IDW Publishing today announced that they have inked a deal with Penguin Random House Publisher Services, which will increase their reach outside of the North American direct market, but also gives PRH an opportunity to distribute IDW’s comics, graphic novels, and art books within the direct market, as well. The deal is non-exclusive, allowing retailers to choose between Penguin Random House and Diamond Comics Distributors. The new agreement, which begins on June 1, 2022, complements and expands their current partnership, in which Penguin Random House Publisher Services sells and distributes IDW’s tradebook frontlist and backlist to bookstores.
Celebrated for its diverse catalog of licensed and creator-driven titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful non-superhero titles in the industry. By expanding its reach into the Direct Market, Penguin Random House’s mission is to support comic shops in fostering a life-long love of comics, graphic novels, and manga for fans of all ages. PRH is a free-freight company, and is committed to bolstering all physical retail, where independently owned comic shops and bookstores are some of the most passionate industry advocates and anchors of their communities.
“IDW succeeds when the Direct Market succeeds,” said IDW Publisher Nachie Marsham. “No matter how amazing our comics and graphic novels may be, it’s the retailers that are connecting readers with our stories. Because of that, I couldn’t be more excited about our future with Penguin Random House and I have the utmost confidence that every store, no matter the size, will see the benefits of the high levels of care and service that PRHPS brings.”
“IDW have been wonderful partners these past five years and it’s been thrilling to see the evolution of its publishing program, and to support the phenomenal growth of their graphic novels into the book trade,” said Jeff Abraham, President of Penguin Random House Publisher Services. “With PRHPS’s expansion in the Direct Market, we see this as a natural extension of that partnership and look forward to putting the expertise of PRH’s supply chain, customer knowledgeability and sales know-how, and solutions-centered customer service to help bring IDW comics and graphic novels to even more fans throughout the world.” Direct Market retailers can choose to order IDW products direct from PRH, or alternatively, through Diamond as a wholesaler under terms established by Diamond in the US and the UK.”
“I would like to thank IDW for their many years of partnership and we are delighted to continue selling IDW’s comics, trades and graphic novels to our retail customers as a wholesaler effective June 1, 2022,” said Diamond’s Steve Geppi in a statement. “At Diamond, we understand the unique needs of the direct and book markets and work hard every day to service and support all the stakeholders in our industry. From developing sales tools and launching new services, to organizing industry-wide events and engaging with fans on our consumer platforms, Diamond is consistently creating and evolving new and easier ways for publishers, retailers, and fans to connect. I am proud of the role that Diamond plays and I look forward to our continued service of the direct and book markets.”
Marvel and DC have both inked similar deals with Penguin Random House over the course of the last year. Diamond has long held a functional monopoly on distribution in the comics direct market, but after they were forced to close down at the start of the covid-19 pandemic, distributors and retailers began looking at alternative distribution channels.
In a statement, IDW said that Penguin Random House’s fourth, and newest, distribution facility, a one-million square-foot warehouse in Hampstead, Maryland, recently went operational, and in tandem with the company’s fulfillment headquarters in nearby Westminster, will be the centerpieces for its comics Direct Market supply chain.