Distribution Wrap Up

A column article by: Ace Masters

Distribution is something you have to do, even if you do it yourself. It’s a fact that if you want people to buy your title you have to find some way to get it into their hands. Any way you do that is distribution.

Distribution has two benefits: Sales and Profit. Sales and Profit are the basis for two other benefits: the ability to continue to produce comics and graphic novels and the ability to hopefully make a living out of it one day.
Without some sort of distribution sales and profit will never materialize as there won’t be an avenue for reader to find and purchase your title (s).
The ultimate form of distribution for your comic/graphic novel title is, of course, Diamond Comics Distributors, Inc, which reaches the largest dedicated comic book audience. Diamond Book Distribution is the next best bet. They reach a wider, but non-dedicated and non-comic book exclusive audience, in the mass market.
But they are not the only distributors in place for your titles. As mentioned in previous columns, there are alternate forms of distribution: Haven Distributors, Indy Planet, Digital Distribution and different forms of self-distribution, to name a few.
What should you do now? Simple, read each of the previous columns and take from them what you will. After all these column are meant as a guideline, not an end-all, be-all that you MUST do or else.
  • Distribution – The First Column – An overview of what distribution is and its importance
  • Conventions – This column breaks down conventions, what to do, how to use them and what to expect.
  • Diamond Comic Distributors – A series of eight columns breaking down Diamond and covering everything from what Diamond does, how to submit projects to them, and how to best take advantage of your relationship with Diamond.
  • Diamond Books – A stand alone column covering Diamond Comic Distributors sister company Diamond Books and how they may be a viable option.
  • Digital Distribution – This cover the growing digital market.
  • Self-Distribution – This column discussed the advantages, disadvantages of self-distribution and potential ways to distribute.
From here, do your own research. Research all these forms of distribution, and other forms you may discover on your own. Learn all you can about each of these, their advantages and disadvantages.
Maybe for whatever reason you decide you don’t want to even attempt the Diamond route. Then decide which route that you do want to go. Perhaps you believe the Indy Planet route or the self-distribution route is what is right for you.
Also, take a good honest look at your title. The title itself should have some play in what form of distribution you should. Be honest in your assessment of your title. Is it something you think can sell well in the direct market? If so, great, hit Diamond as fast as possible.
If you think the title might be a hard sell to the direct market - maybe it isn’t mainstream enough or it
is too ‘artsy’ - then maybe the convention route and Haven is a better fit.
You need to keep in mind one other thing as well, your own budget. No matter what route you take, some money will have to come out of your pocket. You don’t want to bankrupt yourself getting the title out there. You need to chose what route you believe will get you the biggest return for the money you will spend.
Bottom line is, you have a choice to make. And it is your choice. Choose whatever form of distribution you want to do, what suits you and your title.
However, none of these are exclusive. Diamond is not exclusive. They do not require you to distribute solely through them only, even if they decide to carry your title.
If you are so incline try all the routes. Or, mix and match what you think are the best routes.
Truth is, you never know unless you try.
Next Time:
The Research columns on Distribution are at an end. But the research you need to do is not. What is the next step? Sales, Sales, Sales. It is time to look into the sales number to see what is selling, where it is selling and, to a degree, why it is selling.
Ace Masters.

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