Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

September 6, 2007

DC To Distribute With Random House

In a major deal with potentially broad implications, DC Comics will distribute to bookstores with Random House starting early next year, various industry sources reporting this morning. You can read DC's take on the story here, or the initial Publishers Weekly store here. Random House is the largest and furthest reaching of the book industry's distribution companies.

You can plug the deal into multiple time lines: as a major event in the this decade's phenomenon of comics' increased presence in the bookstores, as an inevitable consequence of DC having its deal with longtime partner Warner Book severed upon the purchase of the Time Warner Book Group by Hachette in March of last year, or as the dramatic end game in DC's attempts to completely refashion the way it sells comics and books beginning in Spring 2005.

This could be extremely fruitful for DC in that they get access to Random House sales force, which 1) is familiar with comics, having sold books from Pantheon and Del Rey, several successfully, and seeing the general category grow, and 2) solves a big problem that plagued DC when it was handling its own sales through Hachette of pushing book not just through the big book chains but up and down the range of retailers, including independent bookstores. It should be interesting to see what they do with the in-house sales force, some of which I think were be re-oriented towards more comprehensive sales relationships with a greater percentage of buyers even as the deal was being finalized. I can imagine there are plenty of uses for a sales force if the resources are there to maintain them.
posted 3:14 am PST | Permalink

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