The Diamond Post at Comics212
Diamond is a distributor of comics. Wait, let me rephrase that. In North America, Diamond is *the* distributor of comics. As in, they have a monopoly. They are the source of comics for the direct market (aka comic book and hobby shops). Diamond recently announced they were changing their policies to only distribute comics that meet a certain minimum order. If this rule had been in place over the past decade there would have been no Scott Pilgrim, or any other indie comic really. This is potentially a deathblow to print indie comics.
- Diamond’s job is to serve the Direct Market, and specifically the network of comic book specialty stores that make up the direct market.
- Diamond’s goal is to make money at this.
- Diamond does this by buying comics at a deep discount from publishers, and selling them to the retailers at a lesser discount.
- Somewhere along the line, they calculated what it costs to solicit and ship a book to those retailers versus what it makes them, and came up with a dollar figure for their comfortable-profit-zone. I do want to note that this order minimum has never been expressed as “the break even point”, this is just where they make a profit on the book they’re comfortable with.
- Recently, they raised that minimum so that you have to sell $6250 or so of comics, retail, to get distributed. That effectively means anything not in their “top 300″, most months. The books just never show up in stores, despite being ordered.
Much more at the link.
Fun fact: Chris Butcher, who I'm linking to here, was the inspiration for Wallace Wells in Scott Pilgrim.