Home Comics Kids' comics Revealed! Inside the hottest market for graphic novels!

Revealed! Inside the hottest market for graphic novels!

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There’s been a lot of talk about Scholastic Book Fairs as a key market for kids graphic novels, but as The Beat does not have access to a child, this vital market remains known only through rumor and legend. We do know that Marvel has been selling in there with books like Squirrel Girl and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur; Raina Telgemeier rules supreme; and even Dynamite has been selling Grumpy Cat there.

While the books are sold at a steep discount to youngsters with modest allowances, and publisher get less than they would through the Dm or bookstores, it’s the volume that makes up for it: sales in the hundreds of thousands are common.

The fairs are organized by Scholastic and held at schools around the country. There are three types, according to the website:

  • Preschool Fairs – Fun, interactive, beautifully designed books every child will love; full of beginning concepts and memorable characters.
  • Elementary School Fairs – A wide range of titles for every level and interest. Favorite series and authors will get kids excited about reading. We also offer a Fair type to suit the needs of a K–8 school.
  • Middle School Fairs – Popular, age-appropriate titles to engage older readers. Relevant topics and current, relatable issues will attract even reluctant readers.

In the above tweet by educator Tracy Edmunds, finally we can see just what the fuss is about.Tracy was kind enough to provide larger versions of the photos.  I’ve taken the liberty of drawing big red arrows because it is fun. That Grumpy Cat book is not the Dynamite version (I don’t think) but you get the idea.

 

 

 

Kids apparently like comics! And publishers are trying to get into this market, as recent announcements of kids line by just about everyone have revealed. It’s lucrative and helps build future readers. It’s also where kids get a taste for comics in a book format, as opposed to periodicals.

Has anyone else perused one of these secret comics spawning book fairs? Send photos and more evidence!

9 COMMENTS

  1. This is the only comics market that’s relevant anymore. All the talk about increased sales? This is where it’s at. It’s certainly not the direct market and comic stores.

  2. I didn’t have space in my library to do a separate Graphic Novels section for my book fair – they ended up on top of the book cases with as many displayed face-out in book holders as I could manage. This is actually the first book fair in my ten years of running them for my school that we received so many titles, and it was great! My students love these books; they borrow them like crazy, and some of them actually purchased some from the book fair. In addition to the gns, cartoonist Kate Beaton’s The Princess and the Pony picture book sold like crazy; I sold out of this title twice in 3 1/2 days. If my second restock order had shown up on time, I could have sold all of those copies, too. Scholastic was actually smart with Ghosts and sent extra copies in the fair, so I didn’t sell out – although I sold a lot of copies.

  3. I always look forward to attending my kids Scholastic Book Fairs. Not only do you find great GNs and reprints but at bargain prices plus your money also supports the school! Bonus! The displays are always nice and clean and the people that run them are well informed.

  4. These are all available as part of the Scholastic order sheet that the schools pass out to students every month. A week later they receive the shipment in the class room.

    My daughter is in 4th grade and ordered a The Amazing World of Gumball GN just yesterday.

  5. “All the talk about increased sales? This is where it’s at. It’s certainly not the direct market and comic stores.”

    Scholastic Book Fair sales are not reported *anywhere*, in *any* fashion. When JJ Miller calculates that Comics are now a Billion dollar market, that includes ZERO dollars from the SBF.

    -B

  6. I love the idea of having work shown and evidently sold in book fairs! I always as a child looked forward to them! This was one of the first places that helped with my interest in reading! I think that it would be an absolute honor to see a title being beloved by so many young readers or one child, like I was who takes a risk on your title and is bettered someway by the reading. I think the sales talk is one thing, but the audience connection and experience is something entirely different. I do believe that there is a middle ground somewhere, we just have to find or create it! I mean golly at our heart we are creators!

  7. Regarding this: “While the books are sold at a steep discount to youngsters with modest allowances,..”

    Is that generally true? It’s been a long while since I’ve been associated with any kid whose school participated in a Scholastic Book Fair event, but my recollection is that most of the books sold to kids were sold at normal cover price or modest discount from cover price. Am I misremembering?

    I mean, I understand that publishers sell books to Scholastic Book Fairs at a steep discount compared to normal trade terms (and that the Fairs may offer some deeply discounted books here and there) but as a general rule, does that discount get “passed along” to the individual kid buyer?

    Or put another way…I can expect buy Raina Telgemeier’s GHOSTS tpb for its $10.99 cover price at any number of (non-discounting) bookstores. How much will a kid likely pay for it from a Scholastic Book Fair?

  8. “Tommy Raiko says
    Or put another way…I can expect buy Raina Telgemeier’s GHOSTS tpb for its $10.99 cover price at any number of (non-discounting) bookstores. How much will a kid likely pay for it from a Scholastic Book Fair?”

    As part of the monthly order form that my daughter brings home every month(which is Scholastic but not the in school book fair), the GHOSTS tpb is $8.00.

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