Starting in Diamond's June Previews catalog, you won't be able to find IDW if you go to our usual spot toward the mid-back of the catalog. We've been made Diamond's fifth Premier Publisher (Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image are the others. Wizard mag was given that status way back when the Premier spots were established, too). This is the first time in the two decades of Diamond's four Premier Publishers that an upstart has been able to crack those hallowed ranks. So this means, like them, we'll also have a "Gem of the Month" each month that gets additional coverage (wait'll you see what ours is, too. Fans attending WonderCon in SF over Easter weekend will get to hear and see the news first, as well as another big announcement that'll end up being our July "Gem"), and other bits of focus (and Previews covers) given to the other Premiere publishers.
This is something we've really worked hard to accomplish, and we're very proud of the recognition on Diamond's part, as well as on retailers' part. Us winning the Diamond Gem Award for Best Publisher (Under 4%) five out the six years--an award voted on by comic retailers--has meant a lot to us, and no doubt helped Diamond recognize our significance to the industry. Of course, this also means that we're not playing in the "Under 4%" category, so now we have to go head to head with Marvel and DC for that award... but still, it's great to be aligned with publishers who've done so much for the industry, and we hope to keep making valuable contributions for a long time to come, too.
You can read Heidi McDonald's story about this over at PW's The Beat, and the text of the press release is here:
Diamond Comic Distributors and IDW Publishing announced today that IDW has become the first publisher to advance to “premier” status since the classification was implemented in 1996. Diamond and IDW have signed a new, multi-year agreement that features a number of fresh initiatives, including premier status, in recognition of IDW’s success as a top tier comic book and graphic novel publisher. Under the agreement, Diamond will continue to be the exclusive distributor of IDW comic books and graphic novels to the comic book specialty market, and to the bookstore market through its Diamond Book Distributors division.
“This change recognizes the growth and importance of IDW Publishing,” said Diamond President and CEO, Steve Geppi, “and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
Diamond VP Purchasing Bill Schanes added, “Since IDW began publishing, they have grown consistently each and every year, while at the same time establishing one of the best editorial, marketing, and business teams in our industry. They’re easy to work with, understand our market, and are forging ahead with new strategies and plans to grow the consumer appetite for comics and graphic novels.”
In April, Diamond’s PREVIEWS catalog and PREVIEWSworld.com website will showcase IDW’s new vendor status as the company moves to the “Premier Comics” section. IDW will have an exclusive section in the front of the catalog each month, highlighting their new offerings to comic shop retailers and customers.
“We are very pleased to have completed this groundbreaking agreement with Diamond,” said Ted Adams, CEO of IDW Publishing. “By combining Diamond’s leadership in distribution with IDW’s ten-plus years in developing, creating and marketing comic books and graphic novels, we have created an ideal relationship for each of our companies. The comic book medium is trending upward in all parts of consumer awareness and we are proud to be a partner with Diamond for the future.”
Key points to the agreement include:
Under the new agreement and as a result of the company’s consistently strong market share, IDW will have premier status within Diamond and Diamond’s PREVIEWS, including an exclusive section at the front of the monthly catalog.
Discount and Terms of Sales
IDW Publishing will remain in a traditional buy/sell relationship with Diamond, with their books continuing to be sold to comic shops under Diamond’s Terms of Sale (unlike Diamond’s brokerage arrangement with publishers like Marvel and DC Comics where Diamond acts as a sales agent). Discounts will remain unchanged at this time.
Final Order Cut-Off
IDW will be added to Diamond’s Final Order Cut-Off Program sometime in the near future. “Since IDW is a traditional buy/sell vendor, we have some programming work to do, but we expect to have that finalized later this year,” said Schanes.
Book Market Distribution
Diamond remains the exclusive book market distributor of IDW’s publishing efforts. “We’re extremely proud of the progress we’ve made in helping IDW grow its sales in the book store market over the last five years,” said Diamond Book Distributors VP Sales & Marketing, Kuo-Yu Liang. “From their strong licensed properties to their successful launch last year of the Worthwhile Books line for kids, IDW has adeptly shown what products will sell into the book market channel.”