Marvel has a new distributor for their non-comic book store products, and The Beat has all the low down information on this new development.
Starting in September, Marvel will have a new distributor to the book trade, Hachette. Marvel was previously distributed by Diamond Book Distributors; Diamond Comics Distributors will continue to distribute Marvel periodicals and books to the comic shop market.
Diamond will still deal with Marvel when is comes to the sale of comic books to comic book stores, but Marvel will now deal with Hachette when it comes to books stores, the online sales world, and a few other places. Diamond has been the way to order comics for the past 5 years, when Marvel signed up with them. The majority of comic book companies went through Diamond, and that was how the world worked. A lot of this seems to come down to the fact that Marvel wants to have a bigger presence in the comic book market, as well as the book market. I personally don’t know how they could get any bigger, but I’m sure it’s possible.
Since last year, when Disney announced the buy-out in Marvel, which happened in January, many people have been dreading what Disney will do with the company. You could consider this to be the very first change with the company. Although Disney may not have told Marvel to switch distributors, Disney gave Marvel the financial stability and confidence to make this transition, but the point of this is, even though according to the Beat, their sales tripled in the past 5 years with Diamond, to sell more books and reach new customers that were unattainable prior to this switch.
We’re thrilled to be partnering with Marvel. Hachette’s world-class distribution and broad sales reach, combined with Marvel’s outstanding brand and product line, is sure to be a powerful combination.
So, what happens to Diamond? Aren’t they losing one of their biggest clients? Yes, they are, but fear not, they still have big time companies like IDW, Dark Horse, Image, and let’s not forget DC Comics to keep the ball rolling. They won’t have any trouble getting the products to the shelves. Diamond says it best themselves:
I would say we were definitely prepared for it. We are prepared for many different contingencies. DBD losing Marvel is a big loss, obviously. But without Marvel I still expect DBD sales to be up because we have such a strong list for other clients.
UPDATE: Marvel has clarified things in the past few hours, since it was questionable whether or not Marvel would be doing direct market business with Diamond anymore:
Additionally, Marvel will extend its relationship with Diamond, continuing its commitment to comic shops worldwide. Gabriel explained, “Diamond Book Distributors has been very instrumental in the growth of our graphic novel business, nearly tripling our sales in the book market over the last five years, and we thank them for their efforts. The decision to switch book market distributors was a very difficult one but as evidenced by the extension of our Direct Market agreement, our working relationship with Diamond remains very close. We remain extremely appreciative of our Direct Market retailers and continue to grow that vital market.”
This change affects how Marvel does business, not with comic book stores, but with other retailers worldwide. The arms of Diamond may not reach to some areas of the country, let alone the world, and Marvel wants to change that. Many speculate that this is in part to the Amazon screw-up where many trades were going for ridiculously low prices.
So, we may see more Marvel books in more places and more countries while Marvel still does direct market deals with comic book stores, for now.
What do you guys think about the change in distribution? What places do you think would do well if they had comics for sale?
~Mat "InferiorEgo" Elfring is a comedian, teacher, comic book writer, and moderately cool comic store employee~