Will the direct market be missed?

The comics blogosphere has long been prophesizing the death of the direct market, and now many have started to say that that time has finally arived.  The problem is that for a decade or so, distribution has been a monopoly, under the control of Diamond.  Steven Grant has a good summary of how this came to pass and how we got where we are.

But what matters now is that due to the financial crisis Diamond has decided to raise the minimum order size required for inclusion in their montly previews catalog.  In effect this will prevent all but the largest publishers from getting their materials into stores.  Because of this limitation you can expect to see some drastic changes in how comics are published in the near future.  It’s probably safe to assume there will be more webcomics, more titles published for the bookstore market, and far fewer monthly issues on the stands (and thus far less diverse materials).

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