Recently, Bleeding Cool reported more changes to the distribution of comic books to the direct market of comic book stores, as DC Comics and Marvel have left the exclusive distribution by Diamond Comic Distributors. DC is now exclusive with Lunar, Marvel with Penguin Random House – though the latter allows other distributors like Diamond to subdistribute to comic stores. Diamond remains the exclusive, or main distributor to much of the rest of the direct market but that's a much smaller slice of the pie. This means that the discount that retailers receive from Diamond was about to change dramatically without Marvel or DC to bump their orders up and keep them in their Diamond discount tier. Fewer orders from retailers to Diamond meant less of a discount on the comics they order.
As a result, until at least the end of the year, Diamond Comic Distributors is freezing current retailer discount levels, citing "an effort to avoid additional disruption in our industry." This will apply to all Diamond orders, aside from those of Marvel Comics which has its own rules.
As a result, however, Diamond will also not change their shipping calculations, which were intended to be reduced, to get closer to Penguin Random House's free shipping deals. Diamond states "our goals are to minimize disruption during this transitional period, provide retailers stability when placing orders, and continue to support the strong industry growth we are seeing across periodicals, collections, supplies, collectibles, and other product lines. Given this, we are taking a measured approach to changing any purchasing dynamics to help with everyone's planning as we head into what we expect to be a strong fourth quarter Holiday selling season." Good luck everyone. There are going to be a lot of changes next year.