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Direct Market Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re a Direct Market comic book retailer, you’ve arrived at the right place.  In conjunction with our 3/25/2021 announcement, we’ve created an information kit.

If you think you should have received an information kit, but didn’t, please email CSComicMarket@penguinrandomhouse.com.

Otherwise, we’ve created some frequently asked questions to help you get oriented.

There will be much more to come and we will be continuously updating this page for your reference.

General Information

Penguin Random House is the global home to adult and children’s publishing across more than 300 core publishing imprints and more than 50 distributed clients. Headquartered in New York City with operations in 20 countries across six continents, Penguin Random House has distribution centers in Indiana, Maryland, and Nevada.

Penguin Random House currently provides sales and distribution services to 50+ independent publishers including DC Comics, Kodansha, and Seven Seas. See a full list of our clients here:  https://Penguin Random Housepublisherservices.com/our-clients/

Penguin Random House aims to be the best distribution partner for the Direct Market. You are the epicenter for pop culture in your communities, and we want to better support all areas of your business. We will provide you with a top-notch supply chain, customer service support, and increase your access to our books, marketing & promotion campaigns, and publishers. The goal is to work together to grow your business and legacy.

Account Setup and Ordering

May 26, 2021 for early solicited titles going on sale after October 1st.

We will begin shipping Marvel books on October 1st, 2021.

Yes, the first Marvel Previews catalog that Penguin Random House will distribute, the August catalog for product shipping in October, will deliver to retailers by July 28th. Retailers will also be able to access all catalog information digitally via our self-service.BIZ ordering website. More information on Direct Market catalogs can be found here.

Yes, Direct Market retailers will have the option of continuing to order Marvel products from Diamond, acting as a wholesaler, or Penguin Random House.

Please follow up with Diamond directly to discuss any open orders.

Any order placed for product shipping to arrive after 10/1/2021 will be shipped via Penguin Random House or through a wholesaler, depending on how you have elected to order product.

All Direct Market accounts are assigned a dedicated Sales Rep and a Customer Service Rep for all sales and ordering queries. If you do not have an account with us, please reach out to the New Accounts team to submit an application. Once your account has been setup, you will be assigned a Sales Rep and a Customer Service Rep.

We recommend that you set up your account as soon as possible. An account must be setup by Friday, May 7th to place orders for early solicited titles shipping in October. For help setting up your account please contact the New Accounts team.

Once you have set up an account you can start ordering either through our self-service ordering website, self-service.BIZ, which will be expanded to accommodate Direct Market ordering practices, or through Customer Service.

Follow this link to our new self-service.BIZ to initiate registration. In order to register, you will need an email address, your account # and your SAN. If you need any assistance, please email Customer Service.

After you have been set up as an account you will be able to register for self-service.BIZ. Once registered, you will have full access to search items, place and track orders, print invoices and so much more. For help with using the features on the site please visit the retailer FAQ.

We have enhanced the self-service.BIZ site to support entering orders for FOC deadlines. FOC deadlines will continue to be regularly scheduled on Mondays ahead of on sale dates as expected. More information on managing your FOC cart an be found here.

You can place replenishment orders and any orders after the FOC deadline through the general cart. Please note ratio titles are ineligible for ordering after FOC.

Promotional items (posters, postcards, etc.) and variants from Marvel will continue to be offered through PRH. Variant eligibility will be displayed on the self-service.BIZ site.

Yes, retailer exclusive opportunities will continue and expand for Marvel titles.

Tracking and Invoices

Our self-service site gives our retail partners the ability to track orders. Tracking links can be found on the Order Detail page. You can go to the Orders tab and enter the PO or Order Number from the invoice into the search bar. Click on the order to view the tracking links. More information on how to track shipments can be found here. Customer Service is also available to answer any of your questions or needs.

PDRs are intended to outline all product (both initial orders and reorders) stores can expect to receive on a given day. The reports are generated by location and are based on expected delivery dates and rolled-up by ISBN/UPC. Therefore, if the same ISBN/UPC was ordered across multiple PO#s to the same location, stores will see the sum total in the PDF on a single line. If you have multiple location, you could have multiple PDRs for the same delivery date.

For initials: PDRs are generated once PRH is preparing to pick a week’s shipment. For comic books, this is typically 7-10 days before the product arrives.

Reorders are processed as they are received and will be added to your PDR as available.

This report is intended to serve as a heads-up for receiving purposes only and cannot be used as a final confirmation of what will be billed. For pricing and billing information please refer to your invoice.

Invoices outline product that has been officially shipped and billed to the retailer. These files include billing information such as discount percentage and net costs.

Typically invoices are generated as product is shipped. This is certainly true for reorders. For new release product, billings are held until the same month the product goes on-sale. So, for example, if a title with an 11/3 release was shipped to retailers in October. PRH will invoice retailers in November for that product, therefore allowing a few extra days on terms.

Invoices can be used as the final confirmation for what was charged or is owed to PRH. This document is also what retailer can use when placing damage or shortage claims.

Information on where to send payments can be found in the top left corner of your invoices. You can access your invoices from the Invoices & Claims tab on the self-service site.

Shipping

Comics will ship from our new warehouse in Hampstead, MD. All other product (publisher depending) will ship from our other warehouses in Maryland and Indiana.

Orders placed by the FOC date will ship to deliver no later than the day before the on-sale date. Reorders and promotional product will ship on a regular basis pending availability.

Initial shipments will not combine with reorders. Reorders will combine within each warehouse. To minimize damages, we will not be shipping comics with graphic novels.

We will distribute Marvel worldwide for the Direct Market. Customers outside North America should refer to the International and Canadian section in this document for further details.

Sales through Penguin Random House are freight inclusive within the United States and Canada.

No.

Yes, you will set up your payer account and then can set up each of your locations as a ship-to account connected to that payer account. More information on managing your locations can be found here.

Our self-service site gives our retail partners the ability to place orders, track shipments, print invoices, etc. Customer Service is also available to answer any of your questions or needs.

Shipping is available to Canada and overseas. To set up an account, please contact our New Account team to complete an application.

Reordering items is available on the self-service.BIZ site and through Customer Service.

Yes. Because of the delicate and collectible nature of comics we will be using our warehouse in Hampstead, Maryland to process comic book orders. In order to minimize damages, comics will not ship with graphic novels or other book product.

Claims for damaged or defective product must be submitted within ten calendar days of receipt of product. Claims can be processed on the self-service.BIZ site and can also be placed via Customer Service.

Terms and Payment

The off-invoice standard discount for comic shops will be 50% non-returnable (NR), freight inclusive inside the US and Canada.  Please contact your sales representative for more information.

Promotional terms or other benefits may be available.  Please contact your sales representative for more information.

Payments can be made with a credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) at the time an order is placed. Those who apply and qualify for Credit can pay in the form of checks, money orders, or funds transfers.

For retailers that qualify for credit, payment terms are 60 days End of Month (EOM) from the invoice date.

All Marvel product is sold non-returnable. However, if replacement copies are needed due to damage or shortage, please contact Penguin Random House Customer Service within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of product to discuss the claim.

Those stores with credit terms have the option to receive invoices sent via email or mailed to them. They are also able to download invoices on the Penguin Random House self-service.BIZ site.

Please email our US Direct Market sales team at comicmarketus@penguinrandomhouse.com

International & Canadian Accounts

The off-invoice standard discount for comic shops is 50% non-returnable, freight inclusive inside the US and Canada. Please contact your sales representative for more information.

Credit terms are available for qualified international customers and will be determined upon account opening.

Sales through Penguin Random House are freight inclusive to retailers in Canada or to your freight forwarder based within the US.

Title Information

We have expanded the self-service.BIZ site to include access to a monthly catalog of upcoming comics, graphic novels, and manga that can be purchased through Penguin Random House. More information on catalogs as well as how to download the PRH Monthly Data file can be found here.  The website and accompanying catalog will include information on new and upcoming features, sneak peeks, a listing of top-selling titles, and more. More information on these features is available here.

Penguin Random House will continue the weekly Marvel Mailer distributed each Thursday to communicate top title information and data changes. The weekly newsletter, title changes and title collections can also all be found on the self-service.BIZ site. More information can be found here.

Direct Market customers are also able to download the CSV data file from the site. This file is updated daily and contains the most up-to-date data elements for all items in that month’s solicitation catalog. More information on the PRH Monthly Data file can be found here.

Yes, Marvel and Penguin Random House will utilize standard UPC identifiers for all comic book product and ISBNs for all trade graphic novels. All orders will be placed using either UPCs or ISBNs for relevant products. This means the item numbers for product still available for purchase as of the transition date will change, and this will be communicated in advance via the Penguin Random House sales and operations teams.

Yes, Penguin Random House will continue to supply series codes, but these codes will change for existing series. A guide is being developed to help retailers map existing series codes to their new code.

Marvel titles will continue to go on-sale weekly, every Wednesday.

Inventory information will be available via Penguin Random House’s Self-Service.BIZ site.

Penguin Random House strives to ensure that all retailers, data aggregators, and POS vendors have the title information they need to conduct business smoothly. If you’d like to request that a specific company or vendor continue receiving Marvel data, please contact your Penguin Random House sales representative.

Outreach, Communication, & Marketing

Penguin Random House is dedicated to help bring new readers into specialty comic shops across North America and around the world.  We recognize the importance of Free Comic Book Day as a valuable initiative to support new comic book readers and will continue to support the publishers who want to participate in it. More details on how Penguin Random House will participate in FCBD will be shared when available.

Marvel plans to participate in this year’s Free Comic Book Day through Diamond.

We will expand the self-service.BIZ site to include access to a monthly catalog of upcoming comics, graphic novels, and manga that can be purchased through Penguin Random House. The website and accompanying catalog will include information on new and upcoming titles, sneak peeks, a listing of top-selling titles, and more. As a retailer, you will also be able to preorder, reorder, and check the status of existing orders for comics, graphic novels, and manga from Penguin Random House.

The Penguin Random House self-service.BIZ site will serve as a one-stop shop for all available information for new releases and publisher announcements for upcoming titles and media tie-ins. More information on how to view News & Updates on the site can be found here.

Updates and announcements will also be shared through weekly newsletters that you can sign up for by contacting the comic market sales team or once you’ve set up an account.

Please reach out to your sales rep with a proposal for an event.

Ordering with Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House aims to be the best distribution partner for the comic book market. You, as a comic book retailer, are the epicenter for pop culture in your community and PRH wants to better support all areas of your business. In addition to giving you access to an industry-leading supply chain and dedicated customer service support, PRH will increase your access to their books, publishers, and marketing and promotion campaigns.

PRH believes in the power of brick-and-mortar retailers and knows they are a vital part of a healthy retail ecosystem. At a time when many publishers divested their commitment to physical supply chain, PRH has doubled down on investment. There will be a designated warehouse for comic book distribution and new shipping cartons specifically designed for comic books. PRH is also creating an online retailer site with access to a monthly catalog of upcoming comics, graphic novels, and manga that can be purchased through the portal. The website and accompanying catalog will include information on new and upcoming features, sneak peeks, a listing of top-selling titles, and more.

PRH is committed to not just maintaining a presence in brick-and-mortar retailers, but to driving continued growth to your stores. The ongoing mission is to partner with you to grow your business and legacy.

When you open an account with Penguin Random House, you are getting:

  • Access to all Marvel comics and graphic novels
  • Free ground shipping on all outgoing orders
  • No opening order required—for a limited time only
  • Online ordering through a new and enhanced business website:
    • Improved search functionality—pull information by key words, title search, or identifier (ISBN, UPC)
    • Real-time stock availability
    • Ability to see and filter by all promotions you are eligible for, and add those promotions to your cart
    • Estimated arrival dates for orders, available at the title and order level
    • Enhanced tracking for orders by warehouse
  • A dedicated customer service rep assigned to your account
  • The most advanced supply chain in the book industry
  • Low reorder minimums and no reorder or restocking fees
  • Merchandising options, including displays and spinner racks that ship free when you order the fill
  • Access to more than 15,000 newly published titles annually across 70+ core publishers and imprints, and several dozen distributed publishers. Publishers served include:
    • DC Comics (graphic novels)
    • Random House Children’s Books
    • Del Rey
    • Pantheon
    • Kodansha Comics
    • Vertical Comics
    • Square Enix
    • Seven Seas (as of July 1st, 2021)
    • Ten Speed Press

Can't find what you are looking for?

Email Customer Service

Reach out to customer service at any time via the below email address:

bizcs@penguinrandomhouse.com

Call Customer Service

For any inquiries regarding availability, orders, or accounts, you can contact Customer Service at:

800-733-3000