Thursday, March 30, 2017

Sales Review: February 2017

The month is over and the sales numbers are in. And I have to say, despite having covered sales here for years, I still have a hard time interpreting these numbers. What is considered 'healthy' sales these days? What degree of sales erosion is allowed from month to month before alarms start to go off?

And if I don't know what to make of these numbers, why do I keep covering them. I suppose trends are a good thing.

Regardless, the plump sales numbers at the beginning of the #Rebirth are receding a bit.

February sales were reported over on ICv2. Here is the link:

Supergirl #6 last month, the last chapter in the first arc.

This was a very good issue, showcasing the Supergirl character very nicely. She overcame her father's plot. She defeated him but also saved him. She declared Earth her home.

It took a while to get here, moving past the Argo storyline and the Cyborg. But this laid the foundation. Now the title can move forward.

So how did it sell?

The book itself came in at #92 of the top 300, a spot which it seems to have settled into when looking at the last 3 issues.

It sold 26,240 which is down from 29K from last week.

That's  a drop of about 10% from last month. It is a drop of 75% from the #Rebirth special.

I think I have said all along that this book probably will settle into a 23-24K stability. But I wish the plummet would slow down. Does DC look at this as a failure?

Hopefully not.

This month I'll look at the Superman book.

Superman #17 was something of a rest issue, the horror tale with Jon and Kathy wandering into Dead Man's swamp. I liked the issue a ton. The art was moody. It was a nice pause before the Superman Reborn big arc. And it gave us some new mysteries to mull over.

Well done overall.

The Superman books continue to be healthier than they were in the New 52. This issue sold around 54K, a robust number these days. But I still wish this was selling higher. Right now the Superman books are the best they have been in a decade or longer.

The elephant in the room is always digital sales or trade sales of the books and whether those impact overall publication.

Still hoping the sales settle out.


Anonymous said...

"Still hoping the sales settle out."

Let's hope so. Supergirl: Being Super's sales weren't great, either (despite all accolades that book is getting everywhere).

Or Batgirl's books. Barbara's solo book sells a bit better than Kara's book, but Birds of Prey's sales are lower.

Sadly, super-hero books with a female lead have usually trouble to sell well. Some Linda Danvers' fans like to point out her eighty-issue-long run to prove she was more well-liked and more successful than other Supergirls, but PAD himself told his book's sales were very bad. I'm a Spider-Girl fan, and although May Parker's first book lasted over one hundred issues it barely sold over 20,000 and it almost got cancelled half dozen of times.

I haven't looked into WW's numbers throughout the decades, but I suspect that DC's primary reason to continue publishing her solo book for decades was the deal Marston struck with DC (DC had to publish at least four issues of Wonder Woman each year or lose the rights to the character).

Moreover, I've realized people who buys Batman, Spider-Man's books... constantly whine about the stories or the art being garbage, but they keep buying every issue. However, when it comes down to characters like Supergirl, those same fans will drop or refuse to buy their books unless quality is reportedly exceptional.


I think other trouble is the decompressed style of current storytelling. In the days of yore, if you didn't like a story, you knew it'd be over after two or three months. Nowadays, most of story arcs are done after five or six months. A lot of readers lose patience, stop buying and don't look back.

I hope DC takes steps to correct the sales' erosion instead of considering cancelling the book. Maybe a new artist would help, but Ching is going to illustrate the Phantom Zone arc, so it will not happen soon. I also think it would help if Supergirl shows up again in the Superman books and joins some super-team.

Anonymous said...

Off-topic, but have you seen this?