Protecting Your Dreams

Analysis and Results of the Great Independent Comic Survey Part 2

Added on by Gamal Hennessy.

This post is a continuation of the Great Independent Comic Survey and covers distribution and merchandise rights.

Question 5: What percentage of your sales are hard copies?

Answer: 53% of the group makes 75-100% of their sale in hard copy.

Answer Choices
Responses
less than 25%
23.33%
25-50%
10%
50-75%
13.33%
75-100%
53.33%

Question 6: What percentage of your sales are digital?

Answer: 73% of the group claims less than 25% of their sales come from online distribution.

Answer Choices
Responses
less than 25%
73.33%
25-50%
16.67%
50-75%
6.67%
75-100%
3.33%

Question 7: How much of your sales happen at conventions?

Answer: 40% of the group sells less than 25% of their sales at conventions. This question had the most even distribution of all the survey questions.

Answer Choices
Responses
less than 25%
40%
25-50%
16.67%
50-75%
23.33%
75-100%
20%

Question 8: How much of your sales happen at comic book shops or other brick and mortar stores?

Answer: 60% of the group sells less than 25% of their books in comic shops.

Answer Choices
Responses
less than 25%
60%
25-50%
26.67%
50-75%
13.33%
75-100%
0%
Total
30

When these distribution questions are taken together, they suggest that there is significant room for growth in the digital sector, since both convention and bookstore sales do not appear to be robust. Reducing or eliminating the issue of shelf space, printing costs and shipping costs could have the effect of increasing sales and decreasing costs, but I don’t have enough information about fixed digital distribution costs to make a definitive statement about that.

Question 9: Do you control the merchandise rights to your title?

Answer: 73% of the group controls the merchandise rights to their titles. This is encouraging because there has always been a trend of certain publishers taking many other rights in addition to the publish rights needed to print the book (see Get What You Give). The downside to this is that 23% of the group learned to retain their rights after the rights to some titles were taken away.

Answer Choices
Responses
Yes
73.33%
No
3.33%
I control the rights to some properties but not others.
23.33%
I'm not sure who controls the rights to my titles.
0%

Question 10: Are you already selling merchandise based on your title?

Answer: 67% of the group is not selling merchandise. This is encouraging for two reasons. First, the fact that a third of creator owned books has some kind of merchandise supports the idea that there is a market for these goods. Second, the results show untapped potential for more merchandise, especially when you consider that a majority of artists retain the right to sell it.

Answer Choices
Responses
Yes
33.33%
No
66.67%

Conclusion
Based on the results of the survey, the market does not have the necessary volume for my proposed merchandise platform to thrive. That doesn’t mean that there is no value in releasing a creator owned book. It doesn’t mean that individual creators can’t set up their own creator owned merchandise and make it profitable. It does mean that there is an opportunity in both digital distribution and merchandise that independent creators can use to enhance the popularity and sales of their books.

If you have any questions about this survey, please let me know.


Have fun.
Gamal