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Independent publisher Alterna Comics leaves Diamond to offer direct distribution, hints at future plans

Today, independent comic book publisher Alterna Comics announced that it will leave the Diamond Comic Distribution system and hereby work with comic stores and customers with direct distribution. This move will allow the newsprint-comic company to sell its products around the world and help customers during these trying times. In addition, the company has also noted two new changes to its publishing slate.

From a statement released by Peter Simeti, Publisher of Alterna Comics:

At Alterna, taking care of our readers has always been our main priority. Getting them books in a fun, easy, and accessible way; making sure we’re putting out great content at an affordable price; reaching the widest possible audience — these things are important to us, but unfortunately, have been very difficult to do effectively while working within the current distribution system.

Adding to the many woes our industry already faces, the recent state of the world has left most publishers, creators, and retailers in a state of uncertainty. Our industry depends on one distributor to be the beating heart of the entire comic book market and without them, most of us are stopped dead in our tracks.

While we are fully aware that the current situation in the world is much bigger than comics and there’s little that Diamond can do to control what is occurring right now, we have to do what is necessary in order for our business to survive during these times. That is why we’re making the decision at Alterna to step away from distributing with Diamond Comics Distributors for the immediate and perhaps indefinite future. There are too many unknowns and variables at play for us to properly run our business and work with Diamond in any kind of effective capacity.

Fortunately, we’ve spent over two years at Alterna building up our direct sales infrastructure and as a result — our direct sales have been greater than our distribution sales, month over month, for the past 18 months.  We sell directly to both readers AND retailers and are fully equipped to continue to do so, and are even able to expand operations quickly, if demand warrants it.

Moving forward, we’ll continue to create new comics and distribute them directly to retailers and sell them directly to our readers. We’re also transitioning away from comiXology; introducing digital comics directly for purchase on AlternaAccess.com with 5 digital issues available every Friday.

For retailers that are interested in working directly with us, please visit alternaaccess.com/retailers and sign up for your unique discount code today. We are already working directly with nearly 100 stores, many of which are ordering on a consistent basis.

While our system is currently ideal for United States retailers, we are working on creating an effective system for retailers in Canada, Australia, and Europe to sell our comics in a profitable way. It will take time to fully realize this system though, especially one that would work for both Alterna and any international retailers that use it. Given the state of the world, there does exist major uncertainty in what the comic retailing landscape will look like in the near future, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated on any future developments as things progress.

In spite of all of this, we truly look forward to growing and establishing a direct relationship with our wonderful readers and the supportive retailers that have meant so much to us over the years. We now get to steer our own ship, fully, for the first time in 12 years! It is your support that has allowed for us to make this move an easy and smooth process. Your support has given us confidence and hope in a time when we should be filled with uncertainty and doubt. We thank you for being here with us and with your continued support, we’ll be able to build an even brighter future for Alterna.

In addition to this news, Simeti also announced that its ICYMI series will be cancelled in favor of arc-spanning Giants editions:

ICYMI was originally created for newsstands to reintroduce potential readers to something they may have missed at their local comic shop. Now that we have moved away from both newsstand and comic shop distribution, we are canceling this series.

For Alterna AllStar subscribers, this means that ICYMI (99 cents to $1.25 an issue) will be replaced with the Alterna GIANTS ($4.99 to $6.99 an issue). You will notice this change starting with Mar/Apr bundles (going out in a few weeks). Rest assured, your subscriptions will be upgraded free of charge!

The company will also release five issues from its back catalog every Friday as $.99 digital editions, which are freely available to download. Stay tuned for more news here on Gaming Trend.

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