Comics Are Immune to Publishing’s Sales Dip
Comics are proving impervious to the sales problems endemic to the publishing business. While publishing overall showed slipping sales revenue from 2014 to 2015, the comics’ periodical, book format comics, and graphic novel market has been going strong in the United States. According to a joint report by Comichron and trade news site ICv2, the 2015 market was worth more than a billion dollars. That represents a 10 percent increase in sales since 2014.
Graphic novels jumped the most in sales revenue, showing 23 percent year-over-year growth. Sales of print comics also took a leap, growing by 13 percent. Only digital comics saw a drop in sales, showing a 10 percent decline in sales from 2014 to 2015.
Even though Americans appear to be reading fewer novels and works of non-fiction, they are clearly grabbing hold of the comics’ trend. Several aspects of the comics’ experience are attracting them.
Converting a print book to digital format necessitates a unique strategy
Although the future of ebooks is debatable, their popularity has nudged many publishers toward developing a digital publishing strategy. It’s common knowledge that the publishing industry has been radically altered: traditional distribution channels are shrinking, Amazon has near-hegemony, self-publishing is an unstoppable trend, and the glorious publishing houses of old have been consolidated. Publishers recognize that developing drastic new strategies is essential to their survival.
Some publishers are adapting to the new reality by releasing ebook editions along with their standard publications. Before releasing an ebook, they have to precisely execute several elements, such as formatting and searchability, which depart significantly from the elements of a print book. Novel methods of monetizing ebooks are also called for. Developing a digital publishing strategy requires attention to new and different details.
Ad blockers Make Your Ads Invisible
Ad blocking is a serious issue for news publishers who have to persuade advertisers that ads posted on their sites will be seen by readers. Around two hundred million people use ad blocking software each month, so it’s a force that cannot be ignored. One estimate warns that ad blocking caused publishers to lose $22 billion in online advertising revenue in 2015.
A survey by Editor and Publisher revealed that 69 percent of news publishers are moderately to seriously concerned about the effect of ad blockers on their revenue in 2016. Rightly so, as a study of news consumers across twelve countries found that almost half of all users of news media websites regularly use ad blocking. The number is even higher when it comes to eighteen-to-twenty-four-year-olds, which is a coveted cohort of readers.
Audiobooks are a Growing Market
Some of the most dramatic growth in the publishing industry has stemmed from audiobooks. From 2013 to 2014, audiobook sales’ profits grew by more than 13 percent. Some authors have even reported stronger sales from their audiobooks than from their print or ebooks.
Radio shows long ago faded from the headlines as television’s prominence grew. The smartphones and tablets that populate our world emphasize seeing, not hearing. So what is drawing people back to listening mode?
Who’s Reading This Book? Ebook Analytics Reveal Reader Demographics
Measuring engagement is nothing new for marketers, but the concept remains virtually untouched by the publishing industry. It often seems that publishers are more concerned about selling books than about pinpointing their readership demographics.
Knowing what types of readers their books attract would help publishers immeasurably. Understanding the makeup of their readership would allow publishers to direct advertisements and book recommendations toward their target audiences, ultimately improving their sales.
Currently, the e-reader platforms collect extensive information about their readers. They know who is buying, when they are buying certain types of books, and how much of their purchased books they have actually read. After Google, Apple, and Amazon have gathered reader data, they generally withhold that information from publishers. That leaves publishers with minimal information about their readers.