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Monday, July 15, 2013

Booster Gold Versus Guest Stars

Now that the story is over and the numbers are in, I thought it would be fun to look at whether or not choosing to add Booster Gold to All-Star Western did anything to help its anemic sales. In short, the answer is "not really."

All-Star Western, Volume 3 sales

I've included the six months of sales prior to Booster's arrival (issues #13 through #18) in the graph for reference. It seems that Booster's arrival in issue #19 may have slowed the defection of readers briefly, but they resumed their flight from the title as the story wore on. If All-Star Western lives or dies based on sales numbers (and not Dan DiDio's favor), Booster's appearance might have bought the title one more issue.

Granted, the numbers in this chart are for print issues only and fail to account for any digital sales. Maybe the book sells like gangbusters online, although since All-Star Western appears in 407th place of ComiXology's "Top Titles" list, that seems unlikely.

Looking at the slope of sales decline, an unexceptional issue #19 should probably have been expected to sell about 16,400 copies. Instead, with Booster's help it sold 16,838 copies. Does that mean that adding Booster to a book boosts sales by 400 copies? If the sales of Smallville are any indication, we should probably assume that it was the "WTF" gatefold cover, not Booster's appearance, that drove up sales for the issue.

Smallville Season 11 sales

Booster's appearance in issue #13 didn't seem to move the sales needle. Sales continued on pace. Although these graphs show decreasing sales, remember that as a general rule, comic sales decrease in a gentle curve from month to month for every title everywhere. That's natural sales entropy, and it's why titles are constantly started over with number 1 issues; it moves the title back to the top of the ladder to start the slide over again.

Did Booster fail to make any mark on Smallville: Season 11's sales because Smallville takes place outside of continuity (whatever that word means in the New 52 Universe)? Was it because Smallville: Season 11 is sold in weekly installments online? Or was it because the people who would buy Smallville are buying anyway, and don't care who the guest star of the week is? Who knows. But whatever you do, don't blame it on Skeets!

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