Food or Comics | A roundup of money-related news

Rich Johnston talks to Bill Schanes, Diamond's vice president for purchasing, about a "protected gross profit margin" that will permit publishers to put up $1,000 to guarantee a Previews listing will meet required sales numbers, if the distributor believes otherwise.

• With the new Diamond threshold, some small publishers are pinning their direct-market hopes on Haven Distributors. Rik Offenberger talks to director Lance Stahlberg about the company's requirements, and its move toward advance solicitations.

"It’s a big shift in the business model and one that I was not expecting to make," Stahlberg said. "But with Diamond leaving so many marketable titles out in the cold, we’re doing what it takes to keep those books out there."

• The New York Times takes notice of the Diamond policy change.

• Maryland's Daily Record reports that Geppi's Entertainment Museum, founded in 2006 by Diamond CEO Steve Geppi, still owes $365,000 in unpaid rent and utilities to the state -- despite an agreement to pay off its $700,000 debt by the end of 2008.

• Monday's announced cuts at Reed Business Information resulted in 30 layoffs at the company's Los Angeles offices, which includes Hollywood trade paper Variety. Among those laid off was deputy editor Anne Thompson.

Reed also owns Publishers Weekly, and Reed Exhibitions, organizer of New York Comic Con. PW editor-in-chief Sara Nelson was axed in the restructuring.

Book Brunch has the names of the three other editors cut Monday at PW: longtime Executive Editor Daisy Maryles, Children's Reviews Editor Elizabeth Devereaux, and Bookselling Editor Kevin Howell. (via GalleyCat)

• Charts watcher John Jackson Miller analyzes the year-end sales figures for the direct market, and explains how the "overall" estimate is calculated.

• And finally, if only comic books performed as well as the video games they help to inspire: Midway Games announced that Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe has sold 1.8 million copies worldwide since its November release.

He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse Puts Eternia's Fate on Skeletor

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