Brian Hibbs talks about discoveries made due to the accuracy of his POS system, and discovered in four months, lots of graphic novels didn’t sell a single copy:

What kind of flat-out shocked me is that something approaching half of the trade paperbacks we carry have not sold a single copy since we’ve installed the system. Now, admittedly, I’ve been telling myself that my goal was “two turns a year” as a minimum for anything to stay on my rack, and we’ve only got four months of solid hard data (so, two months to go!), but I’m really starting to see just how big the anchor is that’s slowing us down. Come February, I’m probably going to get extremely ruthless about what to start cutting away before we drown in the sea of SKUs being unleashed upon us.

The main categories?

1) “indy” books that have neither any significant word-of-mouth, known or established creator, or clear and specific concept which “sells itself” to the customers.


2) Mainstream Superhero B-list-or-less material.

Hibbs has much more in the link about both these categories. See also: Johanna discusses Hibbs’ column and another store which gave up selling back issue comics.


  1. I’m not a retailer. What can a retailer do to promote the slow moving books he has in stock to help sell them?
    In answer, I hae visited some stores where the staff has posted cards next to cool-but-sleeper books, such as “Dave’s Fave”, “TCJ Top 10” etc.
    Sometimes, however, I visit a shop where it is little more than a catalog center. Preorder from Previews, check out the dozen titles on the rack, and that’s about it. Staff is not attentive.
    In those stores, I would presume that they are not working hard to build business.

  2. I used to be amazed at how you could take a book that had literally been collecting dust on the shelves, move it to a new part of the store and it would magically sell within a few days.