PRH Publisher Services to Distribute IDW Comics Internationally

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The IDW-Penguin Random House Publisher Services agreement sees comic book magazines, trade collections, and graphic novels going to the ‘direct market’ comics shops.

Some of the series carried by IDW Publishing. Image: IDW

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Front- and Backlist
The San Diego-based IDW Publishing company—which specializes in comic books, graphic novels, art books, trade paperbacks, and tabletop games—has opened a partnership for international distribution with Penguin Random House Publisher Services.

The agreement includes both newly released and backlist comic book magazines, trade collections, and graphic novels going to the “direct market” comics shops, and is to begin June 1. An existing partnership has seen PRH Publisher Services handle IDW’s trade frontlist and backlist to regular bookstores.

Developed in the 1970s, the “direct market” is a network of distribution and retail for US-based comic books. Unlike bookstores, direct market outlets normally are prohibited from making returns of unsold inventory.

Nachie Marsham

In a prepared statement, IDW publisher Nachie Marsham is quoted, saying, “IDW succeeds when the ‘direct market’ succeeds.

“No matter how amazing our comics and graphic novels may be, it’s the retailers who are connecting readers with our stories.

“Because of that, I couldn’t be more excited about our future with Penguin Random House and I have the utmost confidence that every store, no matter the size, will see the benefits of the high levels of care and service that PRHPS brings.”

Jeff Abraham

And speaking for Penguin Random House Publisher Services, its president, Jeff Abraham, says, “IDW have been wonderful partners these past five years and it’s been thrilling to see the evolution of its publishing program, and to support the phenomenal growth of their graphic novels into the book trade.

“With Publisher Services’ expansion into the direct market, we see this as a natural extension of that partnership and look forward to putting the expertise of our supply chain, customer knowledgeability and sales know-how, and solutions-centered customer service to helping bring IDW comics and graphic novels to even more fans throughout the world.”

Penguin Random House Publisher Services in fact is reportedly in an agreement to start distributing Marvel Comics in October, as well.

Direct market retailers can choose to order IDW products directly from PRH or through Diamond as a wholesaler under terms established by Diamond in the United States and the United Kingdom. These retailers now have ’round-the-clock access to online ordering here.

In addition, Penguin Random House Comics Retail is a site for comics, graphic novels, manga, and more. That site is designed for US direct-market comic shop retailers and consumers.

IDW publishes titles including:

  • Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez
  • Hasbro’s Transformers, GI Joe, and My Little Pony
  • Paramount/CBS’s Star Trek
  • Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Lucasfilm’s Star Wars
  • Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo
  • The Beauty of Horror by Alan Robert
  • Wynona Earp by Beau Smith

Image: From the graphic novels listings at Penguin Random House Comics Retail site


More from Publishing Perspectives about international distribution is here; more about comics and graphic novels is here; and more about Penguin Random House is here.

More on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As as an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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