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News: Simon and Schuster to Distribute Viz
posted April 29, 2004

April 29 -- Veteran manga publisher Viz Communications announced its switch from PGW to Simon and Schuster for book distribution of its popular trade volumes. The business deal makes Viz the first publisher of its kind to form an alliance with a traditional major New York book power. The deal is for fulfillment only, as Viz will keep its own sales staff and add some contracted representatives. From Simon and Schuster's standpoint, the deal allows the company to embrace the rapidly growing manga market by bringing one of that category's primary movers under contract; for Viz, Simon and Schuster represents both book retail muscle, access to other outlets, and an experienced hand with long-term sales, all of which should help safeguard the company against any future market volatility.

Viz publishes approximately 200 titles per year, including such popular series as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Naruto and DragonBall. The company is currently exclusive with Diamond in the direct market of comic book and hobby retailers, leading many to speculate that the Simon and Schuster deal may enable larger and savvier comics retailers to do some initial ordering and a great deal of re-ordering through the bookstore distributor on a returnable basis.

Simon and Schuster is owned by Viacom.