Friday, February 6, 2009

Graphic Novel sales up in 2008

Nice to see that Graphic Novel sales keep climbing, albeit slowly and steadily:

2008 Graphic Novel Sales Up 5%; Manga Off 17%

by Calvin Reid -- Publishers Weekly, 2/6/2009 7:17:00 AM

Overall graphic novels sales in the U.S. and Canada for 2008 were $395 million, a 5% increase over 2007 and the slowest rate of growth since 2001, according to the annual report on the market delivered by ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp at the pop culture news site's annual Graphic Novel Conference held at the Javits Center yesterday on the eve of New York Comic-con....

Interesting to see where (i.e., retail-space-wise) the shifts are occurring:

Sales of graphic novels in general bookstores continued to grow faster than in comics shops. Bookstores generated $265 million in sales in 2008 compared to about $165 million in sales through the comics shop market (also known as the direct market). Libraries represent about $25 million in sales.

I wonder if that's a shift of traditional direct-market producers (i.e., DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, et al) to bookstores, or if it represents instead an increase in the graphic-novel offerings from traditional book publishers (Random House, etc.)?

Oh--and whose fault is the decline of Manga sales? One pointy-toothed guess:

Griepp blamed the decline in manga sales on the tough economy as well as inventory reductions at Borders and the ongoing closing of mall stores. He also cited a decline in exposure of anime on cable TV and the overwhelming popularity of the blockbuster Twilight series, which competed with manga for the consumer dollars of teen girls.


Catherine McCowan said...

Hi Matt,
We own a comic book/grahic novel store and I would like to stock the Babymouse series. It looks like Diamond has the first two but not the next ones. Who is your distributor?

Matt Holm said...

Hi, Catherine-- I was just on a panel with someone from Diamond at Comic Con yesterday (her market is bookstores, though, not comic book shops), and she gave me the name of someone to try to deal with your situation. I'll let you know what the scoop is as soon as I hear back from her.

Matt Holm said...


I actually have a contact for you at Random House. Can you drop me an e-mail, so I can send the contact info. to you?

- matt