Research, Research, Research: DistributionA column article, The Burning Mind by: Ace Masters
After two side columns, we have finally returned to the Business Focus. The True Indie Comic Book Industry column covered the last of the Market columns. Now we turn ourselves to the next burning question:
How do you get your product to the Market?
The simple answer to that is - Distribution.
What is distribution? Distribution is the act of getting your product into the hands of retailers for resale to the public at large. In a wider view, distribution is the act of getting your product out in front of the widest possible audience.
Distribution itself is not so simple. There are multiple ways to distribute products. At times it depends on what section of the market you are aiming for, what audience and what type (genre and/or format) of comics product you are putting out.
Distribution is not selling product directly to the public. If you sell comics through your own site, that is not distribution (even though some consider it to be such), but it is instead direct sales.
The most common way to distribute comics in North America - and perhaps the world - is Diamond Comics Distributors, the company that has basically cornered the North American comic book distribution market. Other ways to distribute comics and related materials are Diamond Books, Conventions, Other Print Distributors, Online Comic Distributors (Print Comics, Not Web Comics) and self-distribution.
Over the course of the next seven columns, I will breakdown each avenue of potential distribution, beginning with conventions.
Next time: Just what does a convention bring to the game and what can it do for you?