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Continuing our look at how the Comixology sales ranks relate to the Diamond print estimates, here’s how things looked last week.

The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 4/15) with the last issue we have print sales estimates for from the Comichron March chart.

The conventional wisdom that’s been handed down over the last few years is that the digital audience has more of less the same reading habits as the Direct Market Print audience.  I’ve had multiple publishers tell me that digital sales of new issues are roughly 10-15% of print sales and the titles more or less have the same proportional popularity in digital as in print.  Maybe a couple titles switch places on the sales ranking list, but largely the same.  The bestsellers on the newsstand were not always the same bestsellers as in the Direct Market, so it doesn’t seem like that should necessarily be the case with digital.  There will be a little bit of mismatch because these are more weekly than monthly ranks and it isn’t clear exactly how Comixology defines the reporting periods, but if you look at comics sales, you learn to live with the data available.

As was the case the last few weeks, the chart had a large number of Marvel $0.99 discounted digital trade paperback collections on it.  Not that this hasn’t been an odd stretch, but the $0.99 sale was taken offline after one day (as I type this, the sale is still live on Amazon, but who knows if it will be by the time you read this).  Several digital tpbs did chart, but lower than previous weeks.  We’ll start with the chart of just the new single issues and then look at the chart with the sale items in it.

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Comixology Rank Issue Previous Issue Print Sales Est. Previous Issue Diamond Rank
1 Detective Comics (2016-) Issue #978 50,556 21
2 Darth Vader (2017-) Issue #14 52,372 18
3 Injustice 2 (2017-) Issue #53 Digital First
4 The Flash (2016-) Issue #44 45,616 25
5 X-Men Red (2018-) Issue #3 49,084 22
6 Titans (2016-) Issue #22 29,674 60
7 Avengers (2016-) Issue #688 44,596 28
8 Wonder Woman (2016-) Issue #44 35,043 41
9 Domino (2018) Issue #1
10 The Immortal Men (2017-) Issue #1
11 Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps (2016-) Issue #42 28,291 68
12 Captain America (2017-) Issue #700 35,112 40
13 Exiles (2018-) Issue #1
14 X-Men Blue (2017-) Issue #25 32,045 48
15 Thanos (2016-) Issue #18 42,231 33
16 Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016-) Issue #21 20,214 107
17 Star Wars: Thrawn (2018) Issue #3 (of 6) 37,304 36
18 Doctor Strange (2015-) Issue #388 25,918 76
19 Champions (2016-) Issue #19 17,840 119
20 Trinity (2016-) Issue #21 22,690 96

None of the giant books shipped last week, so the top dog is Detective Comics.  Of slight interest is that it ranks ahead of Darth VaderVader ordered into the DM slightly higher and this is where we do the usual head scratching about whether the Bat-title sells a little better as a digital title or the Star Wars title is a little slower.  It’s a frequent question at the top of the chart.

Injustice is about where you’d expect it.  Flash and X-Men Red have flipped spots, relative to print, but that could just be the process of retailers finding the level for Red, it’s a noticeable difference but not alarming.  Titans, however, is way up the chart.  It’s been trending up in digital lately, but it isn’t clear to me exactly why.  Feel free to drop possible reasons in the comment section.

Slots 8-14 on the chart are all titles in the 32K-35K range on the print chart and they’re clustered more or less where you’d expect them to be.  Captain America‘s anniversary issue was doubtless ordered higher in print, but seems to be selling in digital like a typical issue.  Hal Jordan continues to be up a little in digital – maybe it wasn’t just the Zod storyline boosting readers or maybe that brought them in and they’re sampling the next arc?  Three new titles debuted in there: Domino, The Immortal Men and Exiles.  Seems like about what you’d expect from Immortal Men and Exiles, but perhaps a tad higher for Domino.  Could be the Simone fanbase in action, too.

Thanos appears to be charting a bit lower, relative to printwhich we’ve seen the last couple issues.  Red Hood is significantly up in digital, but that’s normal.  Thrawn is lower and Champions is, as usual, a bit higher.

Of all this, the rise of Titans is the real news.  The #1s are selling all right for debut issues, but nothing to really make you sit up and take notice.  We’ll see where they are by issue #3.

And then there’s the chart with those $0.99 Marvel tpbs in it.

Comixology Rank Issue Previous Issue Print Sales Est. Previous Issue Diamond Rank
1 Detective Comics (2016-) Issue #978 50,556 21
2 Darth Vader (2017-) Issue #14 52,372 18
3 Injustice 2 (2017-) Issue #53 Digital First
4 The Flash (2016-) Issue #44 45,616 25
5 X-Men Red (2018-) Issue #3 49,084 22
6 Avengers Epic Collection: The Avengers/Defenders War
7 Titans (2016-) Issue #22 29,674 60
8 Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan
9 Avengers (2016-) Issue #688 44,596 28
10 Wonder Woman (2016-) Issue #44 35,043 41
11 Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 2: Most Wanted
12 Domino (2018) Issue #1
13 The Immortal Men (2017-) Issue #1
14 Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps (2016-) Issue #42 28,291 68
15 Captain America (2017-) Issue #700 35,112 40
16 Exiles (2018-) Issue #1
17 Avengers Masterworks Vol. 18
18 X-Men Blue (2017-) Issue #25 32,045 48
19 Thanos (2016-) Issue #18 42,231 33
20 Jean Grey Vol. 2: Final Fight

This is a more than a little goofy because those discount tpbs were really only up for about a day.  But they sold a lot that day and one gets the impression a pretty big chunk of digital comics sales occurs on Wednesdays.

As of Sunday night, the Epic Collection of the early Englehart Avengers run and Deadpool Vs. Old Man Logan were selling like the monthlies in the roughly 42K-46K range (pending actual order estimates).  So the inclination is to say they were in the vicinity of 4200-4600 downloads, but that might be high because of the short availability window.  Or they might have been on a higher pace and the chart adjusted for days they weren’t being ordered heavy.  It’s hard to say.

The second volume of Peter Parker is ranked in the middle of comics that appear to have print circulations around 35K, so 3500 is the baseline for downloads at first glance.  Avengers Masterworks is a bit lower, perhaps 3200 downloads.  Jean Grey probably more like 2500-3000 downloads based on the books around it.

None of the sale books chart nearly as high this week and I take this as a sign that the charts were accounting for what was effectively a one day sale.  The next question being are these 99¢ sales really over?

Want to learn more about how comics publishing and digital comics work?  Try Todd’s book, Economics of Digital Comics

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Titans (like Trinity and Red Hood & the Outlaws, also on the chart) is a book DC sells for $2.99 on Comixology, while presenting the book for $3.99 with a free download code in print. It’s possible that the $1 discount is making a difference. It’s also possible that the free downloads are being counted as sales.

  2. I agree the $1 digital discount on those DC monthly titles might be enough to add a few “extra” thousand digital readers compared with print readers. Titans might get an extra percentage bump because of its younger reader focus.

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