It’s very hard to estimate the sales of comics from publishers. Naturally this is sensitive commercial information, and the best guess we get is from Diamond’s reports of how comics sold in a month compared to each other, based on sales in the direct market to North American shops. Then, if a lowly publisher lets statisticians know the sales from one book, they should, in theory, be able to extrapolate from there. However, this has all sorts of problems as percentages are rounded up and down, and the lower down the chart the sample issue is, the higher the errors will be when applying the resulting statistics to higher selling titles. And of course it misses out subscription, news stand and UK sales, all of which can swing a book one way or the other. The best hope for industry observers is that they can report trends from these statistics – the belief is that while they known the results are wrong, they will be consistently wrong, month in, month out, so trends can be observed and conclusions drawn.
What they really need is for a high profile publisher to reveal the full sales figures of a title, but as I’ve said it’s commercially confidential information, and for a publisher in either Marvel of DC’s position, especially in a time of such corporate concern, they’re hardly likely to —
Oh wait, there’s always Mark Millar. He wrote on his board today;
The numbers on Ultimate Avengers 1 came in at 106K and we sold out first day, back for a second printing.
Statisticians, to your marks, get set, go!
For a start, we can presume that Green Lantern, Batman And Robin,Captain America: Reborn and Blackest Night sold even more!