So this morning it was announced that Marvel is pulling their book trade business away from Diamond’s book distribution arm, and moving it to Hachette. They’re still going to keep distributing to comic book stores through Diamond, but Borders, B&N, Chapters/Indigo, etc., are all going to Hachette. You can find a good write-up with all of the details at The Beat.

I don’t really have time to write a full blog post on this, a lot going on today. So I figured I’d just update this one post with my thoughts as I went.

- Question: Was Diamond Books’ recent downsizing because they knew they were losing Marvel? Or is there more downsizing to come?
A representative of Diamond Books answered this one on Twitter: “hey Chris – recent re-org not related, no down-size planned”

- Thought: I’d heard through industry channels that Marvel makes up more of DBD’s business, percentage-wise, than it does of Diamond Comics’ business… That’s a pretty big hit for anyone to take.

- Thought: Related to that, man, Diamond had been really, really pushing Marvel’s books… because Marvel was really, really pushing Diamond to do so. I guess at its base level that’s their job, but I’ve heard a story or two that would make your hair curl. I guess everyone else Diamond distributes now gets 100% more attention for their books? More?

- Question: Does this give any additional credibility to Checker Books’ comments about their decision to leave DBD?

- Q: Did this come from Disney? Or is this just natural growth?

- Q: Marvel said in the PR at the beat that Diamond had grown their bookstore sales by 300% over 3 or 4 years… Was that not good enough or was it a corporate directive saying that the move had to happen?

- Q: Is it just a question of a company not putting all of their eggs in one basket? Because man, does the comics industry EVER LOVE to put all of its eggs in one basket.

More to come,

- Chris

8 Comments on “Thoughts on Marvel leaving DBD”

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  1. Jeff Zugale says:

    The only surprise here is that they switched to a distro that’s not owned by Disney.

  2. Bitter Matt says:

    These are good, thoughtful questions.

    So I hesitate to add this more frivolous one, but… weeell… is anyone going to run a headline with some variation of “Marvel takes Hachette to bookstore market”–?

    Because I haven’t seen one yet, and seriously, it’s just sitting there waiting! :o)

  3. Scott says:

    I’m curious to see what, if any, difference this makes on the 2010 Bookscan lists. I wonder if this move to a different distributor will actually make a difference in their sales.

  4. Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment says:

    [...] announcement that Marvel will switch from Diamond  to Hachette for its book-market distribution. [Comics212, The Comics [...]

  5. Rich Johnston says:

    Hachette distribute Disney books. I can’t see this as being a coincidence.

  6. Tommy Raiko says:

    The only surprise here is that they switched to a distro that’s not owned by Disney.

    Unless I’m mistaken, Disney doesn’t own any book distribution company. Disney’s various book publishing companies are distributed to the book trade (at least in the U.S.) by HarperCollins, which is ultimately owned by Rupert Murdoch.

    Hachette distribute Disney books. I can’t see this as being a coincidence.

    I don’t think that’s right. At least not in the U.S., or not yet (who knows how the companies will realign in the future!) Hacehette’s website doesn’t list any Disney publishers among its distributed lines. The Disney Book Group/Hyperion site notes that they’re distributed to the trade by HarperCollins, not Hachette.

  7. Sequential | Canadian Comics News & Culture says:

    [...] Chris Butcher has some retailer-like thoughts on Marvel dumping Diamond as their bookstore distributor. No Comments – Tags: floppies, [...]

  8. Torsten Adair says:

    Disney does have a relationship with Hachette Livre in France.

    Hachette Livre has the English and French rights to Tintin and Asterix.

    Hachette US has some experience with comics. If their sales force understands comics, then this is a good move for Disney/Marvel.

    Marvel does need a good swift kick in the pants regarding their publishing program. A good start would be numbering the GNs sequentially. “I liked this book, what’s the next one in the series?” “Um… let me check the computer… they list the issue numbers there…” Feh. Ultimate Spider-Man sells because it’s mostly self-contained and it’s numbered.

    Oh… and they replicated Dark Horse’s movie strategy… not printing enough copies to meet demand once the movie screens. Grr… How many copies of Kick-Ass aren’t you selling, Mr. Millar, because Marvel/Diamond doesn’t have any copies?

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