Diamond Comics Distributors is making a change to when they release publishers' advance solicitations to retailers in relation to the release of the Previews catalog's release date, and is asking Direct Market retailers to move the date they release their own advance solicitations online.
For many years Diamond has released its solicitation data digitally on the the second-to-last Wednesday of the month, with Previews' print and digital editions being available on the last Wednesday of the month. Beginning in 2019 they plan to release the solicitation data to retailers and on their website the Friday before the print catalog, two days later than usual.
In an email to publishers and vendors, Diamond's Director of Marketing Dan Manser said the change is being made to prevent preorders for other months' products from "leaking into the current selling cycle" and is requesting (but not requiring) publishers move their own individual online releases in accordance.
In other words, Diamond want readers, retailers and the press to focus on orders for one month for two more days before shifting their collective attention to the following month.
"I know each publisher and vendor likes to control their PR and marketing release info, and my hope is that you'll move your dates back with this change," Manser said. "We need all of our initiatives to be focused on selling comics and products in the currently selling cycle before moving on to hyping new releases from the next catalog in the industry news cycle."
So what does this mean for comic readers who come to Newsarama each month for the advance solicitations from DC, Marvel, and others?
DC Entertaiment, who traditionally release their solicitations the Monday prior to the full Diamond solicitation release (which would have been today), have informed Newsarama they will release their March 2019 solicitations on Thursday, December 20.
Marvel, who usually release on the Tuesday before has not responded to Newsarama's inquiries regarding any changes to their schedule. We're also waiting for responses from other publishers like Image, Valiant, and Archie.
In addition, due to their holiday schedule the upcoming Previews print catalog for products on sale in March will be released on Friday, December 28 and the digital edition on Friday December 21.