As of September, Marvel will no longer be distibuted into the bookstore market by Diamond Book Distributors. Instead, Marvel’s bookstore market will be handled by Hachette Book Group – ironically previously owned by Time Warner, owners of rival publisher DC Entertainment.
Just as with DC Comics, Marvel’s comics will still be exclusively distributed to the comic book market by Diamond Comics Distributors, but just as DC uses Random House for bookstores, so Marvel now has a new partner for that bookstore market.
Hachette already distrubute Disney Press’ product, so this is the sort of tie in that has been expected for some time.
In a press release, David Gabriel Senior Marvel MP was quoted as saying “Teaming with Hachette allows us to even more aggressively grow our presence in the book market, exposing new readers to Marvel’s great library of characters and stories. With Hachette’s overwhelming success in the book market, we can’t imagine a better partner as Marvel looks to expand its presence in the book market.” While Hachette Chief Operating Officer Ken Michaels said “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Marvel. Hachette’s world-class distribution and broad sales reach, combined with Marvel’s outstanding brand and product line, is sure to be a powerful combination.”
A number of publishers relationships were strained by the recent “Amazon glitch” whish saw DBD distributed books withdrawn from the online giant for a week. But I understand that this decision was made well before then. I also understand that Marvel did not give Diamond a reason for the move.
UPDATE: Marvel have released their own press release, in which they state that they have extended their exclusive agreement with Diamond Comics Distribution as part of the agreement.
David Gabriel is quoted again saying, “Diamond Book Distributors has been very instrumental in the growth of our graphic novel business, nearly tripling our sales in the book market over the last five years, and we thank them for their efforts. The decision to switch book market distributors was a very difficult one but as evidenced by the extension of our Direct Market agreement, our working relationship with Diamond remains very close. We remain extremely appreciative of our Direct Market retailers and continue to grow that vital market.”