Dark Horse Books will switch its general book trade distribution to Random House Publisher Services beginning June 1, 2014. RHPS will provide sales support, distribution and fulfillment for Dark Horse front and backlist titles to retailers worldwide, while Diamond Comics Distributors will continue to distribute Dark Horse comics, graphic novels and pop culture merchandise to the comics specialty market.
Dark Horse founder and CEO Mike Richardson said the company is “looking to expand the type of books we put into the marketplace.” Dark Horse is one of the largest U.S. independent publishers of comics and graphic novels, but Richardson said the company is looking to bring more attention to its prose list, children’s books, art books and M-Press list, a noncomics prose imprint. Dark Horse has been distributed to the book trade by Diamond Book Distributors, and Richardson emphasized that its comics specialty division, Diamond Comics Distributors will continue to distribute DH graphic novels to the comics shop market.
Michael Martens, Dark Horse v-p, trade sales, said the decision was based on RHPS's “impressive” pick and pack facility and the distributors ability to “get books into brick and mortar bookstores,” citing fast replenishment, multiple international flights (including multiple Asia flights) each week and the size of the RHPS sales force. Martens cited RHPS’s ability to sell to buyers in all categories other than comics, noting that "we’re ambitious in areas other than graphic novels.”