This year's Free Comic Book Day was planned for the first Saturday in May. Books were intended to start arriving in stores very soon, but now, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it was believed to have put too much pressure on the system. And it is now intended to cover the whole of the month and become, for 2020, Free Comic Book May, which will also avoid the massive crush of people on one specific day,
Instead retailers will get a different amount of Free Comic Book May titles every week in May, so as to avoid the crowds – or lack of them. Diamond has told retailers
With restaurants and other businesses closing and many areas implementing event restrictions, we know that Free Comic Book Day will be impacted to varying degrees throughout the world. With the books already printed and en route, we have worked with our publisher partners to give retailers as much flexibility as possible in their handling of this event.
To minimize the impact on our primary distribution operations, prioritizing the distribution of weekly new comics and restocks, a number of FCBD titles will be included with each regular weekly shipment for the next several weeks. These titles will be invoiced at no charge, as we extend the billing out approximately 90 days, to the first week in August. The books may not be in separate boxes from the rest of the shipment, except when full cases are shipping.
With a longer period to utilize the books before being invoiced, retailers will be free to use the books in whatever manner suits their individual marketing needs, beginning May 2, 2020. We anticipate stores needing to be creative in how they hold events, perhaps having to distribute the books in new ways or to smaller groups of customers than the single big day you typically experience. To that end, we will be referring to the event as 'Free Comic Book MAY' and retailers can use their online Comic Shop Locator Service / FCBD profiles to update customers on their plans.
More industry news to come today… going to be a big one.