One Piece Sales Compare to US Comics Sales-- All of 'Em

Topic started by gia on Dec. 9, 2009. Last post by gia 5 years, 3 months ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13

No, seriously. David Brothers at crunched the numbers (from Japan's best-selling manga in 2009 and a Bookscan analysis for 2008), and here's how it breaks down: in 2008, the entire number of comics sold, period, in the US, was 15,541,769, about half of which was just the top 750 titles. By contrast, One Piece sold 14,721,241 books in 2009-- in Japan alone.

However! It's important to note that we're comparing two different years; One Piece in Japan in '09 and all American comics in the US in '08. Additionally, the number for comics ONLY applies to stores that actually report their sales to Bookscan, so the number of comics sold is probably a bit higher.
But the biggest, most important factoid in here: as far as I can tell, the Bookscan list ONLY features collected graphic novels, not individual chapter floppies, which would doubtless add a lot of numbers to the US comics sales figure. (There's a similar offset back in One Piece's favor when you consider that its sales list is also only collected tankobon, and therefore does not include the number of copies of Weekly Shounen Jump, which features One Piece's chapters, sold in the year.)
(EDIT: So, WSJ has about a 215k circulation, adding about 11-12 million copies to One Piece's side, but individual chapters of comics sell about ~5-8 million overall per month, as far as I can tell, adding a minimum of 80 million copies to the US comics side-- so when you factor in chapters, One Piece still trails behind. But I still think this is all worth knowing!)

David Brothers' piece goes on to talk about why the series is such a hit (content-wise), which is an interesting read to anyone wanting to know more or wanting to brush up on their sales pitch for spreading the manga to others, so check it out if you're interested.
(VIa VIZ Media's Tweet.)
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,654 posts) See mini bio Level 25
One Piece is too good for that worthless slime of a publisher VIZ. Though pretty much any series they publish are too good for them.
I suggest to anyone not to buy VIZ and instead support companies who don't alter content and actually know how to translate properly.
Post by GodLen (877 posts) See mini bio Level 10
that's my baby! *tears up*
Post by GodLen (877 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@FoxxFireArt: so harsh!
Post by damswedon (277 posts) See mini bio Level 16
and yet i still have no idea what One Piece is.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,654 posts) See mini bio Level 25
You butcher some of my favorite series the way this company does to the extend that they do where they alter content and put up wrong translations. Damn straight I'm going to be harsh. Case in point, the utter gutting of Detective Conan.
There are publishers out there who don't get half as much attention as VIZ and do a ten times better job. There are people out there that translate things for free online and do a better job then the people VIZ pays to do it.
Until they stop altering content to the extent they do. I encourage everyone to not buy from VIZ and support other companies who do it right.
Post by Niko (865 posts) See mini bio Level 8
@damswedon: An insanely popular manga and anime series. It's a Shonen Jump series, like Naruto, Bleach, Dragonball and a lot of other popular series.
Post by AmandaBee (65 posts) See mini bio Level 14
Perhaps more impressive than outselling comics in the US (which is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison) is the fact that One Piece outsold both Naruto and Bleach combined. I'd imagine alot of it has to do with the ongoing marketing boogaloo surrounding Strong World, but those are still some crazy numbers. So who do we have to contact to get 2009 officially declared the Year of One Piece?
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@AmandaBee: Well put indeed!
Post by GodLen (877 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@AmandaBee: I'm calling the united nations now!
Post by JJOR64 (2,075 posts) See mini bio Level 16
Go One Piece!
Post by rocketbomber (226 posts) See mini bio Level 9
 I love recycling content.  Here's a gem from more than 2 years ago: 
5by8, #26: So what’s the target?   
[ excerpt follows: ]

 –Let’s put the book biz into perspective for most of you, big-picture-type-stuff:

Source: the June 2007 Harper’s Index *

Minimum number of different books sold in the U.S. last year, as tracked by Nielsen BookScan: 1,446,000.
Number of these that sold fewer than 99 copies: 1,123,000.
Number that sold more than 100,000: 483.

* and I paid $26 for a subscription to verify on Harper’s website what I thought I’d read a couple months back — I might have saved the money because the same info can also be found via a Google search cited at a random blog or two. But now we all know. 
Yep. Out of all the titles sold in stores and online, more than three-quarters are either dead or slowly dying an ignoble death, and only .0334% can be considered runaway successes — a third of a tenth of one percent.     
One benchmark that Harper’s helpfully pointed us to is 100k. (the top-est of the top one percent)   
And I’m a big fan of ICv2 and their monthly numbers, so if we stack one against the other where do we stand? The top comic books (the floppies) actually hold their own, selling 100K through the top 10 and a couple places down besides; the collections and trade paperback originals sell significantly less (a tenth, if that) but the book format comics have a longer shelf life, and the ICv2 numbers only include the direct market (which, we discovered above, is only a third of the overall trade sales, the rest being sold by traditional book stores) so we could easily multiply the results by three, for each month, and we’re going to end up with a nice little stack there by the end of the year. Add onto that the difference in cover price ($15-20 rather than $4-6) and we see why graphic novels outsold comic books — at least for 2006 and presumably moving forward. 

100,000 copies is nothing though. I mean, If you’re some Scottish chick with a handful of character stereotypes and a D&D Monster Manual (deepest apologies, Rowling-sensei) then selling 11 million copies or so is a walk in the park. 
14 million copies of anything, in the States, is NYT Bestseller territory -- and not on their Graphic Book list, but the Real Deal.  A scant 100,000 copies puts one in the Top 500 of All Books Sold.  Heck, a mere 10,000 is a good run for a novel --
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@rocketbomber: Definitely puts things into perspective, thanks for all of that!
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