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‘Trailer effect’ gives Scott Pilgrim series an Amazon sales boost

Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 6

Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 6

We saw last week how the release of the movie trailer led Scott Pilgrim to overtake Justin Bieber (if only briefly) on Twitter, but are we now getting the first indications of what effect Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World might have on sales of the graphic novels?

Just four days after the trailer’s online debut, all six volumes of the Bryan Lee O’Malley series — including the final installment, which won’t be released for another four months — rest comfortably in’s Top 20 Bestsellers in Graphic Novels.

The first volume, 2004’s Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, checks in at No. 8, just behind five books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Twilight: The Graphic Novel and Kick-Ass. Yes, they all share something in common: They’re titles with movie ties.

Subsequent volumes of Scott Pilgrim hold slots No. 9 through 12 and No. 14 on the Amazon chart, a chain interrupted only by the sixth volume of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, which checks in at No. 13.

I have no idea what this means in terms of hard numbers for the Oni Press series (my chart-fu isn’t that strong). Obviously, no one expects a Watchmen-sized “trailer effect,” but if this early chart climb is any indication, could the publisher see impressive sales spikes along the lines of those experienced by Dark Horse with Hellboy and Sin City?

Heck, when O’Malley’s fifth volume was released in February 2009, many retailers sold out quickly, leaving fans scrambling for copies. Now imagine the demand come July 20, when the sixth, and final, book debuts just weeks ahead of the movie.



The Ugly American

March 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Is this film about some sort of hot tub time machine?

Scott Pilgrim will probably be PG-13 giving it a larger penetration rate in terms of viewers and in turn readers. Watchmen was R so it lost some viewers and in turn I’m sure even more possible readers.

That said, after fearing for another movie where Michael Cera plays George Michael, I was pleasantly surprised with the trailer. Though I am still leery of Mary Elizabeth Winstead as her work in Final Destination 3 or Live Free and Die Hard had a wood like characteristic.

FWIW, remember this:

I think the story goes Ivory bought 100 copies and then the book became the top comic sold through Amazon… for a day.

Torsten’s Law of Movie Adaptations: Movies adapted from books always help the sale of the book, regardless of the quality of the movie adaptation.

Moviegoers instinctively know that the original story was good enough for a movie studio to spend $20+ Million to film, and thus is worth reading. The movie also advertises the book, and chain bookstores will merchandise the book prominently in stores. Browsers will spot the book, realize that there is a Major Motion Picture currently in theaters, and pause and consider the book.

The movie can be a stinker like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Love in the Time of Cholera, or Bonfire of the Vanities, and the novel will still gain sales before and during the release of the movie. If there is significant buzz, like I Am Legend, sales can begin to rise many months before the release, as fans discover the original source material.

The bigger problem: almost all books are printed in China. If a book sells out, it can take months to reprint more copies. It happened to Sin City, it happened to Hellboy, and it looks like it will happen to Kick-Ass. However, most “popular” graphic novels tend to sell well long after the movie. (300 is still a good seller as a $30 hardcover.) Print too many copies, and the publisher takes a beating (see:Kitchen Sink and The Crow).

fortunately for Oni, Scott Pilgrim is printed in North America.

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