Publisher’s Weekly blogger Heidi MacDonald reports on her blog, The Beat, that Diamond Distribution (the largest and practically only off-line distributor of periodical comics) is paring back the listings in their monthly catalog sent to subscribers. Diamond is raising its benchmark requirement for products it will list from $1500 to $2500 in wholesale orders per month; meaning that most everyone but the top, best-selling, kid-friendly comics will be cut.
You can read the whole dish on Heidi’s site (here) but the message is clear: Diamond is a corporation, and in lieu of taking a hit to potentially foster some new off-color voices, it will be serving only vanilla and chocolate flavors for the future to come.
According to those in the biz:
“It is going to be rough for us Top 20 publishers. It will be epic for anyone smaller. Lots of folks will vanish due to this, even some bigger guys.”
Still, there is a bright side to this. Many independents have been long frustrated with Diamond over non-competitive policies and their consistent pandering to the Big Two. In light of these new policies, and an independant’s need to reach their market, this aging bloated middle-man might find itself made redundant as online strategies circumvent its listing booklet entirely.