now that I can see into the Long Tail, what I can tell you is that, while the bookstore market can (potentially) sell more copies of the “top” of the “bookstore-oriented” material, on anything else the DM beats them handily.
Here’s just one example: none of the three American Virgin trades charted more than 400 copies sold on BookScan; we can pretty definitively state that each of those three sold at least 2000 copies in the DM (because their first month, alone, sold-in more copies than that) Many many Vertigo titles are selling 3-5x as many copies in the DM, as they did through BookScan.
Discuss. Meet you back here tomorrow.
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