IDW Publishing has signed a multi-year book sales and distribution agreement with Penguin Random House Publisher Services for the trade bookstore market, the companies announced.  The new agreement takes effect April 2017.

IDW titles are currently distributed to the book channel by Diamond Book Distributors, which will continue to distribute IDW graphic novels, books, and other merchandise to the mass market in the UK.

PRHPS President Jeff Abraham welcomed IDW to the fold.  "IDW has a fantastic reputation in the comics business, and we look forward to working with them to grow the sales of their impressive graphic novel publishing program," he said.

IDW CEO and Publisher Ted Adams also focused on sales growth as a reason for the move.  "Our mission as a publisher has always been to create quality content and get it out to as many readers as possible," he said.  "With Penguin Random House working alongside us to achieve that goal, we think IDW is primed to increase sales and take our market share to the next level."

IDW President and COO Greg Goldstein emphasized Diamond’s continuing importance to IDW.  "Our relationship with Diamond is extremely important, and one that we plan to continue to grow, and we thank them for the many successes they’ve helped us achieve in the book market up to now," he said.

From the Diamond side, Diamond President and CEO Steve Geppi spoke to the company’s relationship with IDW.  "Everyone at Diamond has the highest respect for IDW and we’re proud of the success we have helped them achieve," he said.  "We will continue to work and grow our business with IDW, and all of the publishers we represent, in every possible way."

The move of IDW to PRHPS is a major coup for PRHPS.  IDW is currently enjoying its biggest book channel hit ever with Top Shelf’s March series, which accounted for three of the top five graphic novel bestsellers in the book channel last month (see "August 2016 BookScan--Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels").

And with a client roster that now includes five of the top ten comic publishers in the direct market, plus book channel powerhouse Kodansha, PRHPS may now be the biggest graphic novel distributor to the book channel, if it wasn’t already.  PRHPS graphic novel publisher clients include Archie Comics, Dark Horse Comics, DC, Kodansha, Legendary, Titan Books, and Vertical.  Its last major client acquisition was Dark Horse Comics, three years ago (see “Dark Horse Moves to Random House Publisher Services”).

Diamond Book Distributor’s largest graphic novel publisher clients are Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Oni Press, and Valiant Entertainment.

Other major players in graphic novel distribution to the book trade are other Big Five book publisher distribution divisions Simon & Schuster Distribution Services (which currently distributes #1 manga publisher VIZ Media, BOOM! Studios, and Andrews McMeel, among others) and Hachette Client Services (Marvel and others).

PRHPS also has the largest share of book format games distribution.  It distributes Wizards of the Coast to the book trade; Diamond has Paizo; and Simon & Schuster has Games Workshop.