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Graphic novels and comics are seeing a growth in sales

According to the NPD Group, NPD Bookscan data has shown that the comic and graphic novel categories have experienced a 15% annual unit sales growth in the past three years. This makes the comic and graphic novel market the biggest growth category in the trade book marketplace.

Moreover, it seems that women are a growing segment of this category, accounting for one in three mainstream comic and graphic novel purchases over the past 12 months, 37% of the market. 57% of the buyers are age 13-29, with 21 percent of those being women.

Traditional comic shops have taken a hit as their sales have declined over the past 12 months, with most of the sales being in independent bookstores or large bookstore chains, as well as online and even mass market retailers, such as Target, that have began to make room for comics and graphic novels on their shelves.

Over the past 12 months comics and graphic novels have seen a growth of 6%, a pattern that has gone on for over five years.

“There is a whole new audience emerging for comics and graphic novels; these readers are younger, they are more diverse, and they are getting their books from a much wider range of channels than we typically think of for comics,” said Kristen McLean, industry analyst for NPD Books. “This is also a very interesting category when it comes to crossover and media tie-ins from across entertainment, including film, toys, and gaming. We have seen this category grow for a few years now, and we have no reason to think it’s just a flash in the pan.”

It seems like if you want to make a space for yourself in the publishing industry, then graphic novels might just be the place to look. At the very least it is worth keeping in mind the possibilities of a graphic novel tie-in to whatever traditional novels or games you might be working on.


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