Tokyopop executives attending Anime Expo told ICv2 that distribution of Tokyopop manga trade paperbacks to the book trade through Client Distribution Services (CDS) has begun. This represents a change only in sales and marketing to the book trade, since CDS had previously handled logistics and collections for LPC, which filed bankruptcy earlier this year (see 'LPC Deal Getting Close?').
The CDS deal will get money flowing again; Tokyopop has not been paid by LPC since the filing. The amount tied up in the bankruptcy represents sales to the book trade since last December, including Tokyopop's big manga launch this spring, and execs acknowledge that the hit to cash flow has been significant and has had an effect on the company's plans for the year.
Tokyopop's decision to go with CDS represents a setback to Diamond, which has set up a new division to sell to the book trade (see 'Diamond Forms New Book Division'), and has been courting LPC's clients. Dark Horse, the other big comic publisher fish among LPC's clients (although Image is a larger comic publisher, Dark Horse has a far more robust trade paperback program), has yet to announce a decision about its future but will probably do so soon.