Hachette are one of the many popular partwork publishers in the UK, whereby a volume is published, in chapters, serialised and sold in newsagents. Most familiar to Brits for the ads in January, with the lines "part two free with part one, a binder free with part one" or somesuch, they grew to accommodate "free" accessories which could also be collected. Then the accessories became the main deal and the partwork chapter the accessory. So, from building your own Roman boa, learning about fly fishing or collecting all the episodes of a seventies sitcom on DVD, over the decades it has become an effective way to sell such products in local corner stores rather than the high street, and persuade custmers
But it was the Eaglemoss DC and Marvel lead figurines that would change the paradigm, as specialist comic book stores would seize on them, and they would gain success in the USA, the first British partwork to do so. I write for a few of the magazines back in the day.
Hachette, a rival publisher, seized on that opportunity and have been publishing mini-hardcover Marvel collections for the last few years, though as Bryan Hitch pointed out, under a deal that mean creators don't get royalties for the sales.
Now Hachette have found a new market for their latest venture. The Complete History of Doctor Who, told in a series of hardcovers which, week by week, will take over your bookshelf. In the UK, they are currently in test mode, with specific regions allowed to sell the partwork, commonplace in the business model.
There will be eighty volumes in total. The subscription deal goes as follows:
- Free issue with your 1st delivery
- Limited edition print with your 1st delivery
- Doctor Who Travel mug with your 1st delivery
- Doctor Who Wallet with your 2nd delivery
- Exclusive audio adventure with your 2nd delivery
- Tardis bookends with your 4th delivery
But the USA is outside of its subscription model. So, given the demand for Doctor Who over the pond, Hachette will be selling them to comic stores in the USA.
And these are the ones they are starting with in September, following through into November.