Yesterday, Bleeding Cool ran some Diamond-sourced statistics demonstrating how Free Comic Book Day’s numbers were down in 2017 compared to 2016. In terms of comics given away, people attending the event and number of stores even participating.
But it’s not the whole picture. Diamond also conducted a survey amongst participators which, while self-selecting, the nature of the beast suggests that the same people who filled it in last year, filled it in this year. And while it still gives a positive picture overall, it’s just not as positive in 2016.
For comparison, here’s the 2017 response to the question how stores rated Free Comic Book Day.
And from 2016.
There’s a small swing from extremely positive to positive. So how many people attended? In 2016…
And in 2017.
There’s a big drop there for the people getting 1000 or more through the door. 22% in 2016, 15% in 2017. While the 0-100 number has increased, from 10% to 13%. Overall this backs up the figure that fewer people came through the dors for Free Comic Book Day in 2017 than in 2016.
One of the main purposes of Free Comic BookDay is outreach, get new people in through the doors. And there are always new people around, people keep having kids, it’s impossible to stop them. But in 2016…
And in 2017….
That’s a shocking difference. Changing the question makes comparison harder, but in 2016, 36% of stores had 50% or more new faces through the door. In 2017, that was 10% of stores. That is a huge change and probably a worrying one.
The event, though giving away free comic books, is also a big revenue raiser for most stores, as people who come for the free end up buying lots too. So how were sales on the day? In 2017…
A slight decrease on the “highest sales of the year” from 58% to 56%. I mean, that’s still pretty good.
And how many new customers to stores expect to make from the event? In 2016…
But in 2017…
Might we expect some changes next year?