BookScan Reports 25% Increase in Children's Graphic Novel Sales

NPD Bookscan's Kristen McLean announced at this year's Global Kids Connect 2017 conference that graphic novels for children were up by 25% in sales between 2015-2016. The research behind this report came from Bookscan's efforts to increase reporting on graphic novels, comics, and pop-culture with their current reporting systems.

Earlier this year, McLean reported at ICv2's professionals conference at NYCC that children's book sales were up in general.

"McLean noted that the children’s sector has grown faster than the overall print books market in the past five years, with 233 million units sold in 2017 compared to 181 million in 2012. As a result, she sees children’s as having become “a centerpiece” for many publishers in a way it wasn’t before, thanks to its stability and growth."


"Comics and graphic novels, with sales driven by indies and mass merchants, are hot; sales have grown since 2011 with almost a 25% growth rate between 2015-2016 alone, with books by Raina Telgemeier, Dav Pilkey, and Gene Luen Yang, and series such as Big Nate, Dork Diaries, and March all part of that trend."

According to Publisher Weekly's report of the conference, there were a few other key takeaways, including

  • The market share of readers under 12 has increased, while the share of those 13 and older has decreased since 2010, due in part to "a social-heavy, time-crunched world."
  • Comics and graphic novels, with sales driven by indies and mass merchants, are hot; sales have grown since 2011 with almost a 25% growth rate between 2015-2016 alone, with books by Raina Telgemeier, Dav Pilkey, and Gene Luen Yang, and series such as Big Nate, Dork Diaries, and March all part of that trend.
  • Manga is a new growth area skewing young, with 76% of its buyers under the age of 29, and is the most diverse kids' comics buyer market.
  • S.T.E.M. books are growing, and so are classics and early childhood books; Goodnight MoonThe Very Hungry Caterpillar, and their ilk are still gaining traction each year.
  • Smartphones are replacing dedicated e-readers, and 198.5 million people own smartphones in the U.S.; this is the highest penetration for a technology ever, and it's affecting kids, too.
  • Reading is still going on at surprising rates, but the challenge is keeping the balance between media—especially as kids reach 13 and up.

For a full report of the conference, click here.

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