In a note to his fellow retailers giving them Diamond codes for this year’s Eisner nominees, Brian Hibbs made a rather interesting discovery: Diamond has only 59% of the 101 individual SKUs in stock. Meanwhile, Baker & Taylor, the world’s biggest book distributor, has 83% of them in stock.
Hibbs points out the irony of the biggest comics distributor having fewer books in stock than a generalist mega-distributor. What he doesn’t mention is that a lot of the nominees are from traditional book publishers, and the direct sales market traditionally has a very hard time getting and keeping those books in stock.
A lot of comics shops that deal in mainstream reader materials have taken to using B&T for just that reason. As far as we’ve seen, Diamond has always been fairly open and honest about this: if you have to go somewhere else you can.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.