Warning: This is a process oriented post.
I'm going to write two or three blogs in the course of the day, detailing my monthly orders from Diamond. I get comics, cards, games, toys and lots of other items from my main supplier; orders due on the 4th Thursday of every month. I usually try to finish the weekend before.
This order used to take at least 2 days. Roughly 5.5 hours on one day, and 5.5 on the next. I couldn't get much past 5 hours, because my brain would turn to cheese. Then another half day copying and mailing the whole thing.
Now I seem to be able to get it done in one day. Just click and send. I go directly to the computer now, instead of doing a hard copy. Occasionally, I make mistakes this way, but not enough to overcome the convenience.
The first item on the order is the hard copy Previews itself. Back when the Previews was smaller and cheaper, I used to give it away to anyone who was interested. As it got bigger and more expensive, I would give it away to anyone who used it on a regular basis. Then I sold it for my cost to anyone who was interested.
Now? I have two or three lingering subscriptions, who don't use the book enough. I get one or two extra to put out (and rarely sell them.) The whole thing just got to be too big and too unwieldy.
Before I start the actual orders, I should make a few things clear.
The "Front" of the catalog is filled with the "Premier" publishers. As a result of the Distributor Wars in the late 90's, the industry ended up with one real distributor. Diamond won the wars by signing exclusives with the biggest publishers of the day: Dark Horse, Image, DC, and Marvel.
As a result, these publishers, joined later by a few other publishers, are in the front of the catalog.
Not coincidentally, these few publishers account for 80% of comic sales. They take up the first 220 pages of the 450 page catalog. (Marvel has a separate catalog inserted, so if that was included, the premier publishers would take up well over half the catalog.)
All the other comic publishers take up the next 120 pages. (I counted roughly 85 other publishers.)
"Books" take up 15 pages.
"Calendars" take up 4 pages. (In this catalog.)
"Cards" take up 8 pages.
"T-Shirts" take up 11 pages.
"Toys" take up 58 pages.
"Games" take up 8 pages.
"DVDS" take up 6 pages.
(Ads make the count inexact.)
Next Post: I start with Dark Horse comics...
6 days ago