Well now, this is interesting. IDW has moved its book distribution to Penguin Random House effective April 2017. ICv2 has all the enthusiastic quotes from executives at both companies, including a sad quote from Steve Geppi who owns Diamond Book Distribution, which formerly repped IDW to the book trade. DBD will continues to sell IDW products to the mass market in the UK. But this really makes PRHPS, which also distributes DC, a powerhouse player in the GN field.
For anyone who isn’t into heavy duty book distribution Kremlinology, DBD (Diamond Book Distributors) is a traditional RETURNABLE book distributor and a division of the larger Diamond company. Diamond Comic Distributors is the direct market, periodical-oriented business, although to make matters more complicated, you can order trades direct from DCD.
It’s one of a number of defections from Diamond to PRHPS over the years. IDW joins Archie and Dark Horse at PRHPS, while Diamond still distributes Image, Dynamite, Valiant, Oni and a number of smaller companies.
Other companies at PRHPS include DC, Kodansha, Titan Books, Legendary and Vertical, according to ICv2.
The move of IDW to PRHPS is a major coup for PRHPS. IDW is currently enjoying its biggest book channel hit ever with Top Shelf’s March series, which accounted for three of the top five graphic novel bestsellers in the book channel last month (see “August 2016 BookScan–Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels”).
And with a client roster that now includes five of the top ten comic publishers in the direct market, plus book channel powerhouse Kodansha, PRHPS may now be the biggest graphic novel distributor to the book channel, if it wasn’t already.
ICv2 has a scorecard but I’ve added a few companies. The list isn’t complete and I may have messed it up so correct me in comments!
Simon & Schuster Distribution Services: VIZ, Boom, Andrews McMeel
Hachette Client Services: Marvel
Macmillan: First Second, Papercutz, Drawn & Quarterly
Consortium: Uncivilized, Koyama, Secret Acres, Alternative
The steady drip of clients from DBD is certainly…interesting.
EDIT: And here’s the official PR:
IDW Publishing, a subsidiary of IDW Media Holdings (OTC: IDWM), today announced a multi-year book sales and distribution partnership with Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS) exclusively for the trade bookstore market. The agreement takes effect April 2017.
Celebrated for its diverse catalog of licensed and creator-driven titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE, MY LITTLE PONY, and JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS; Paramount/CBS’s STAR TREK; Nickelodeon’s TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES; Twentieth Century Fox’s THE X-FILES; Sony’s GHOSTBUSTERS, DISNEY CLASSICS, Temple Street Productions’ ORPHAN BLACK, and many more. In addition, from IDW’s Top Shelf Productions imprint, the March trilogy is both a critical darling and commercial smash hit, currently holding the top three positions on the New York Times Bestseller List for five consecutive weeks. The award-winning trilogy of books is Congressman John Lewis’ autobiographical account of the civil rights movement with co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with IDW,” said Jeff Abraham, President, Penguin Random House Publisher Services. “IDW has a fantastic reputation in the comics business, and we look forward to working with them to grow the sales of their impressive graphic-novel publishing program.”
“Entering this new relationship with Penguin Random House is an exciting opportunity for us,” said Ted Adams, CEO and Publisher, IDW Publishing. “Our mission as a publisher has always been to create quality content and get it out to as many readers as possible. With Penguin Random House working alongside us to achieve that goal, we think IDW is primed to increase sales and take our market share to the next level.”
Diamond Comics Distributors will continue to sell and distribute graphic novels and comics exclusively to the comic book specialty market. Diamond will also continue to handle distribution of graphic novels, books, and other merchandise to the mass market in the UK.
“Our relationship with Diamond is extremely important, and one that we plan to continue to grow, and we thank them for the many successes they’ve helped us achieve in the book market up to now,” addedGreg Goldstein, President and COO, IDW Publishing. “Between our solid connection with Diamond and now with the addition of PRHPS onboard, we’re excited by the prospect of attracting brand new readers and engaging the next generation of comic fans, wherever they’re seeking entertainment.”
Diamond President and CEO Steve Geppi commented, “Everyone at Diamond has the highest respect for IDW and we’re proud of the success we have helped them achieve. We will continue to work and grow our business with IDW, and all of the publishers we represent, in every possible way.”
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.