There was a time when there were no comic book stores and all material was delivered only through mass
market distribution to newspaper stands and drugstores. This system evolved through a series of events (so convoluted that it could be the subject of several columns) into the current system where comic and gaming retail stores get the majority (if not all)
their product from a single distributor.
The long and short of this is if you want to get into a comic book or gaming specialty store at this point
you need to go through Diamond. This is good and bad news. The good news is that you appear in the same catalogue with Marvel, DC and Wizards of the Coast, the bad news is that you appear in the same catalogue with Marvel, DC and
Wizards of the coast. This means that you have a chance to get into every retail outlet that sells your product this
is not something that every distribution system offers it just also means you will have a lot of competition.
To start off let’s go over the process of running your product in Diamond the whole things takes about six
months from initial contact to payday (if all goes smooth). If this month you contacted Diamond’s purchasing department they would request a proposal consisting of the terms of sale, product samples (often of the first 3 issues),
press releases and contact information.
Then in February they would review your material and if they think they can make 2500 retail on the product
they will carry it. Next in March your product would appear in previews for retailers to place orders.
In April they would compile orders from the stores and send you a purchase order.
During May you would send the product to Diamond for them to cover the orders.
Finally in June you should receive payment.
Going through these steps only includes a basic ad in previews though they do offer additional ad placement in
the catalog for purchase. They also offer a variety of other services such as advertising in their other publications Dateline and Dialogue, detailed market research, targeted mailings, and coordination for signings and contests through retail store.
All of these should be considered when developing your marketing strategy.