2016 was a banner year for acclaimed cartoonist Raina Telgemeier, whose books held an astounding seven of the top 10 spots on BookScan’s annual list of graphic novels sold through the bookstore market.
Although Telgemeier may not be widely known to the comic-shop crowd, she’s a sensation with teen and tween girls. Her colorful coming-0f-age stories, including her graphic memoir “Smile,” strike a chord with a demographic that is traditionally under-served by the comics industry.
As retailer Brian Hibbs reports at The Beat, the 2016 list is topped by the author’s most recent book, “Ghosts.” Released in September, the story of a girl moving with her family to a new town, and seeing ghosts, as sold more than 213,000 copies, and earned just over $2.3 million. Her 2012 release “Drama” had nearly identical sales, and took the second spot on the chart. 2010’s “Smile” and 2014’s “Sisters” were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Three of Telgemeier’s “Babysitters’ Club” adaptations also placed in BookScan’s Top 10: “Kristy’s Great Idea” was No. 6, “Claudia and Mean Janine” was No. 7, and “The Truth About Stacey” No. 10. A fourth, “Mary Anne Saves the Day,” came in at No. 11.
“[L]iterally every book she’s done that is in-print is a top-of-the-charts best-seller, which is wildly unprecedented in our dataset,” Hibbs wrote. “Altogether, Raina’s eight books sell a staggering 1.3 million copies for $14.4 million dollars in sales. To put that in context, that means that nearly 5% of all dollars generated by all graphic novels listed (all 21k of them!) are coming from the pen of one woman.”
While these figures bode well for Telgemeier — and demonstrate that the market for comics targeting young female readers is robust— BookScan also shows that the graphic novel market is extremely healthy, and has more than doubled since 2003. The top 750 titles moved nearly 10 million units in 2016, totaling $160 million is sales.
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!