It’s time to take a look at the sales distribution charts of Image and the other independent publishers for August.
Standard disclaimers: The numbers are based on the Diamond sales charts as estimated by the very reliable John Jackson Miller. These charts are pretty accurate for U.S. Direct Market sales with the following caveats: 1) you can add ~10% for UK sales, which are not reflected in these charts; 2) everyone’s best guess is you can add ~10% for digital sale – while some titles do sell significantly better in digital (*cough* Ms. Marvel *cough*), that’s the average rule of thumb; 3) it’s not going to include reorders from subsequent months, although reorders will show up in subsequent months if they’re high enough. So if you’re a monster seller in Southampton and the it took the US audience 3 weeks to reorder, it’s probably not going to be reflected here.
What’s a sales band? It’s another way to have a higher level view of the market. The general idea is to divide the market into bands of 10K copies sold and see how many issues are in each band. How many issues sold between 90-99K copies, 80-89K copies, etc. etc. In very broad terms, the market is healthier when there are several titles selling in the 70K-100K+ range because titles that move a lot of copies give the retailers some margin of error on their ordering. When you see titles selling in the 20-29K band and especially below, there’s a pretty good chance a lot of retailers aren’t ordering those titles for the shelf (pull box/pre-order only) or minimal shelf copies at best.
For the purposes of these sales band charts, we really are looking for titles that are selling 10K and over, so only publishers with an issue that topped 10K will be listed here. There are also going to be plenty of titles/issues that didn’t make the chart, which generally means they sold under ~4435 in July, but some lower selling titles are reported and that’s not a hard and fast rule. The sad fact is, most independent comics sell under 10K and it’s when they cross that line that they really start getting noticed.
Kind of a slower month for Image, in terms of books selling 20K+, but not everything ships every month at Image. Walking Dead is still up there with the big kids with an estimate ~65.8K, outselling all of Marvel’s ongoing titles except Star Wars.
Also a slow month at the top for the rest of the indie world. Only two of the indie issues broke the 20K barrier in August: Titan’s Robotech #1 at ~26.8K and Dark Horse’s Neil Gaiman’s American Gods Shadow #6 at ~22.1K. Please note that American Gods is still selling over 20K with the 6th issue. Outside of Image, you don’t see very many indie comics selling over 20K if they’re not a #1.
Highest selling creator owned comic outside of Image? Depending on how you view Eastman’s arrangement after selling the poperty: TMNT #73 with ~13.5K. Otherwise Joe “if you want a job done right” Benitez’s Lady Mechanika Clockwork Assassin #1 at ~12.4K.
What does it look like when you put Image sales on the same chart with the rest of the independents?
Image puts out a lot of titles these days and a good chunk of them are well over 10K.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.