Sales of comic books and graphic novels in the United States bookstore market are up 6% over the last 12 months, according to a report by the NPD Group.
This report pulls from oversall sales through Barnes & Noble, Target, and unspecified chain book retailers, independent bookstores, online retailers, and mass market retailers. NPD attributes its numbers to actual point-of-sala data from over 1,250 retailers as well as receipts from others, as well as consumer surveys.
“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, an NPD industry analyst. “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.”
Women account for 37% of sales according to this survey. In terms of age group, 57% of buyers are in the 13-29 age group - split 21% identifying as women and 36% as men.
The manga sub-section skews even more to younger readers, with 76% of its buyers being ages 13-29.
NPD reports that sales overall in this category have been up for the past three years, with a compound annual unit sales growth of 15%, making it "one of the highest growth categories in the trade book marketplace."