Diamond gives details on new hires and new division:

In 2006, Diamond Book Distributors (DBD) played a key role in cultivating the unprecedented growth, impressive book market sales increases, and immense consumer popularity of the graphic novel format. Today, DBD announced several organizational changes and unveiled its new children’s book group, all designed to position the company — and the publishers it represents — for even greater success in 2007 and beyond.

“With sales figures exceeding our projections, 2006 is shaping up to be one of DBD’s best years ever,â€? said DBD Vice President of Sales & Marketing Kuo-Yu Liang, “and 2007 looks even more promising as the market for graphic novels continues to expand. These organizational changes, plus the development of our newest group dedicated to children’s properties, will enable DBD to keep pace with that expansion next year, and for many years to come.â€?

Josh Hayes has been promoted to DBD Associate Director of Sales & Marketing. His responsibilities will include worldwide sales reporting & inventory management, handling the toys/games/merchandising program for bookstores and strategic planning with manga publishers. Previously, Josh was a buyer at Waldenbooks, then a DBD Sales Manager selling to the BGI Group.

Janna Morishima has been hired as Director for DBD’s newly formed Diamond Kids Group. She begins on December 11 and will be based in New York City. Janna was formerly Scholastic Publishing’s Editor at Large and was responsible for such graphic novel lines as Bone, the Baby-Sitters Club and R.L. Stine adaptations. In this newly created position, Janna will be responsible for coordinating DBD’s sales efforts of children’s books to customers worldwide including bookstores, libraries, online, mass merchants, book club and book fairs. Janna will also work very closely with DBD publishers to develop new properties for children.

Donnie Lewis has joined DBD as Customer Service Manager. Before joining DBD, Donnie was Assistant Manager of Data Processing at Diamond Comic Distributors, DBD’s parent company. With Diamond since 1997, Lewis’ new responsibilities include managing all aspects of customer service issues and coordinating with distribution centers in Memphis, Torrance and Plattsburgh. Donnie will report to DBD Director of Client & Customer Service Karen Huddler.

Additionally, DBD continues its commitment to international markets by partnering with organizations in countries and territories all over the world. These various organizations and individuals will work closely with DBD Director of International Sales Scott Hatfill.

In Canada, DBD works with the Manda Group, one of Canada’s oldest and most respected companies. With 13 sales representatives across the country, the Manda Group has started selling DBD’s products to Canadian bookstores, libraries and mass merchants.

For markets Down Under, DBD has chosen to work with Dennis Jones Associates. With offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Dennis Jones Associates has been selling DBD’s titles to bookstores, libraries and mass merchants across Australia and New Zealand including Dymocks, A&R and Borders.

In Latin America & the Caribbean, DBD will be working with Larry Kolarik to handle sales to bookstores in this growing area. Larry is already representing DBD titles to overseas military bases.

“Thanks to upcoming releases including Stephen King’s Dark Tower, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books and Civil War from Marvel, plus tie-ins with related Hollywood blockbusters such as 300, Transformers, 30 Days of Night and Spider-Man 3, and titles related to the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, DBD is poised to have its best year ever in 2007, â€? said Liang. “These titles and many others will help bookstores expand their customer base for graphic novels, and the changes we’ve made at DBD ensure that we will be ready and able to meet their needs next year, and in the years ahead.â€?