Research, Research, Research: Distribution: Diamond Comic DistributorsA column article by: Ace Masters
Your title has been accepted and is going to be in Previews. You have already done some promotion, but you could only do so much while waiting to hear from Diamond. You really need some more info from Diamond - mostly concerning Previews - before you can go full bore.
Right now is when you really need to start thinking about how best you can use Diamond.
A better way to put this is to ask: how can you exploit Diamond for your gain? This may sound selfish, but it isn’t. You want to exploit everything that you can to get the best results. Diamond won’t care if you exploit them; in fact they expect it.
Consider that anything you gain from exploiting Diamond, they gain as well.
In a previous column "What Can Diamond Do for You?" some of the services Diamond offers were listed. Those services will be revisited here, because now is the time to take advantage of everything that you can that Diamond offers and exploit it.
The first thing you need to do is keep an open dialog with your Brand Manager. Communication is very important - even if it is just an e-mail once or twice a week. Exploit what your brand manager knows, pick every recess of their brain for every bit of info they have that can be of use to you.
Never be afraid to ask them a question.
If Previews decides to endorse your title as "Certified Cool," - or any one of their other endorsements - exploit it again. Make sure everyone knows how Cool your title is and that it is a must buy. The great thing about this is that it is not your opinion; it is someone else saying this about your work.
Can you afford a couple of hundred dollars? What about $750? If the answer is yes, purchase an ad in Diamond. I can attest personally that these do have an impact. If not a full page ad, purchase a half page ad.
Exploit the available space in Previews. Somebody flipping through Previews may miss your listing, but they will be hard pressed to miss that epic full page ad you have. They will see the ad, and that will prompt them to check out your listing for more info - and hopefully order the title.
If you can’t make it to conventions - or even if you can - take Diamond up on their service of handing out flyers, postcards and ash cans at conventions.
One thing that has not been touched on before now is the most important information that Diamond will ever give you concerning your title - and any future titles: the Previews Listing and Order information.
Once Previews is put together and ready to go, your Brand Manager will give you two pieces of information: the page number that the listing for your title appears on and the order number for your title.
This is the most important information you will ever receive from Diamond. Everybody needs to know this info, and they need to know it from you. Yes, Diamond will give this info to retailers, but you need to also give it to the retailers.
The Previews page listing and order number needs to be everywhere. Get it out to every retailer, all comic books sites, post it on every social networking site available. Make sure every family member and friend you have knows the number.
You want anyone who might potentially order your title to get this info. It‘s your job to make sure they do. Spread it like wildfire. Do not expect them to get it from Previews.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are probably many more things you can do. Talk to Diamond; find out what other services they offer. Talk to other people who have had titles in Diamond and find out what they have done – that worked.
Do your own research and see what you can come up with as ways to exploit your relationship with Diamond.
But keep this in mind: we’ve only scratched the surface. Once Previews hits the shelves of the local comic book shop, it’s warp speed time.
Previews has hit the shelves and your title is officially available for order - "Now what?"