Bookscan 2013: kids and zombies ruled the charts

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It’s that time of year! SF retailer Brian Hibbs has released his annual analysis of the Bookscan 2013 sales charts. This chart is subscriber only, so technically this is a leak, so if you want to download your own version of the top selling 750 graphic novels of the year, go here.

Now, as we all know, Bookscan IS NOT 100% of GN sales, even in bookstores. The numbers do not includes comics shop sales, and are billed as 85% of books sold in regular bookstore outlets. While Walmart has been added to the outlets reporting, I’d hazard a guess that those numbers are still low, as they do not include library sales, book clubs and so on.

However, as I always say, these numbers do provide a metric. These are the books that sold in the stores that report to Bookscan, and while they should not be taken as final totals, they do provide a glimpse.

DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: December 2013 — The Caped Crusader towers at the top

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The month of December was dripping with excitement at DC Comics, as the publisher’s comic-book line shivered on the brink of a new year of bold opportunities and potential tours de force. DC’s œuvre held strong and even grew slightly in total unit sales versus November, as the publisher thrust into an already booming direct market with stiff opposition its new DC Universe title JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000.

The Vertigo imprint, alas, which added DEAD BOY DETECTIVES to its arousing line-up in December, continued its refractory period in-between new issues of THE SANDMAN, the second and next of which shall find release no sooner than February.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: December 2013

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By Paul O’Brien

[Editor's Note: As noted this is Paul's last column for now. He's been an incredible collaborator and commentator, and I think we all owe him a big round of applause! And yes I know these are late -- we'll have the new guys in place VERY shortly! Thanks again, Paul.]

And so the end of an era is upon us. No, I do not speak of the latest cancellation of DEFENDERS, nor even of the final OZ miniseries. As Heidi explained a little while back, this will be my final sales column, after over a decade of writing these things. Good luck to whoever takes over for this; I’ll be reading with interest, and with a sense of relief that I didn’t have to do the number crunching.

So. One last time!

December sees a barrage of Inhumanity tie-ins, all building to the launch of the new series that’s since been delayed. We also have the start of ORIGIN II, and the first of the Marvel Now Wave 2 titles.

As per usual, Marvel had the largest share of the North American direct market, leading DC by 37% to 31% in unit terms, and 35% to 28% in dollars.

Thanks as always to ICV2.com for permission to use these figures.

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12/13  Origin II #1 of 5 - 131,724

Books set in the past and with no direct impact on present day continuity generally seem to be a tough sell. But ORIGIN II is the top seller of the month, presumably because Marvel have successfully portrayed it as an event – in the sense of a book fans will be talking about.

New titles top the Amazon Graphic Novel Best Sellers list!

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About a month ago I took a “Snapshot” look at the best selling Amazon graphic novels. I look at this list every night about the same time, and it’s usually pretty similar to the list I published in January. However tonight, MANY CHANGES, and the usual backlist perennials are not in the top ten. Just […]

Comics sales droop in January

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January was the cruelest month for comics sales, as the ICv2 headline starkly puts it: Only One Comic Above 100K. The one book was Batman #27 which sold 115,492 copies, according to ICv2. The site noes, perhaps ominously, that the last time we had a month with only one book over 100K copies was August […]

Indie Month-to-Month Sales November 2013 — The Usual Suspects

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After an unusual couple of months things are pretty much back to normal this month, with the usual suspects of Walking Dead, Saga, Star Wars and My Little Pony joined by a few new Image titles and Valiant’s best-seller yet. At the bottom end of the charts we finally see a few titles returning, although possibly quite briefly in some cases.

150 indie titles charted in the top 300, up on last month’s 135. The indie chart sold approximately 1,820,321 comics, a bit down on last month’s 2,031,509. That’s all due to the increased numbers that Walking Dead added last month. It also means that the average sales this month are 12,153, down on last month’s 15,048. Out of the 150 books, only 20 went up in sales and 112 went down, with the rest made up of one-shots and debuts.

Help Wanted, Sales Chart Wrangler — UPDATE

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UPDATE: Folks I have a bunch of fantastic candidates for this position, so no more resumes please.

DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: November 2013 – The Final Countdown

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November was more of the same for DC, basically, with the “Forever Evil” and “Zero Year” crossovers rolling on, along with a couple of smaller ones. Oh, and Harley Quinn debuted.

SNAPSHOT: What are the best selling graphic novels?

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Everyone knows you can check out a “rolling” best-seller list on Amazon in any category—including comics and graphic novels— any time you want. But did you know you can make a feed of it? If you use such things as feeds, that is. Anyway I made a little widget and check it every day or […]

Who Sold What?: New York Times Graphic Novel Bestsellers 2013

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It’s a new year, and what better time to take a look back at what happened in 2013? Regular readers of The Beat know me as the comic BOOK guy.  I’m a bookseller, a librarian, a comics evangelist, and, yes, a seeker of the esoteric.  So that means while people (and websites) cover the comics […]

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: November 2013 — Event season rolls on

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Event season rolled on in November, as INFINITY reached its climax, while the Ultimate imprint’s CATACLYSM got under way. Meanwhile, ASTONISHING X-MEN was relaunched as AMAZING X-MEN, and the MARVEL KNIGHTS X-MEN and LONGSHOT SAVES THE MARVEL UNIVERSE minis kick off.

Though DC had four books in the top five – BATMAN, HARLEY QUINN, SUPERMAN UNCHAINED and FOREVER EVIL – Marvel still edged them in their share of the North American direct market, leading by 34% to 32% in unit terms, and 30% to 29% in dollars. As has already been pointed out on The Beat, this means Marvel and DC’s combined dollar share dips below 60% – something that hasn’t happened in a decade.

Sales Charts: The Top 1000 Periodical Comics of 2013

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And here’s Diamond’s chart of the top 1000 comic books of the year, led by Walking Dead #115—giving Image a 2-for-2 topping the year end charts. JLA #1 was DC’s top selling book, while Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy toped their own list. According to John Jackson Miller’s preliminary analysis, the Top 1000 Comics for […]

Sales Charts: The Top 1000 Graphic Novels of 2013

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Diamond has released the entire 1000-long list of GNs in 2013, and there is a lot of data mining here…like the fact that Image KILLED IT with seven of the top 10 and more from there on. Even though there are no numbers attached to this, there is still a lot of relative information to […]

DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: October 2013 – After Before Sandman

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Most significantly, October 2013 was the month after the month in which DC mounted its most aggressive and focussed attempt yet to single-handedly destroy the comics market, by shipping millions of random comics to retailers who had not ordered them. Not surprisingly, sales snapped back to more regular levels as a result.

Indie Month-to-Month Sales October 2013: Indies rebound after that dastardly Villains Month

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By Paul Mellerick Far more indie titles this month after DC’s Villains month stunt last month, that added 52 extra DC titles into the chart. 135 indie titles charted in the top 300, up on last month’s 109. Partly, but not entirely due to this month’s Walking Dead issue, the indie chart sold approximately 2,031,509 […]

Marvel edges DC as other publishers make gains in November sales charts

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Marvel edged out DC for sales, but DC had a strong 1-2 punch in the top comics for November with Batman and, surprisingly, the all-star Harley Quinn #0 issue. Marvel’s top book was Amazing X-Men #1. It was a four-week month so sales were down overall, against last month, and year to year, although graphic […]