ComicHub and NPD Bookscan Strike New Data-Sharing Agreement

Forbidden Planet Comic Store - Getty - H - 2019
Ben Hider
The new partnership will make comprehensive sell-through data for collected comics and graphic novels in the U.S. market available for the first time.

Comic store retail CRM software provider ComicHub has reached an agreement with The NPD Group that will result in the most complete look into actual sell-through data for collected comics and graphic novels in the U.S. market yet, it was announced Friday morning at the ComicsPRO Fresh Start breakfast at San Diego Comic-Con.

The agreement has been reached in principle, with a definitive signed agreement expected by Aug. 15, according to ComicHub. As a result, ComicHub will provide point-of-sale data to NPD, allowing sales figures from the comic retailer market to be part of NPD's influential BookScan annual sales chart for the first time, offering the most accurate sales information for the collected comics and graphic novel market in the U.S. to date.

“Our mission is to use all of the data available to create a stronger Direct Market in the brick-and-mortar comic shops. All of our partnerships are weighed against their value to help our client stores and publishers grow,” Atom! Freeman, spokesperson for ComicHub, said in a statement supporting the announcement. “With the BookScan and NPD Entertainment teams, we’ve found an organization with those same values and access to data that will be an enormous advantage for our clients, while also giving the publishing industry at large a look into the sleeping giant of brick-and-mortar retail that is the local comic shop.”

Added Kristen McLean, executive director of business development for NPD Books: “The local comic shops are one of the last areas of independent book sales that we don’t yet capture in BookScan, and we think it is one of the most important, given the pop-culture cachet, creativity and high growth we are seeing in this area of publishing."

As part of the new agreement, ComicHub will also be able to offer comic store retailers better access to BookScan data, allowing them the opportunity to respond quicker to emerging mainstream sales trends, both in the comics and mainstream prose areas. The agreement is expected to take effect in early 2020. 

"No one knows this business better than indie retailers," McLean said, "and once we create this view, the entire comics ecosystem — retailers, publishers, and suppliers — will be able to be more responsive.”