Digital Comics: Downloads and Sales of IN MAPS & LEGENDS in 2010

The first, and maybe most important piece of advice I can give you about self-publishing your digital comics?

Don’t check your sales every day!

That way lies madness. I try to do a sales update once a week, and do my best not to peek at the reports (at those sites that provide reporting, that is) any other time but that once. Otherwise you’ll drive yourself nuts, check and rechecking and clicking Refresh.

Trust me — I’ve survived the Zuda contest. I know what I’m talking about… 🙂

That said, artist Niki Smith and I have had some people ask about which distributors we’ve had the most success with in self-publishing our digital comic.

So here’s a breakdown of the sales of IN MAPS & LEGENDS Issues 1, 2, and 3 from September 1 thru December 31, 2010.

Number of downloads in 2010: About 750 [updated on 1/23/11 with new #s, up from 500] *

Number of distributors used: 12

Distributors and their percentage of sales in 2010:

  1. B&N’s Nookbook Store: 44%
  2. Comixology: 30%
  3. Amazon’s Kindle Store: 13%
  4. DriveThruComics: 7%
  5. 5%
  6. Amazon’s Kindle Store in the UK: .5%
  7. Wowio: .5%
  8. MyDigitalComics: 0%
  9. Robot Comics: 0% *
  10. LongBox: 0%
  11. XinXii: 0%
  12. Myebook: 0%

* Please note the numbers and percentages with a * are estimates, because we haven’t gotten all of thee end-of-quarter reports from all of our distributors. For example, we had to guess at Comixology’s numbers, based solely on the number of starred ratings readers gave each issue. I updated the numbers above based on new numbers, and I’ll try to do that as other reports roll in (edited on 1/23/11)

But the numbers from Amazon’s Kindle, B&N’s Nook, and DriveThruComics are very accurate. I just checked ’em yesterday!


The Nook has been a pleasant surprise for us — hence, my ePub post so other comics creators can get in on the Nook goodness. Readers are hungry for content, so give ’em your comics to buy and download and read!

UPDATED TO ADD: And if there’s any doubt that people got new gadgets for Xmas, and needed to fill them with stuff to read, check this out — we had 55 downloads for the Nook alone on December 25th and 26th! Ho ho ho, indeed.

We were also surprised by the number of downloads from DriveThruComics, which I’ve mentioned earlier.

Lessons Learned

We dropped Scribd due to lack of sales and a horrible user interface, and may drop one or two other distributors (live and learn is the way I see it).  Some places are a good fit, some aren’t, for whatever reason. The beauty of e-publishing is that you can be very, very nimble.

You also keep very, very busy.

So… Any questions? Feel free to share this page with other comics creators. As always, if you wanna say thanks, you can  buy an issue of IN MAPS & LEGENDS in a format of your choice. Thanks!

P.S. Issue 4 is on track for a Feb. 2 release, and it looks awesome! Just sayin’…

1 thought on “Digital Comics: Downloads and Sales of IN MAPS & LEGENDS in 2010

  1. Thanks, Michael, we put out a color children’s book IF I WERE YOUR MONSTER in December and its Nook performance has blown me away. But we only have it on Nook, Kindle and paper POD, but just estimating, I’d guess 75 percent Nook, 20 percent paper, 5 percent Kindle.

    I think the color Nook will drive illustrated content faster than on other devices–I just don’t know how people are using iPad for comics. Once that gateway is cracked open, I suspect indies will see nice growth. I agree, it’s a wide-open market. The Curious George books thrown out for Kindle are awful in quality.

    Scott Nicholson


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