Butcher on Pre-selling

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Chris Butcher finally weighs in on the hot topic of the last few weeks :

Much to the detriment of my making friends at retailer get-togethers, I think this is more of a non-issue than anyone would care to admit, a matter of principle that doesn’t even come close to playing out in the real world. I’m actually a lot more concerned, on the release-date front, about Diamond’s continuing inability to process books that they receive as a distributor as fast as the bookstore chains. Most bookstores are receiving manga, “mainstream” book publishers graphic novel releases, and magazines like Giant Robot, between a day and a month before Diamond gets them into my store. This week Diamond shipped Negima Volume 16, and I’ve had that direct from Del Rey since before Christmas! Maybe it’s easier to issue veiled threats against independent publishers than it is against Diamond? There are serious distribution inequities within the direct market, but I don’t think this position paper begins to addresses them… they certainly aren’t coming from 100 copies of Kramers Ergot at the San Diego Comic-Con.

Comments

  1. Ceaser says:

    That’s true. The Barnes and Nobles’ got thier copies of Chris Ware books about a month before the comic book stores got theirs.

  2. I bought Amulet at Borders about a month ago, and it just showed up comic book stores through Diamond last week… although that was published by Scholastic, so maybe distributing through Diamond was just an afterthought for them.

  3. Amulet is the example I was thinking of too. We’re getting it this week, and I just realized a couple weeks ago that it was out, and was about to order it from Baker & Taylor despite having already ordered it from Diamond.

    If Diamond can’t hit the same release date, it’d be nice if they’d warn us about that, but it seems they only offer a “This might be in stores before we get it to you” about half the time, at best.

    Oh, and Chris is dead on in general here. This is but one of the bigger issues to be tackled instead of publishers selling their books at conventions.

  4. I know that despite my constant and repeated early reminders and prodding, Random House found themselves unable to meet Diamonds’ deadlines to have my Squirrelly Gray book available in bookstores and comic book stores at the same time. I think just the fact that Diamond is kind of off their radar makes them slow to respond to Diamonds needs.

  5. James,

    I think you’re going to start seeing more comics retailers going direct to the major book publishers not only to get the same shipping considerations as the big box retailers, but for the returnability options and better terms.

    I do think that comics publishers have grown too dependent on the convention sales and lose wholesale sales (which it seems are more profitable for them) as a result.

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