In a major move for the comics marketplace, Marvel Comics has signed a deal to have their graphic novels and trade paperbacks distributed to the book store market by the Hachette Book Group, effective September 1, 2010. The deal was announced this morning on Hachette's own news website (press release reprinted below).
The announcement finalizes what many industry observers long expected: that Marvel would leave its longtime place with Diamond Book Distributors -Â the book store arm of Direct Market titan Diamond Comic Distributors -Â in order to up their sales numbers in one of the increasingly important markets for comics sales across North America. This follows DC Comics exit from Diamond in 2007 for Random House, although both publishers continue to see their monthly comics and trade paperbacks released to comic shops exclusively through Diamond.
One notable element to the new Marvel/Hachette partnership is that the deal seems to come independently of the influence of Marvel's new owners at Disney. While Disney's own book publishing arm as well as their Hyperion publishing label were once carried by Hachette, both switched to HarperCollins in 2006.
Update: Marvel has now sent out their own press release, highlighting their extended commitment to Diamond in the Direct Market, which is also reprinted below.
Official Hachette Press Release.
HACHETTE BOOK GROUP TO HANDLE SALES AND DISTRIBUTION OF MARVEL BOOKS INTO TRADE
Effective September 1, 2010, Marvel books will be sold and distributed into the traditional and non-traditional trade book channels throughout the world by Hachette Book Group. Marvel will continue its exclusive relationship with Diamond Comics Distributor to distribute its product into the comic shop market.
"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" said David Gabriel, Marvel Senior Vice President of Sales & Circulation.Ken Michaels, Hachette COO 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."
Official Marvel Press Release
Marvel Moves Book Market Distribution to Hachette & Extends Direct Market Agreement With Diamond
Marvel is pleased to announce that, effective September 1, 2010, Marvel books will be sold and distributed into the worldwide book market by the Hachette Book Group. Additionally, Marvel is also pleased to announce an agreement with Diamond Comics Distributor to extend its exclusive Direct Market Service Agreement.
"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" said David Gabriel, Marvel Senior Vice President of Sales & Circulation.
Ken Michaels, Hachette COO 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."
Additionally, Marvel will extend its relationship with Diamond, continuing its commitment to comic shops worldwide. Gabriel explained, "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."
About Hachette Book Group:
Hachette Book Group (HBG) is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the second-largest publisher in the world. HBG publishes under the divisions of Little, Brown and Company, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords, Center Street, Orbit, and Hachette Digital.
HBG also provides a wide range of custom distribution, fulfillment and sales services to third party publishers including Harry N. Abrams, Amazing People Club, Chronicle Books, Filipacchi Publishing, Gildan Media, Guinness World Records, Hachette UK, InnovativeKids, Octopus Books USA, Oxmoor House, Peterson's, Phaidon Press, and Time Inc. Home Entertainment.
Marvel Entertainment, LLC. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics). Marvel's strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world, including feature films, consumer products, toys, video games, animated television, direct-to-DVD and online. For more information visit www.marvel.com