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Distribution: Diamond Comic Distributors Part One: What is Diamond Comic Distributors?

A column article by: Ace Masters

What is Diamond Comic Distributors? The FAQ page on their websiteanswers that this way:

Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. was established in 1982 to provide comic book specialty retailers with wholesale, non-returnable comic books and related merchandise.

After more than 20 years of service, Diamond has become as (sic) the world's largest distributor of English-language comics and related merchandise, with a network of strategically-located Distribution Centers throughout the world.

That is how Diamond defines themselves, but what are they really?

Good, bad, right or wrong, Diamond is your best shot at the Direct Market. Without being carried by Diamond, most retailers won’t even look at smaller publishers. To be honest, even when they are carried by Diamond, many retailers still won’t look at smaller publishers.

One way to learn more about Diamond is to study their history and how they evolved. Here is how your research and planning with regards to Diamond needs to start. First, research Diamond’s history: how they started, why they started and how they evolved into what they are today. Diamond's Web site covers this briefly, but a great resource for the history of Diamond is, surprisingly enough, Wikipedia. Diamond has a long history and track record; not all of it is good. However, this is the info that you should know before going to Diamond in the first place.

Because of this information being easily accessible via the Web, Diamond’s history will not be covered in this or any of my following columns. Instead, what will be covered is much more pertinent: your potential (future) business partnership with Diamond.

The future is important to any relationship, especially a business relationship that is built on predicting the future and hoping for the best. "Predicting and hope," you ask? These may seem to be weird words, considering we're talking about a future business relationship. Right?

Wrong.

Predicting is part of what business is all about: businesses predict future trends, then project sales figures and activity based on those trends. People make a living, sometimes quite a lucrative one, on predicting the future for a business.

But you may be asking, "How does this come into play with my potential relationship with Diamond?" Well, when you go to Diamond, you don’t just want to sell them on how great your title is. You want to sell them on the idea - presented as fact - that your title has a commercial future. Diamond only accepts titles for publication that they believe will sell well -- they'll only take a chance if they believe that your title will likely make them a profit.

Hoping for the best comes into play as both sides have to hope they have made the correct decision. The point of doing business with anyone is to maximize your relationship for the benefit of both sides. But no one can know they're right, for a certainty, until your title has actually come out and, hopefully, has sold very well. That's how hope comes into the discussion.

The next question you must be asking is, "How can I maximize my future with Diamond to create a mutually profitable future?" To do this, you must start by asking the following questions, then finding their answers.

  1. What can Diamond do for you?
  2. What can you bring to Diamond?
  3. What is the best way to submit projects to Diamond?
  4. What if Diamond rejects you?
  5. How can you best use Diamond?
  6. Comic in Previews - Now What?
  7. Comic on Shelves - Now What, Part Two?

Each one of these questions will be answered at great length in separate columns, from which I will draw upon my experience in getting Rushmore, Fireblast, Wild Boys and Full Moon Craze distributed through Diamond. (Not that I plan to stop with these titles; in the future, I hope more titles will be forthcoming.)

I will leave you with this Burning Question:

Due to Diamond’s world-wide reach, they are the company you truly want to look into doing business with. As with all business partnerships the question now is: What can Diamond do for you?

Later,

Ace.

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