Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Kid's graphic novels are a Thing.

Over the last couple of years I've been excoriating other bookstores for their lack of inventory.

Today I finally got a chance to sit down and examine the "Tilting at Windmill" column by Brian Hibbs where he analyzes the bestselling graphic novels from last year.

20 out of the top 20 were young adult or kids GN's. Probably the vast majority of the top 50 and top 100.

I started carrying these kid's GN's a few years ago and they nearly leapt off the shelf. Books I'd never heard of. Books that the comic market sometimes carried, but most often didn't.

I basically can sell a Dog Man every day. Believe me, that isn't normal.

What a discovery.

(Not so coincidentally, Barnes and Noble just announced they are creating a whole new section of nothing but kid's graphic novels. Wouldn't you know it.)

So now I'll excoriate myself for not following my own advice. This T at W's came out three months ago and only now have I gotten around to analyzing it. Found dozens of titles that are bestsellers that I haven't carried. I don't have much doubt that most of these will sell fast.

I did sort of have to wait for summer--and I was distracted by my renovations, but still no excuse not to hit the summer running. With any luck, all of these will show up by July 1, so most of the summer still to go, and I just need to keep making reorders every week.

This will be somewhat new for us and somewhat a gamble. We've always reordered from Diamond once a week, but I haven't been as regular with books and games. So this summer we are doing that. A budget has been set aside for each and every week. Hopefully we won't ever have to go without Calvin and Hobbes for more than a day or two.

Even before I started stocking up on these kid's GN's, I tried to carry a full line of C & H and Tintin and Asterix and Far Side for summer.

Not to brag, but this book thing seems easy to me--knock wood loudly and often--compared to carrying comics. Ordering comics blind two months in advance for fickle fan boys can be a daunting task.

Ordering tried and true books that have a long history of selling by contrast seems like a no-brainer. You need to identify what books will sell and just keep ordering them.

Sometimes you even find a little pearl among this detritus. I got a Princess Bride randomly one day, sold it instantly, ordered another, and I've sold dozens and dozens since.

If you can assemble a thousand books that can do that, you've got something. Since downtown has great foot traffic these days, carrying Dog Man is like printing money.

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