BookScan Sales Numbers for 2007 Graphic Novels Reported (Updated)
posted on by Egan Loo
Comic store owner Brian Hibbs analyzes the 2007 sales figures for adult fiction graphic novels, as provided by America's BookScan service, in his Tilting @ Windmills 2.0 column for the Newarama website. Hibbs cautions that these numbers do not reflect the entire adult graphic novel market; although BookScan surveys over 7,500 venues, it does not include many independent bookstores, the Wal-Mart chain, library and academic sales, and direct market retailers such as most comic book stores. According to the BookScan figures, sales of the top 750 adult graphic novels grew slightly from US$90,411,902 with 8,395,195 units to US$95,174,425 with 8,584,317 units. The sales of the top 575 manga in that list also grew slightly from US$61,411,902 with 6,705,624 units to US$61,927,238 with 6,837,355 units.
Seven manga series sold more than 24,000 copies of each volume on average, and five of them — Naruto, Fruits Basket, Bleach, Death Note, and Pokemon — are all supported by anime on television or home video. The other two have an upcoming anime planned (Vampire Knight) or a hit game franchise with Disney characters (Kingdom Hearts). Last year's 27 volumes of Naruto sold at least 1.18 million copies, but sales were reportedly slowing in 2007. Nevertheless, "those 27 Naruto volumes represent 14% of the total number of all books sold in the Top 750" adult graphic novels in 2007.
By far the biggest manga publisher — and the biggest adult graphic novel publisher — was Viz Media with just under US$39 million from 4.6 million units sold from its market share of the top 750 adult graphic novels. Besides the above-mentioned titles, Fullmetal Alchemist, Absolute Boyfriend, The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross, and Millennium Snow each had at least one volume selling over 20,000 copies. Tokyopop was the next biggest manga publisher with US$15.6 million from 1.6 millions units. Besides Fruits Basket and Kingdom Hearts, its bestsellers included Loveless and Warriors: The Lost Warrior. The remaining manga publishers, in order of sales in the Top 750, were Del Rey, Dark Horse Comics, ADV Manga, Broccoli Books, DC/CMX Manga, and Go! Comi.
Update: Corrected the overall 2007 sales figure. Thanks, quirks and DavidShallcross.