It's kind of a shame to think that sales have been falling over time for this title, as that's in inverse proportion to the quality of the issues. But as I said yesterday, that's largely to be expected as natural reader attrition. Given the fact that sales trends seem to be pretty constant over time and over series, it seems pretty obvious that we can probably expect the same continued, gently declining performance from JL:GL over the remaining 2/3 of the series.
I'd venture a rough guess that the series is going to end up selling at about 30,000 copies for the final few issues, probably with a spike at the end as it ties into Brightest Day. (That spike at the end was pretty significant for 52 as it re-launched the multiverse. No telling what could happen if there's a similar reveal at the end of this series such as, say, the resurrection of Ted Kord.)
Justin Garrett Blum posted on Sep. 17, 2010 at 6:51 PM
I think the collector mentality that was so aggressively cultivated in the 90s probably contributes somewhat to trend graphs like this one. Seems as though people don't want to be bothered purchasing a book unless there's some significance to it, like it's a first issue or there's a big reveal.
I could be overestimating that mentality, but it would be interesting, for example, to compare a graph of Booster Gold volume 1 sales to volume 2 sales.
Boosterrific [Official Comment] posted on Sep. 17, 2010 at 7:08 PM
Interesting, yes, but impossible since DC has never released sales numbers for series 1 (at least so far as I know).
Certainly there's nothing new about the tendency for new readers to flock en masse to new #1 issues. Before the 1990s, where comics were marketed as "collectibles," readers picked up #1 issues to see if they were interested in the new story inside. The practice of introducing new features in an anthology (like SHOWCASE) was dead by the end of the 1970s in favor of releasing new titles that could be numbered starting at #1 in order to boost sales. Even though I don't have real numbers to back it up (only anecdotal evidence provided from reading Dan Jurgens' comments in the Gold Exchange letter column), I'm sure that BOOSTER GOLD v1 #1 sold much better than the rest of the series with a declining readership over time.
Justin Garrett Blum posted on Sep. 17, 2010 at 7:42 PM
Well, listen, I'm not going to say that I've never purchased a No. 1 as a try-out, because I have. I understand why first issues sell better than every other successive issue. It's just my sense, however, that since the 90s, readers tend to jump ship earlier--like, if there's not something universe altering going on within the story, it has to be sacrificed. DC in particular has probably fed this trend in recent years with their millions of events. I really wouldn't mind at all a little stability within the mainstream DCU to allow books like Booster Gold to hold onto more of its readership.
Boosterrific [Official Comment] posted on Sep. 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM
You have a good point in that readers are actually encouraged by the major publishers to "jump ship earlier." "Sacrificed" is a great word for it. "Stability" doesn't increase sales. DC's mania for events is directly du to their ability to drive up sales. (The data is definitive: events increase sales very significantly, something the publishers learned in the 1980s). There are a limited (and shrinking) market of comic book buyers, and as the publishers need to earn revenue, they keep trying to earn our attention with new series and events. There is only so much time/money to go around, and the ongoings are going to be the titles that suffer. This trend will no doubt continue until either events no longer attract increased sales or comic books become extinct. I think the best that we can hope for is a Booster Gold relaunch every few years. (Honestly, as much as I hate it, it has worked for Marvel.)
Harry posted on Sep. 17, 2010 at 10:55 PM
As far as limited series of this nature, those are good numbers with minimal attrition. The slope looks worse b/c of the y-axis scale. I would be satisfied with a final number over 30k.
tiggerpete posted on Sep. 18, 2010 at 8:03 AM
I will say this, Generation Lost is one of my favorite series out there right now, and right up with DC Legacies (awesome book, and my theory is since the last issue covered Crisis, the next one may just have a JLI appearance) one of my favorite limited series as well.
eyz posted on Sep. 20, 2010 at 7:43 AM
it's kinda sad :/
Well, it is a pretty competitive market!