IDW Publishing and Penguin Random House Publisher Services today announced an exclusive worldwide multi-year sales and distribution agreement for IDW's newly published and backlist comic book periodicals, trade collections, and graphic novels to the Direct Market comic shops beginning June 1, 2022. The new agreement complements and expands their current partnership, in which PRHPS sells and distributes IDW's trade-book frontlist and backlist to bookstores.
By expanding its reach into the Direct Market, Penguin Random House states that its mission is to support comic shops in fostering a life-long love of comics, graphic novels, and manga for fans of all ages. PRH is a free-freight company, and is committed to bolstering all physical retail, where independently owned comic shops and bookstores are some of the most passionate industry advocates and anchors of their communities.
Penguin Random House's fourth, and newest, distribution facility, a one-million square-foot warehouse in Hampstead, Maryland, recently went operational, and in tandem with the company's fulfillment headquarters in nearby Westminster, will be the centerpieces for its comics Direct Market supply chain.
"IDW succeeds when the Direct Market succeeds," said IDW Publisher Nachie Marsham. "No matter how amazing our comics and graphic novels may be, it's the retailers that are connecting readers with our stories. Because of that, I couldn't be more excited about our future with Penguin Random House and I have the utmost confidence that every store, no matter the size, will see the benefits of the high levels of care and service that PRHPS brings."
Jeff Abraham, President of Penguin Random House Publisher Services, said, "IDW have been wonderful partners these past five years and it's been thrilling to see the evolution of its publishing program, and to support the phenomenal growth of their graphic novels into the book trade. With PRHPS's expansion in the Direct Market, we see this as a natural extension of that partnership and look forward to putting the expertise of PRH's supply chain, customer knowledgeability and sales know-how, and solutions-centered customer service to help bring IDW comics and graphic novels to even more fans throughout the world."
Direct Market retailers can choose to order IDW products direct from PRH, or alternatively, through Diamond as a wholesaler under terms established by Diamond in the US and the UK. These retailers now have 24/7 access to online ordering at selfservice.penguinrandomhouse.biz/ and can also visit www.prhcomics.com, a website for comics, graphic novels, manga, and more, designed specifically for US Direct Market comic shop retailers and consumers.
Steve Geppi, chairman, President and CEO of of Geppi Family Enterprises and owner of Diamond Comic Distribution issued the following statement;
I would like to thank IDW for their many years of partnership and we are delighted to continue selling IDW's comics, trades and graphic novels to our retail customers as a wholesaler effective June 1, 2022. At Diamond, we understand the unique needs of the direct and book markets and work hard every day to service and support all the stakeholders in our industry. From developing sales tools and launching new services, to organizing industry-wide events and engaging with fans on our consumer platforms, Diamond is consistently creating and evolving new and easier ways for publishers, retailers, and fans to connect. I am proud of the role that Diamond plays and I look forward to our continued service of the direct and book markets.
Steve Geppi also wrote to retailers, saying;
As IDW Publishing announced today, effective June 1, 2022, Diamond will act as a wholesaler to the direct market for IDW comics, trades, and graphic novels. We are working through details, including reviewing discount terms, and will communicate any changes well in advance. Rest assured, Diamond remains your one-stop-shop for IDW comics, trades, and graphic novels as well as your largest single-source for comics, games, collectibles, and hundreds of other amazing pop-culture products each month. Diamond has always been highly focused on the specialized needs of comic retailers, and we continue to invest in your success. We look forward to seeing you at our Virtual Retailer Summit September 26 & 27 as this is a fantastic opportunity to connect with your fellow retailers, learn more about the tools Diamond has created to help grow your business, and hear new product announcements from multiple publishers, including IDW. We are devoted to serving your needs each and every day and I thank you for your continued trust and support.
The IDW deal looks very similar to the one that Marvel Comics signed up to. Diamond can still distribute Marvel comics but on far worse terms than they used to be able to. While PRH terms are better for smaller shops, but worse for larger ones. Back in April, it was noted that IDW was operating under an expired distribution agreement with Diamond for comic stores and PRH for bookstores, but were continuing to operate under it. Seems like the other shoe dropped today.