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#457533 - 12/29/00 09:37 AM RETAILERS: Diamond Screwup Delays COMPLEX CITY #2
JE Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 07/27/99
Posts: 432
Loc: Irving, TX 75038
To any and all retailers who placed orders for COMPLEX CITY #2 (and thank you, by the way), there has been a major foul-up by Diamond that will delay the shipment of that issue. What happened was, I had prepared a promotional give-away pack that Diamond was supposed to send to their top 500 retailers who do NOT already order my book (this is a promo tool which Diamond will do for small-pressers and is a pretty good deal); at about the same time, COMPLEX CITY #2 was nearing completion at Morgan printing. The promo packs were shipped to Diamond's distribution centers first, and for some unknown reason (depsite the fact that the two items had completely seperate p.o. numbers), Diamond took the promo packs and used them to fill the orders that had been placed for COMPLEX CITY #2.

The upshot is that retailers who DID order my book now have a promotional pack (actually MULTIPLE promo packs, depending on how many of #2 they ordered) asking them to please order my book ... and the 500 stores who DON'T order my book have bupkiss. And since the p.o. for CC #2 has now presumably been closed out, even though the books are finished and sitting in their warehouse, I do not know for sure when they will ship. I am hoping this debacle will only delay them a week, and that they will reach stores on Jan. 10th, but for the moment, I do not have a definite answer. My rep is working on the problem, and I will post additional info to this thread as I receive it.

Despite my extreme distress at this development, I have not created this thread to bash Diamond, but rather to inform the retailers who visit this site as to what's going on.

Thanks,
JE Smith
Visit COMPLEX CITY at www.bettercomics.com

[edited for clarity]

[This message has been edited by JE Smith (edited 12-29-2000).]
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"We've got a blind date with Justice -- and it looks like she's ordered the lobster." MYSTERY MEN

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#457534 - 01/01/01 10:30 AM Re: RETAILERS: Diamond Screwup Delays COMPLEX CITY #2
Jim Hanley Offline
Member

Registered: 06/19/99
Posts: 1313
Loc: NYC
Jeff:

What do you wnat us to do with the promo packs? Should they be returned to Diamond?

By the way, as screwups go, this is only a moderate one.

My favorite was when James Owen shipped the Starchild trade to Diamond after they had acquired Capital. It had been paid for in advance by Capital to take advantage of some price advantage. When it showed up at Diamond, they didn't know what to do with it. Between Diamond and Capital, they couldn't decide who wasn't going to pay for it.

In the end, Diamond canceled the outstanding Capital orders and they have been selling it at increasingly insane liquidation prices ever since.

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"I love him like a brother. David Greenglas." -- Woody Allen - Crimes & Misdemeanors
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"I love him like a brother. David Greenglass." -- Woody Allen - Crimes & Misdemeanors

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#457535 - 01/01/01 02:58 PM Re: RETAILERS: Diamond Screwup Delays COMPLEX CITY #2
Coppervale Offline
Member

Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 120
My ears are burning...

>>>My favorite was when James Owen shipped the Starchild trade to Diamond after they had acquired Capital. It had been paid for in advance by Capital to take advantage of some price advantage. When it showed up at Diamond, they didn't know what to do with it. Between Diamond and Capital, they couldn't decide who wasn't going to pay for it. In the end, Diamond canceled the outstanding Capital orders and they have been selling it at increasingly insane liquidation prices ever since.<<<

Actually, what shipped to Diamond was the fourth issue of STARCHILD:CROSSROADS (the one with the cover inked and painted by Charles Vess); it was VERY late due to illness, and had been solicited while Capital was still Capital, but didn't ship until after Diamond had absorbed them. Diamond resolicited it without telling me, then let me know I was about to miss a ship date and they would have to cancel the orders. What they had to be informed of was that Capital had long before PREPAID for ALL of the copies—about three times the then current orders. Diamond kept posturing, and then cancelled the book as I was shipping it to them. Not paying for them was no threat, as I'd already been paid; and since I had, Capital counted it as inventory, and wanted Diamond to reimburse THEM. Diamond, meanwhile, continued to protest that the 10,000 books in their warehouses did not even exist. Eventually, the books did go out, but it was a long messy affair.

BTW—Diamond is always selling the First STARCHILD trades and hardcovers at liquidation prices (which, oddly enough, made the HC's a BIG seller in Europe) because Capital prepaid me for all my existing inventory, and the ENTIRE second printings of both—which was paying off for them, because Coppervale was being promoted as one of the exclusives, and their salespeople were moving hundreds a week. When Diamond took on the inventory, Coppervale was relegated to the standard PREVIEWS promotions, and, with it being a struggle to even get them to admit the new STARCHILD issue even existed, sales on the collections dropped through the floor.

I guess the only amusing aspect of those debacles was that Diamond was the only entity to really have a problem financially; I got paid my full price, retailers and fans finally got the books at great discounts, and my numbers in Europe went up forty percent because of the liquidation prices.

I've said it before—ANY problem with Diamond is likely due more to mis or lack of communication than anything else.If you've got a good rep that you get along with, then there's very little that can't get resolved. After all—it's not MY money, or their money, or YOUR money; it's OUR money. Sometimes it just takes a while for everyone to get in line with that.

Hope your holidays were good, you guys.

James A. Owen

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#457536 - 01/02/01 06:12 AM Re: RETAILERS: Diamond Screwup Delays COMPLEX CITY #2
RichJohnston Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/99
Posts: 309
Fun with Diamond:

My time with Dirtbag and X-Flies was relatively problem free and ended up in my favour. Okay, they missed off the solicitation for Dirtbag 1 and shoved it next to Dirtbag 2 the next month, which wasn't exactly retailer friendly, but then they solicited X-Flies: Bug Hunt 1 as X-Files: Bug Hunt 1 in the retailer order form and made it returnable to Diamond, eating the extra cost. We probably got a few more sales that way...

However, they lost the promo packs for Gratuitous Bunny Comix' Sleaze Castle completely...

Rich Johnston
Twist And Shout Comics
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Bleeding Cool at http://www.bleedingcool.com

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#457537 - 01/02/01 05:44 PM Re: RETAILERS: Diamond Screwup Delays COMPLEX CITY #2
Chris Medellin Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/99
Posts: 943
Loc: Dallas, Tx, Dallas County
JEff,

Saw Complex City #2 listed at Diamond for coming out this week. Oh by the way, my cousin, who you met at Uncommoncon, was asking about when the next ish was coming out. I'll have to tell him this info.

Looking forward to it.


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http://www.octaviostudios.fws1.com
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#457538 - 01/02/01 05:48 PM Re: RETAILERS: Diamond Screwup Delays COMPLEX CITY #2
JE Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 07/27/99
Posts: 432
Loc: Irving, TX 75038
The latest info I have from my rep is that only SOME of the books got mis-diverted, and that at least SOME of the copies of CC#2 are scheduled to ship this week. More dust needs to settle, but it looks like it may not have been as bad as I first thought.
_________________________
"We've got a blind date with Justice -- and it looks like she's ordered the lobster." MYSTERY MEN

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#457539 - 01/03/01 10:55 AM Re: RETAILERS: Diamond Screwup Delays COMPLEX CITY #2
Rich Henn Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/98
Posts: 478
Loc: Eldersburg, MD USA
I've only had nothing but the best of fortune working with Diamond.

The Starchild incident seems like simple human erro (while true, I was not there)...it only seemed like something (anything) could happen durring such a huge transition. I'm sure that absorbing Capitol was bound to be anything BUT a smooth transition.

I guess after reading the above, I just wanted to throw in my two cents be saying that I've been very happy with my Diamond dealings in the past.

They have been nothing but good to me, with all the pitfalls that self publishing brings.
My first rep, Glen Folland was wonderful to work with. He was the man who first brought TIMESPELL to Diamond. I'll never forget that, and his good news came to me the day before Christmas...making it the best holiday season to date.

I now have Chris Schaff as my rep, since Glen advanced within the company.
Chris has always been supportive, as has Chuck Parker and Mark Herr.

When my book was in trouble, we discussed options on ways to save it.
In the end, between retailer support, fan support and Diamond backing me up, my book prevailed from the brink of cancelation.

Since then I've met with my rep on several occasions to discuss ways to boost sales as I prepare the next arc and the trade paperback.

And while I may sound like things have always been rosy, there was an error...a simple human error duing the solicitation for the first issue of Timespell...which was readily corrected.

By mistake, Diamond listed Timespell #1 as an ashcan...not a first issue.
This forced me to do damage control by calling as many retailers as I could to point out the misprint in Previews on pg. 236. As a result, the retailers were thankful for my efforts, were happy (and surprised) that anyone would even go to the trouble to make those calls...and made a note to check out the book again when Diamond FIXED the situation by running it correctly in the next catalog.

I've stayed in touch with several of those retailers, and in a round about way...glad that the error took place.
It forced me to take a more personal approach to my book, instead of sitting in the basement wondering why sales sucked.

I guess what I'm saying is, even though mistakes are made, they are generally easy enough to fix. And while I've been to conventions where the topic of conversation has been "Diamond sucks, my book was canceled" or "Diamond sucks, they didn't pick my book up"...

...it's always easy to bitch but it's far harder work to do something about the situation to actually make it BETTER.



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http://www.timespell.com
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http://www.timespell.com

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#457540 - 01/03/01 11:49 AM Re: RETAILERS: Diamond Screwup Delays COMPLEX CITY #2
JE Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 07/27/99
Posts: 432
Loc: Irving, TX 75038
Chris Schaff is also my rep, and he's awesome. A real friend to small-press books.

As I said at the beginning, this was never intended to be a "bash Diamond" thread. There's human error in ANY company. My main goal was to let retailers who lurk or post here know what was going on.

In any event, a couple of major retailers have confirmed with me that they have been invoiced that at least part of their order for COMPLEX #2 is shipping on Thursday, which is very good news.

JE Smith
Visit COMPLEX CITY at www.bettercomics.com
_________________________
"We've got a blind date with Justice -- and it looks like she's ordered the lobster." MYSTERY MEN

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