Diamond Comic Distributors announced today that it's modifying minimum-order benchmarks enacted last year that led to numerous small-press titles being dropped from distribution to the direct market.
According to a Diamond Daily dispatch posted by Heidi MacDonald, the distributor now will fulfill initial orders that don't meet the benchmark but cancel subsequent offerings that fall short. In other words, publishers and creators get a little breathing room with the first issue, but the second (and third) better meet the quota.
“We feel that this modification allows us to better serve our retailers so they in turn can better serve their customers,” Diamond Vice President of Purchasing Bill Schanes said in the retailer newsletter. “If a title or item underperforms, we will still place a purchase order to fill initial orders. We’ll then address our need to avoid unprofitable SKUs [stock-keeping units] by not listing subsequent issues or like products in future issues of PREVIEWS so both retailers and their consumers should order with confidence.”