Diamond Comics raises threshholds; what does this mean for smaller publishers?
As seen at Newsarama and elsewhere, Diamond Comics, the primary distributor of comic-books to the direct market of comic-book stores, is raising its minimums. For a comic book to be carried by the publisher (with some exceptions), the wholesale total must be at least $2,500.
ComicChron does the math, and shows that a $2.99 comic book needs to move 2,090 copies to meet the Diamond threshhold. Now, there’s been much discussion about the price point of many comics moving to $3.99. Something worth remembering is that in the early days of the direct market, independent publishers routinely sold for 2-3 times the cost of a Marvel or DC comic book. Now, however, Marvel and DC are typically just as expensive as an indy book.
Do indy books need to raise their prices to survive? Will this encourage even more publishers to go to trade paperbacks only?
While I understand the economic necessities for this decision, it’s probably another nail in the coffin of the direct market being the first place aspiring publishers go to try their new idea. Would “Cerebus,” “Bone,” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” have existed first as direct-market comic books today? Or would they have been web comics or original graphic novels first?
– Matt Price
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