Good News for Small Press Comics - Diamond Makes Changes to Minimum Order Policy


Last year, Diamond Distribution made some changes to it’s minimum order policy, which had very negative effects on small press publishers. Diamond decreed that even if a product appeared in Previews magazine, and retailers put in orders for said product, if the number of orders did not reach their new, higher, minimum order, they would not fulfill the orders they had received.

This is all very well for mid to large sized companies, but smaller companies have been having rather a lot of trouble with the policy. I know that AAM Markosia ran into this problem last year, with the distribution of Tony Lee’s Hope Falls. Lots of orders were made for the book, but since the minimum order number was not reached, no stores received any copies! Accent UK also ran into this problem with the release of their Western anthology and the more recent Whatever Happened to the World’s Fastest Man. However, in those cases, even though the minimum orders weren’t quite met, Diamond showed some leniency and honoured the distribution. Still, it’s hard enough being a small press publisher, without having to worry about whether you can actually get your product into stores!

Today, Diamond announced that they would be making some slight changes to this policy, in that they will now honour initial orders on ‘underperforming products’, but will not list subsequent issues of the titles. It’s hardly a massive change, but many small press publishers tend to publish only one-shots and graphic novels, so this will certainly help out in many cases.

Here is the full message sent out to retailers:

In response to retailer feedback, Diamond is modifying its guidelines for cancelling retailers’ initial orders for underperforming products and merchandise in PREVIEWS.

In the first quarter of 2009, in an effort to reduce the number of underperforming products in PREVIEWS, Diamond implemented higher minimums for purchase orders. At that time, Diamond also began cancelling retailers’ initial orders for affected products.

Now, however, having had almost a year to fine-tune the processes for choosing catalog offerings, Diamond will place a purchase order with a publisher or vendor to fill retailers’ initial orders for any products offered in PREVIEWS, even if those orders fall below Diamond’s minimum purchase order levels. This policy takes effect with product solicited in the January, 2010 PREVIEWS.

“We feel that this modification allows us to better serve our retailers so they in turn can better serve their customers,” explained Diamond Vice President of Purchasing Bill Schanes. “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 by not listing subsequent issues or like products in future issues of PREVIEWS so both retailers and their consumers should order with confidence.”

Retailers can check cancellations to their own orders via their invoicing and the My Account page of Diamond’s Retailer Services Area. They can also check Diamond’s overall cancellations list in the Product Changes & Shipping Updates section of the Retailer Services Area’s Data Files page.

Discovered via the always excellent The Beat, thanks Heidi!

Related posts:

  1. Whatever Happened to the World’s Fastest Man? Picked Up by Diamond for North American Distribution.
  2. Diamond Distribution’s Top Small Press Comics & TPBs/OGNs for September 2009
  3. Introducing ComicsMonkey - a Revolutionary New Comics Distribution System for Direct Market Comics Shops!
  4. Diamond Distribution’s Top 25 Small Press Comics, Top 25 Small Press TPBs & GNs, Top 50 Creator Owned Comics, and Top 50 Creator Owned TPBs & GNs for August 2009
  5. Small Press News- Check out PJ Holden’s The Simply Incredible Hunk and Other Small Press Comics For Free At

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