A Year in Review with Kuo-Yu Liang
DBD's Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Despite several reports outlining a decline in pop culture sales, Diamond Book Distributors (DBD) VP of Sales & Marketing, Kyo-Yu Liang, reports that 2016 was "just a hair short of [2013]," DBD's highest grossing year, and "it was [DBD's] best year ever in the U.K. market." 

According to Publisher's Weekly (PW), Liang predicted that March, Book 3 (978-1603094023, $19.99) by Rep. John Lewis would be "the biggest book of the year." After the graphic memoir winning an Eisner Award (March, Book 2), the National Book Award (March, Book 3) as well as four literary awards at the ALA Midwinter conference in Atlant (March, Book 3), Liang's predictions turned out to be "bigger than [he] thought it would be." 

Although March, Book 3 made unprecedented history in the literary world for the value of graphic novels, several other titles did well in 2016 including Monstress (978-1632157096, $9.99). Liang has offered his predictions again to Publisher Weekly, naming several titles he believes will be at the forefront for 2017 including: Paper GirlsAfarPrincess Princess Ever After, and Snotgirl

Liang's interview with Publisher's Weekly (PW) continued by revealing the most exciting development for graphic novels in 2016: the acceptance of the format by indepedent booksellers. Previously, retailers had a tendency to remain cautious of embracing graphic novels and manga despite national bookstore chains consistently stocking them on their shelves. "After 10 years of missionary work to convince indie retailers to sell graphic nvoels and manga," Liang told PW, "the category has reached an informal milestone." Liang went out to tell PW that of the 600+ booksellers at ABA's Winter Institute, all of them said they were selling graphic novels in some way. 

On an international front, graphic novels have continued to experience growth as DBD reports the best year to date in the U.K. market as well as an increase in sales in Latin America countries and Easern European countries. During a time when many sources are reporting a decline in comics and graphic novel sales, DBD's numbers in the book market remain positive from the continuously increasing international market to graphic novels being the only category to show an increase in print YTD sales.

Paper Girls Volume 2
Image Comics
Image Comics
Princess Princess Ever After
Oni Press
Snotgirl Volume 1
Image Comics

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