B&N isn't the place to crunch numbers, which is why I name checked you and Matt on it.
I'm torn about the CM news. Honestly and truthfully. People may be excited about it now, but they're thinking only about right now. They're not thinking about the future, and that's where a lot of them are going to be slapped in the face before the year is out.
CM has to do one of two things: list every single comic they print, or implement quality controls such as Diamond does. There is no middle ground. Sure, they may say certain things right now, but they've yet to distribute anything as yet. Let's see what happens when they're one year in.
As soon as they implement quality controls, they've got a conflict of interest on their hands. They are being paid to print books, not decide which books would make them money.
Why aren't other printers getting into the act? I'm talking big ones, such as Brenner. They could, and cut out the middleman of the distributor. Something to think about.
And Haven is going to go the way of Diamond as well. Not necessarily with high benchmarks, but they're going to reach a place where they have to set one, because they'll lose money on the ones that don't reach it. Haven is in an enviable position to be the Diamond of small press.
Neither of them are going to do exceptionally well, but they'll do well enough.
Back to CM. They're also going to reach a point where they're only going to ship once a week or so, depending on the orders that come in. Since it's only for retailers, they'll be dictating the frequency of shipping. However, since it costs a decent amount to ship things, CM will do so only when they have enough orders, because it will be cost effective that way.
There are other ways, but not many. Digital comics are going to be a very big thing in the near future, and small pressers will have the choice of either going through someplace like CM or Haven when it's done, or selling books themselves. There are things to be said for selling books yourself. Pro's and cons to both sides, and only the individual can determine which one is best for them.
Overall, another good column.