Devil’s Panties Trying To Meet Diamond Sales Minimum for Distribution

Jennie Breeden’s popular strip The Devil’s Panties has a print comic book in the works from publisher Silent Devil. And she’s facing the $2,500 minimum order requirement that distributor Diamond requires to carry a book.

If she doesn’t reach the $2500 minimum none of the orders placed through Diamond are filled, and they won’t carry her book. As of this writing, there are about $900 in pre-orders.

There are two factors working against Breeden: comic store owners aren’t necessarily aware of webcomics — many are turned off by the mere mention of the term, viewing them as competitors — and webcomics readers aren’t necessarily aware of the basics of the comics industry. Only retailers can order through Diamond, so there’s no “click here” option for the average reader.

A little more than 300 orders are needed for The Devil’s Panties to continue as a series. Go to http://csls.diamondcomics.com/ to locate your nearest comic shop for you, and www.comicsoutpost.com will mail comics anywhere in the world.

Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.

9 Comments

  1. Just about all indy comics out there now are struggling to meet Diamond’s new benchmarks. Good luck to Jennie on this….

  2. This is something that has become an ugly reality for the “little guy/girl.” I have to look at it in a glass is half full kind of way. This is more proof of the realism of Digital Publishing. In the beginning stages this won’t have much affect on making comic shop owners look our way as another means to get their books. If you look further down the road though, and with enough indy creators ditching the current, hostile direct market, Digital Publishing will break through the wall and become a viable alternative. The comic shop is becoming a dying breed here. Maybe it’s karma.

    AP. Furtado
    http://www.01comics.com

  3. I understand the appeal of the geek street-cred that comes with your comic being found in “The Android’s Dungeon”s of the world, but wouldn’t it be more practical to sell it through the website?

  4. Putting your comic on the web and/or selling it on your website is not only practical, it’s something that should be mandatory. I mean, other than a very, (extremely) select few, the market for Indy comic creators is dead. It’s floating belly-up in the river of comic book distribution. I recently heard from a comic creator from a semi-new publisher whose book barely cracked 900 copies ordered. Now this is a comic with exceptional eye-candy, a great story, very marketable, and with the support of a new, but high profile publisher. If you need more, look at the recent business changes over
    at Speakeasy
    . From a business (publishers) point of view, it’s not a bad decision but, it’s very telling of the climate in the direct market. This is something that has been brewing for a very long time, and it’s beginning to boil-over. I’ll say it again, the direct market for anybody reading this, is dead. Much in the same way underground comix burst on to the scene to give comic fans an alternative during the 60’s & 70’s; much in the same way the independents came to prominence in the early 80’s; digital Publishing , print on demand , and distribution over the internet is the next wave and pixilated-life-preserver for the Indy comic creator. Take the direct market out of the equation and the world of webcomics, and traditional print comics becomes a blur.

    AP. Furtado
    http://www.01comics.com

  5. More practical in some ways, yes. Just as is record companies have to be able to sell to Wal-Mart if they want to make it big, Diamond is the only distributor that can sell a comic nationwide. Not that there aren’t other routes to making money with a web-comic– see Penny Arcade, Something Positive, etc.

    None of those methods are easy, or even likely to turn a profit. Jennie hits as many conventions a year as anyone I’ve ever met, and certainly puts in the hours. Now she’s trying to turn her well-earned celebrity into a monthly book. If she wants to distribute through an even semi-traditional publisher, then Diamond is the key.

  6. I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s definitely worth a chance going through the direct market, and Diamond is the direct market. Unfortunately, like I stated in my previous posts, it’s not a friendly environment. With Diamond’s benchmark in place, other alternatives need to sprout-up, and have sprouted-up.

    Back in the day, although a still relatively grim environment, an indy creator would have that chance to make it into the Diamond Catalog and with much begging, pleading and a few coins in the wishing well, manage to stay listed for their next 2 issues before their comic got the axe. Now, Diamond has become an exclusive club with a $2,500 membership fee. For Diamond, it’s probably a smart business move. For indy creators, it kind of sucks.

    I’m not ranting and raving to make Jenni, or anybody else, stand up and start a revolt against the direct market. I say go for it! Go for it with vigor and hope that you’re one of the select few who can punch through that wall. The reality of the situation is unfortunately grim and alternatives should, and are now beginning to be offered.

    AP. Furtado
    http://www.01comics.com

  7. For my part, I agree with you. There are more opportunities, and since it is getting harder for indy books to enter the direct market, that only encourages people to get more creative with their products and marketing.

    Still, a movie deal would be so cool, and I won’t get it by having a happening web site. 🙂

    Matt
    http://www.likelystories.com

  8. With the technology to the point where anyone can print their work it seems that there are more comics than there are readers. I fully understand the logic behind a minimum pre-order. The only sucky thing is for the comic shops. When a customer asks them to order something there’s a possibility that it just won’t come in. That’s the strong advantage webcomics have. They’ve got a following before a product. The only thing with webcomics is trying to figure out how to get an income from it. I just want to quit my day job and draw but that’s not happening even if this book goes through.
    Those who read print don’t usually read web and visa versa. It’s a different mindset. Webcomics are instant gratification for the bite sized daily fix. While print is a fuller story but only once a month. I do realize that all the indy print people are weeding out their print and moving to online. I just want to try and tap into another audience to pull in more readers and bridge some of the gap between web and print.

  9. It should be clarified that it wasn’t 900 dollars but 900 orders that were made. My publisher clarified that to be 835 pre-orders. I didn’t know what the minimum diamond order was so I was flipping out about getting enough pre-orders. My local comic shop guy (my boss, actually a she) did some math and said I needed to get 600 pre-orders. I didn’t know if diamond counts cash or number of books but my book is going to sell at 4.95$.
    ALSO turns out that diamond only ordered the 835 books so they’re already sold out and now we get into re-orders and I’m totally lost with that.
    So the good news is that I’m sold out. The bad news is that Diamond didn’t order that many in the first place.

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