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Tilting #230 is live: BookScan 2013

Brian Hibbs

Yay, the longest thing I write every year. Man, I didn’t AT ALL have the time to write this one, either. Go read it, then let me know what you think…… -B

Hey, internet? Help me research?

Brian Hibbs

So I just got the 2013 BookScan data, but for me the biggest hole is ALWAYS “stuff that didn’t get categorized correctly” — supposed to be coded as “comics”, but, instead, it is listed as something else.  This happens the most frequently with “Memoir” books — I have to manually request things like Maus and Persepolis every year, because they’re not natively on the “Comics” list. Usually, I spend a few days combing through the previous year’s invoices, hoping to spot something obvious, but this year, with the second store, I barely have time to write the BookScan column at all, let alone being fussy about trying to find those 1-2 books that are worth reporting on, but got missed….  Read More…

BookScan 2012: important addendum

Brian Hibbs

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…  Read More…

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!   -B

Big Numbers: Brian’s Tilting… on the 2011 Bookscan Numbers at CBR

Jeff Lester

Hey, everyone.  Since Brian is off doing what Brian does best–pestering comic book publishers for hard data–(and let’s face it, that isn’t very pretty), he asked me to give all y’all a link to his latest Tilting at Windmills over at CBR.  It’s his annual review of the Bookscan numbers which I think makes it even more of a look-see than usual. This is the ninth time Hibbs has sat down and crunched numbers of the Bookscan report (the sixth time he’s looked at *all* the numbers for the year) and, as always, the results are fascinating, terrifying, and stultifying all at once.  This year’s report runs approximately 15,000 words which is…pretty god-damned daunting, so my brain always breaks when…  Read More…

Tilting at Windmills #200: BookScan 2011

Brian Hibbs

It is now up at Comic Book Resources — 15,103 words long! Read it, absorb it, let me know what you think. -B

Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in

Brian Hibbs

I mean, if I had just waited 20 minutes to post, I could have done this in the first post, but then Tom has to go and post something from Eric Reynolds… First off, seriously, “Bookscan Analysis as Direct Market Public Service Announcement”? Really? I feel like I’ve been told to get off Tom’s lawn for playing too much… Eric’s comments are wonderful, but I don’t really see that they have much (if anything) to do with anything that I actually WROTE, as opposed, possibly, what people might want to think that I wrote. If someone can point me to anyplace where I’ve represented the BookScan numbers to be anything other than what I say they are — that they…  Read More…

Only Nixon Can Go To China?

Brian Hibbs

Tom Spurgeon has some excellent comments up about my BookScan Analysis, and I feel compelled to engage his commentary. This is not a Blog War, but I’m hiding most of this behind the jump for those of you who Don’t Like To See The Parents Fight… Let’s start with motivations, which works nicely as a “response” to numbered point #1 (“I know I’m grateful…It’s fun to see how certain books did on the chart“). First and foremost, I’m getting the Top 750 out there, and if you don’t like my analysis, in the words of the great “Scoop” Nisker, “If You Don’t Like The News, Go Out And Make Some of Your Own” The entire reason I bother to write…  Read More…

Tilting v3 #22 is up! BookScan 2009

Brian Hibbs

Ah! It is the longest thing I write every year. WITNESS: 6 weeks of my life in the look at BookScan in 2009, in TILTING AT WINDMILLS #189 http://comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=24818 -B

Comic Book Movies in 2009?

Brian Hibbs

I’m pretty good about doing my own research, most of the time, but as I wander through my BookScan Analysis this year (Sheesh, I’m at 12,000 words, and I still haven’t touched 2 of the 4 categories!) I’m hoping I can depend on YOU to help me a bit. What movies based on comics were released in 2009? Watchmen, obviously. And Wolverine. Astro Boy. But then I start to blank. Name me some titles, would you? Thanks in advance!! -B

Flying Thompson’s Gazelle of The Yard

Brian Hibbs

A final word on my 2008 report on BookScan. Under the jump for everyone who is tired of this topic (which is probably most sane and rational people) As a prominent retailer in a prominent market, who has a long-running soapbox on the retailing of comics, I do a fairly large number (3-6-ish) of interviews any given year, whether it be for various podcasts or newspaper features or whatever about the comics industry. Pretty uniformly, “what’s the size of the market?” is one of the primary questions that rises. We have a paucity of real, viable data in this business. Other industries appear to have whole sub-industries designed just to analyze sales data. I guess the need to categorize, to…  Read More…

The New Tilting is up: BookScan 2008

Brian Hibbs

You can find my look at BookScan 2008 right here. I’d strongly suggest grabbing the chart and saving it off before Jonah gets a C&D. Tomorrow will likely be too late! Interested in your thoughts, as always! Edit: Tom Spurgeon has some good comments here. For the record, Tom is 100% right: look at these with a grain of salt, then a chunk of salt, then an entire salt mine, because, at best, these numbers are just the visible tip of the iceberg. I really really tried to make this clear throughout the piece: go and count how many times I say something like “to the stores that report to BookScan” or words to that effect. I keep being afraid…  Read More…

Moving the Goalposts

Brian Hibbs

For the handful of you interested in the back-and-forth over the BookScan issue, I want to point you to Heidi’s post, as well as Dirk’s first and second sallies. For those of you only here for the reviews, you can stop reading now. In fact, I’d really urge you to! If I have edited this properly, it continues after the jump: For whatever it is worth, I agree nearly 100% with Heidi: my biases are both obvious, (and directly stated in the original piece!) — I believe in the Direct Market (as a concept, if not, necessarily, in the specific individual on-the-ground iteration) to be a far superior method of selling comics for the simple reason that a specialist, with…  Read More…

Tilting at Windmills v2 #9: BookScan 2007

Brian Hibbs

The latest Tilting at Windmills is up on Newsarama. Yeesh, more than 11k words!! Matt decided to not post the file with the actual numbers, so foo on that. Any commentary, feel free below. Some actual reviews coming later this afternoon… -B

TITLTING AT WINDMILLS v2 #37: BookScan 2006 is up

Brian Hibbs

http://www.newsarama.com/Tilting2_0/Tilting37.html Its very very long. Go read, tell me what you think! -B

Tilting at Windmills up @Newsarama

Brian Hibbs

The newest column, on BookScan in 2005, is up at Newsarama — alway interested in your thoughts! http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=1629090#post1629090 OK, time to get ready to go to WonderCon…. -B