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IDW Publishing has risen to the exclusive ranks of Diamond Comic Distributors’ “premier” publishers, becoming the first company to do so since the system was established in 1996.
IDW joins Marvel, DC Comics, Dark Horse and Image (plus Wizard) in the front of Diamond’s Previews catalog, significantly boosting the decade-old publisher’s visibility among retailers.
According to a press release issued this morning, the move is part of a new multi-year agreement, under which Diamond will continue to serve as the publisher’s exclusive distributor in the specialty and bookstore markets. IDW will gain access to Previews covers, and will join the final order cut-off program “sometime in the near future.” The deal retains the publisher’s traditional buy/sell relationship with Diamond, with IDW’s books continuing to be sold to the specialty stores under the distributor’s terms of sale.
Founded in 1999, IDW has experienced significant growth in the direct market; last year it was the No. 4 publisher, behind Dark Horse (up from No. 5 in 2008).
“This is something we’ve really worked hard to accomplish, and we’re very proud of the recognition on Diamond’s part, as well as on retailers’ part,” Chris Ryall, IDW’s publisher and editor-in-chief, wrote on his blog. “Us winning the Diamond Gem Award for Best Publisher (Under 4%) five out the six years — an award voted on by comic retailers — has meant a lot to us, and no doubt helped Diamond recognize our significance to the industry. Of course, this also means that we’re not playing in the ‘Under 4%’ category, so now we have to go head to head with Marvel and DC for that award … but still, it’s great to be aligned with publishers who’ve done so much for the industry, and we hope to keep making valuable contributions for a long time to come, too.”