Digital Comic Sales Soar in Japan and US

digital manga

Do you read manga on a ebook reader? More and more manga and comic book fans are.

A recent study from the All Japan Magazine and Book Publisher’s and Editor’s Association showed that sales of digital manga increased 26% in 2016, not including sites and app that offer manga for free.

Here’s something else interesting.

kindle mangaPrint manga sales have dropped 7.4% and magazine manga dropped 12.9%, or 9.3% averaged. These rates aren’t uncommon. Print sales have dropped consistently over the last 15 years.

But here’s the kicker – overall manga sales are up 0.4%.

How’s that math add up? Well, the increase of digital sales pulls total 2016 sales up above 2015 sales. Manga is more popular than ever, but Japanese fans are using e-readers more than buying paperback.

While sales in international markets weren’t included in the report, its safe to say that’s the trend is similar in other countries.

Comichron reports that US digital comic sales have increased 360% since 2011, from $25 million to $90 million. Unlike Japan, print sales are steadily growing stronger also. US paperback comic sales increased 44% in the same time frame (2011).

So what can we learn from this?

It’s fair to say interest in comic books and manga is growing. More people are reading now than every before. And while there’s plenty of nerds who love the smell and feel of paperback, new readers are choosing to save trees and go digital.

There’s plenty of other good reason to go paperless.

  1. Those trees. More people are taking environment issues seriously (which they should). Pollution and energy tend to take the limelight, but environmental protection and reducing paper usage has also grown in popularity. Still a ways to go though.
  2. Convenience. As much as teenage me loved going to the comic book store every month, modern (lazy) me really loves buying things on the couch. Modern (less lazy) me also travels a lot, so being able to buy books anywhere with WiFi is nice.
  3. Accessibility. Digital lets you can carry a your entire library everywhere you go. I still love paper, but I don’t love hauling books around with me. Most of my books are now just an app away.

In case you didn’t know, Amazon offers loads of manga and comic books. They even offer manga samplers for free.

Do yourself a favor, get access to hordes of comic books and graphic novels with an Amazon Kindle Unlimited membership.

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