We caught up with BOOM! Studios’ Lumberjanes co-creator Shannon Watters at New York Comic Con and asked about the sales on the book, plans for collected editions, and the audience.
What’s your role with Lumberjanes?
I’m a Senior Editor of the Kaboom! imprint and Boom! Box imprint. Lumberjanes was an idea that I had with Grace Ellis and we brought in Noelle Stevenson pretty early in the process and the three of us banged it out into what it is now. We brought Brooke [Allen] on pretty early in the process. She did the original character designs. On Lumberjanes, I’m the co-creator and help out a lot with the writing.
What’s the total print run for the first issue so far?
I think we’re around 20,000.
What are the plans for book collections?
The first trade is coming out this spring and it will collect the first four issues. Hopefully at some point we’ll publish a special edition hardcover that collects the first eight issues--either later in the year or early 2016.
It seems like sales on the higher-numbered issues are holding up well.
Sales are holding up great. We had originally planned for it to be an eight-issue series, and it’s sold so well we’ve been upgraded to an ongoing. We’re going to keep making them as long as everybody keeps buying them.
Who did you envision as the target audience, and how did that turn out?
Lumberjanes is for everyone, but we are really writing for a cool, 13-year-old girl; somebody who needs this kind of book in their life.
Is there anything that surprised you about who likes the book?
It surprised me how readily the mainstream comic book community took to Lumberjanes. It’s selling great at direct market retail stores. Retailers have been super-duper supportive, which just goes to show that comics starring women are not a sales killer. This is bringing new people into shops. I hear retailers all the time say that so many people come into their shops looking for Lumberjanes and walk out with a pull list. That’s what we want to do. A big thing for me is needing to do something for everyone that will bring people in and keep them reading comics.
How have digital sales been?
Digital sales have been very robust.
Is it an unusual percentage relative to paper copies?
I honestly don’t know. I don’t know that it’s an unusual percentage but a lot of people buy it on comiXology.
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