In a strategic move to better position the company to take advantage of the quickly expanding digital marketplace and new economic realities in print, comic book and graphic novel publisher Bluewater Productions announced a new distribution partnership with Comic Flea Market. In a related move, the Vancouver-based company severed ties with distribution giant Diamond Comic Distributors.
According to Bluewater, Comic Flea Market will print all future Bluewater titles, including several that Diamond abruptly canceled due to their benchmark. These individual issues will be available in print and as digital downloads for Nook, Kindle, iPad and other standard eReaders. Bluewater’s graphic novels will still be distributed by SCB.
“Many people have tried to compete with Diamond and failed, what makes Comic Flea Market unique, is a lot of mainstream book publishers and DVD companies such as Warner Bros. are going print on demand on some of their titles. Comic Flea Market is doing it not only for Bluewater but the entire comic book marketplace”, said CEO Nick Sachs from Comic Flea Market. “Not only will we be handling the printing of the titles, we will also handle distribution to comic book stores at the similar discounts. This dynamic will secure the place for printed material in comic book stores”
“Obviously we are very excited to present our entire library of titles through Comic Flea Market,” said Bluewater President Darren G. Davis. “They are extremely supportive of independent publishers like Bluewater and have the vision and the channel to make sure certain titles get into the hands of comic book readers.”
One of the key differentiators is CFM’s ability to print to order. As a business model, this suits Bluewater in terms of removing the requirements to overprint certain titles and deal with a costly administrative bureaucracy.
“I need to be clear. We are not abandoning comic book shops. In fact we need you more than ever. In this new paradigm, you order what you need at similar discounts. When you need more of a certain issue, you simply order again,” Davis noted. “I go to my local comic book store every Wednesday to get my books, this is a ritual I have done for years because I love holding a print book in my hands”.
Davis emphasized that the decision to leave Diamond was predicated on being able to maximize exposure and distribution.
“My experience has shown me that if your name is not DC or Marvel, it is very difficult to get support from Diamond. As an independent producer, I felt it was time to take our titles to the next level.” Davis said.
Davis also added that although the focus on new and encore titles will be digital, anyone who wants a single issue, a complete story arc or a graphic novel in the traditional print format will be able to order the books directly or through their favorite comic book shop.
Bluewater has some exciting new properties coming in the future such as spin offs of the popular Adam West series with Dirk Benedict, Eartha Kitt and Bill Mumy. They are also working with the Beekman Boys on a new series called PolkaSpot, along with titles from NY Times horror novelist John Saul and S.E. Hinton. Bluewater will also be continuing its biography series, featuring famous artists, celebrities and politicians. The next step for Bluewater is to make its entire library available digitally.
“For the better part of ten years, I’ve watched the independent comic industry struggle. However with new technologies and marketing I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel. That light is print-to-order, and that train is Comic Flea Market,” Davis added.
Just as it has always done, Bluewater will make its monthly releases available to order through comic book stores and the comic book press. Who will be the next indie publisher to make the bold leap away from Diamond? ComicBooked.com will keep you informed of all the latest details.