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Tilting #221 — BookScan 2012 is live

Brian Hibbs

You can find it at Comic Book Resources.

That represents like twenty hours of my life in the writing, so I hope you find some useful intelligence in it!



7 Responses to “ Tilting #221 — BookScan 2012 is live ”

  1. It always seems everyone is too concerned with the trees to compliment you on the amazing amount of forestry work you do each year with this, Brian. In a more just world, industry observers would chip in and get you a solid gold adding machine every year. Amazing work, as always.

  2. I was gong to compliment you on an outstanding job, then I saw a most grievous error that throws doubt over the whole system – you refer to Knightfall as a collection of mid-80′s work, but it’s actually a mid-90′s work! Shame on you!
    Just kidding, it was interesting reading, especially Image’s jump to the top. I don’t quite understand the drop off in Manga, is there a lack of new/interesting titles, or was it just a fad that won’t come back?

    Ike’s strategy of low inventory still fails to pay-off? I’m shocked. Maybe next year it’ll work. Shareholders are probably too scared of getting shot to charge angrily into Ike’s meetings, and Marvel staff members already get enough quiet Ike death-stares whilst trolling message boards to risk raising it with him.
    I did get a good laugh out of the Marvel Zombies = Kirkman + Zombies + Avengers point. Didn’t Marvel used to flood the DM with spin-offs and collections for each movie? Maybe they got shy if/when they didn’t work as planned.

  3. While it may have taken you twenty-four plus hours to write this, it will take me at least five times as long to read it. You really do a phenomenal service with this. I agre with Jeff – a solid gold adding machine for you!

    A quick observation on the smaller number of units/increased dollar amount thing…it seems to go hand in hand with how the general economy is working. Currently, only half the US economy can afford to buy more than basic needs, but those who can afford more can afford much higher dollar items. So, there appears to be a superficial correlation there.

    Anyway, thanks again and I’m looking forward to a much more in-depth read!

    BTW – The Marvel Zombies formula Ben cites is why you’re a great retailer!

  4. I made this its own post, but just so it is threaded here as well:

    It was observed to me by a third party that for a good part of 2012 Barnes & Noble was not stocking the “top 100″ DC Comics, which I entirely forgot about in my BookScan 2012 report.

    There are published reports that say that this ended at the end of June 2012, but there’s also reports from everyone’s favorite muckraker, Rich Johnston, that some/much of the books were returning to some B&N locations before 2011 even ended.

    What does this actually do to the charts? I have no real idea. Typically 4th quarter is the strongest sales quarter, so, in theory, this should have impacted DC’s 2011 numbers much stronger than 2012, but even that’s uncertain — how much demand was simply delayed until the books returned to stock, how much was shunted over to Amazon or indy book stores? How much unmet demand yielded no sale for DC? I have no frickin’ idea, but at the very least it should have been NOTED in the column, and that’s a lousy mistake for me to have made.

    There was just 12k difference (701k vs 689k) in sales between DC and Image this year, so it’s possible, mayyybe even likely that DC actually “would have” been the #1 western publisher, but I can only analyze the numbers that are there, rather than the ones that aren’t. Still…. asterisk that analysis, I think, to be safe.



  5. Thanks as always.

    It’s pretty stunning how much WALKING DEAD dominates Image’s sales, with over 98% of their sales in the top 750 and over 88% on the whole Bookscan reported list. I don’t think they can really use it to build up the rest of Image, though. It’s very clear that the brand identity is “Walking Dead”, not “Image”, and not even “Kirkman”.

    And Marvel, they definitely need someone to come in and shake things up. It always amazes me that KINGDOM COME continues to make the chart every year (over 86K Bookscan reported sales since 2004 on the charts I have saved), while the far superior Alex Ross book MARVELS never makes the chart. If you can’t sell 2642 copies of MARVELS in those markets (and it doesn’t seem to sell much in the direct market either, from John Jackson Miller’s charts) in years where Spider-Man, X-Men and Avengers related movies are coming out, you don’t belong in the book publishing business. I’d be curious how far down the charts MARVELS is.

    As far as I can tell, Marvel’s only “perennials”, books that seem to make the top 750 every year, are CIVIL WAR, OLD MAN LOGAN, MARVEL ZOMBIES and 1602. DC has more perennials just in the “books by Alan Moore” category, and three of those individually outsold the four Marvel perennials combined.

    I’ll be curious to see if SANDMAN ZERO bumps up the Sandman line next year. Doesn’t look like the series will come out in time for the collection to be published in 2013.

  6. >>>I’d be curious how far down the charts MARVELS is. < <<

    #2152, with 882 copies sold.

    Note, though, it is $24.99 vs KINGDOM COME’s $17.99. I think it makes a very significant difference.


  • I was about to ask if that was the MARVELS hardcover, but I checked and saw they raised the price of the softcover to $25 in 2009. That was dumb, especially since that’s the same price as the hardcover version that came out in 2008. Put pricing somewhere on the long list of things that need to be fixed in Marvel’s book program.

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