Diamond Book Distributors Expands to UK

Official Press Release

Major U.S. Graphic Novel Distributor Broadens Operations Into the UK and International Markets with New Hires, More

Diamond Book Distributors (DBD) is pleased to announce the expansion of its operations into the United Kingdom and international markets.

A division of Diamond Comic Distributors, the world's largest distributor of English-language comic books and graphic novels, DBD is one of the top North American graphic novel distributors, with clients such as Dark Horse Books, Image Comics, ADV Manga, CPM Manga, Graphic-Sha, IDW, and more. DBD has made its mark by combining its parent company's product knowledge and pop culture savvy with a top-flight roster of experienced sales talent from the booktrade, such as Vice President of Sales & Marketing Kuo-Yu Liang, an 18-year veteran of the book industry.

"Our expansion into the UK and international markets is the next logical step in growing our business and providing an even higher level of service for our clients," Liang commented. "The UK and international markets are each important, growing segments that will provide significant opportunities for our client publishers. Just as Diamond Comic Distributors opened operations in the UK many years ago, so too will DBD, following the same model that has brought us such success in the North American market in such a short time."

To do so, DBD UK will emulate its American cousin, combining knowledgeable comic book industry insiders with veteran booktrade personnel:

* John Hitchen has worked for Diamond Comic Distributors' UK division since it launched in September 1992. He brings more than a decade of comic book industry experience to his new position as DBD UK's General Manager, as well as in-depth knowledge of the UK and international markets.

"This is a terrific opportunity not just for DBD, but for all of its clients, present and future," Hitchen said. "We look forward to leveraging our experience and infrastructure by taking our clients' books and products into the UK and international book markets, places that have been clamoring for more and more diverse graphic novels, but have been unable to get them until now."

* Ros Wesson, Sales and Marketing Manager, is a booktrade veteran with more than 25 years' experience in the UK and international markets, with positions at Random House and Dorling Kindersley, where she held management and director-level positions in Sales, Marketing, and Promotions. In a quarter-century in the booktrade, she has managed projects and properties in the multiple millions of dollars, maximizing international markets by utilizing foreign rights, effective promotion, and solid relationships with the trade to create extra sales for publishers.

* Simon Byrne will serve as the company's Key Accounts Manager. Byrne has spent more than nine years in the UK's booktrade as an executive for Publishing News and The Bookseller. He brings a keen awareness of publishing trends and the culture of publishing to his position, as well as a capacity for identifying and capitalizing on sales opportunities. He also comes to DBD UK with a personal enthusiasm for graphics novels and comic books that comes from in-depth product knowledge earned over the years.

Both Wesson and Byrne will report to Hitchen, but will work closely with Liang.

DBD UK will go beyond merely selling its clients' titles. It will function as a complete, full-service outlet, doing order fulfillment, processing, billing, accounting, database management, and all other related tasks on-site. As a result, it will have the flexibility to react quickly to trends and to take initiative that promote client products and increase sales.

"We've proven in the States that when you hire the best people - the ones who have know-how, years of experience, and passion for the products - the results are terrific," Liang said. "By doing the same in the UK, DBD is ready to duplicate its North American success overseas, and expand its business to the benefit of all its clients."

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