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I’ve heard separately from several people in the book world that Barnes & Noble has confirmed that they will be adding a standalone kids graphic novel section to their stores in the near future.

Graphic novels have long had their own section, but the comics sections of B&N’s got much bigger in the Aughts. But kids comics have traditionally been shelved along with regular children’s books, making them harder to find for kids who are specifically looking for them. Publishers have been pushing for a kids GN section in B&N for years but I’m told there was internal resistance for a long time.

The recent explosive growth in the sales of kids graphic novels has made the new section a much more viable idea. You can see the numbers for yourself in our annual Bookscan report. Books-a-Million, the other book chain left in the US, also has a separate section for kids GNs.

The B&N section will only include middle grade GN for now – firmly in the Raina Telgemeier/Dav Pilkey sweet spot. However, a YA graphic novel section is also being considered.

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This is potentially huge news. Kids GNs have been one of the fastest growing segments in publishing for a while now, and getting this kind of visibility will only help readers find more books. Also, remember when I told you that kids GNs getting more BISAC codes was a big deal? This is part of that as well.

The next time someone tells you comics are dying, please send them a link to this story.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Growing and training The Next Generation of Comics Readers
    – begins at the most basic level which unfortunately most comic book stores have yet to have enter their consciousness. The past 18 years comic book store owner types have been erroneously trained to be more concerned over tiny spine bends in order to seek CGC 9.8 NM plastic slab coffins in order to price gouge “investments” in funny books.

    Geppis Baltimore Diamond Distributors take note. Comic book stores are not “club houses” as one has to reach out to the “civilian” population to grow one’s cash flow business. The School of Hard Knocks taught some ofus that back in the 1970s coming in to the 1980s.

  2. I think this is important. Comics are being experienced by the next generations as complete books on a shelf at the library, book fair or store. Kids are being raised in an on-demand/binge watch type of culture for media. Experiencing stories through installments over the course of many many months is becoming less relevant. Mainstream culture doesn’t consume media or stories that way anymore and its important to adapt to that change or be left behind as a niche hobby with a dwindling user base.

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