CBG’s Monthly Estimates for Diamond comics sales

CBG’s Comic Book Sales Charts and Sales Analysis Pages

SCOM4.jpgLooking for information on comics sales? Here are the links to the comic-book sales data and analysis Comics Buyer’s Guide has posted on the site thus far, as compiled by John Jackson Miller, co-author of the world’s largest repository of comic-book circulation data, The Standard Catalog of Comic Books (depicted at left).

Every month for the last few years, Diamond Comic Distributors, the leading distributor to comics shops in North America and Great Britain, has published a Top 300 list ranking new comic books by the number of retailer orders it has received. Diamond does not publish its exact figures, but rather a number for each issue indicating how that issue?s sales compare to that month?s Batman, Diamond?s benchmark title.

But that information is enough to unlock an estimate for the preorders for every comic book on Diamond?s list ? if you?ve got some of the actual orders that Diamond placed with publishers that month to refer to. Since 1996, Comics & Games Retailer, a sister publication to CBG, has led the field in obtaining actual orders for a large fraction of titles appearing on Diamond?s monthly list, and then applying them to the list to estimating the rest of the Diamond titles? orders from them.

After January 2003, all Diamond reports were of the final sales that month; removing from the list orders for comics that did not actually ship. Prior to February 2003, all figures were preorders, meaning that actual final orders were higher.

We have a high level of confidence in the reliability of these figures, given the large sample of actual title sales we use to estimate for the population. While many have fashioned their own estimates of Diamond?s preorders from years past, some have tended to use only a few (or even one) title to form their estimates. CBG estimates are generated such that the margin of error is generally less than 2% — and usually far less.

The CBG Standard Catalog of Comic Books includes almost all the data we?ve compiled from Diamond?s monthly charts from September 1996 to present, sorted by individual comic book. Our charts for many months can also be found online by following the links below.

DIAMOND PREORDER ESTIMATES

April 1997 —– May 1997 —– June 1997

July 1997 —– August 1997 —– September 1997

October 1997 —– November 1997 —– December 1997

January 1998

DIAMOND PREORDER ESTIMATES
Including lists for the Top 10 TPBs and other books:

February 1998 —– March 1998

DIAMOND PREORDER ESTIMATES
Including lists for the Top 25 TPBs:

April 1998 —– May 1998 —– June 1998

July 1998 —– August 1998 —– September 1998

October 1998 —– November 1998 —– December 1998

January 1999 —– February 1999 —– March 1999

April 1999 —– May 1999 —– June 1999

July 1999 —– August 1999 —– September 1999

October 1999 —– November 1999 —– December 1999

January 2000 —– February 2000 —– March 2000

April 2000 —– May 2000 —– June 2000

July 2000 —– August 2000 —– September 2000

October 2000 —– November 2000 —– December 2000

January 2001 —– February 2001 —– March 2001

April 2001 —– May 2001 —– June 2001

July 2001 —– August 2001 —– September 2001

October 2001 —– November 2001 —– December 2001

January 2002 —– February 2002

DIAMOND PREORDER ESTIMATES
Including lists for the Top 50 TPBs:

March 2002

April 2002 —– May 2002 —– June 2002

July 2002 —– August 2002 —– September 2002

October 2002 —– November 2002 —– December 2002

January 2003

DIAMOND FINAL ORDER ESTIMATES
Including lists for the Top 50 TPBs:

February 2003 —– March 2003

April 2003 —– May 2003 —– June 2003

July 2003 —– August 2003 —– September 2003

October 2003 —– November 2003 —– December 2003

January 2004

DIAMOND FINAL ORDER ESTIMATES
Including lists for the Top 100 TPBs:

February 2004 —– March 2004

April 2004 —– May 2004 —– June 2004

July 2004 —– August 2004 —– September 2004

October 2004 —– November 2004 —– December 2004

January 2005 —– February 2005 —– March 2005

April 2005 —– May 2005 —– June 2005

July 2005 —– August 2005 —– September 2005

October 2005 —– November 2005 —– December 2005

January 2006 —– February 2006 —– March 2006

You will notice that the content of these charts changes over time. Diamond from time to time has increased the number of items it lists, going from listing no indexed trade paperbacks to listing the top 25 — then 50, and finally 100 in February 2004.

A note about some of the codes listed with specific issues:

(O/A) means that the comic book already had made Diamond’s charts in the past, and was being Offered Again. The Offered Again sales are thus copies in addition to the initial sales. In later reports Diamond ceased to include this abbreviation.

(Res) stands for Resolicitation, which means that the comic book previously preorders had all its orders canceled. Thus, in the period where Diamond was reporting preorders, you may see the same issue listed twice (or even more often), with later listings indicating a resolicitation. Only the last number to appear is the actual order count; the earlier preorders do not count and were never filled. The resolicitation number is usually lower than the earlier preorder total was; retailers usually penalize publishers for failing to ship a book as promised by ordering fewer the next time it’s offered.

Our news reports, detailing the overall picture, for the following months can be found online here:

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

More months, both going forward and backward, will be added in the weeks to come…

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