'Anderson and Source Have Cost us Tens of Thousands of Dollars' -- The Publishers' Side of a Distribution Crisis
How many publishers found their magazines trapped in nondescript warehouses when Anderson and Source Interlink ceased wholesale distribution last month? For Wizard Entertainment, a consumer magazine publisher of several monthly pop-culture titles including Anime Insider, Toyfare and Wizard Magazine, it meant one more expensive setback in a year of grinding recession. Vice President of Production and Circulation Darren Sanchez offered details on how his publishing house is weathering the downturn, rising costs, and a recent 15-percent circ hit that was completely out of his hands.
INBOX: How have you been handling this recession?
DARREN SANCHEZ: The recession has definitely been felt here. Most of the impact has been on ad sales. Our sell-through on newsstand copies has maintained its numbers better than most magazines from what I've seen through research. I think our titles have a strong following and our product has a history of being entertaining, so our fans continue to pick it up. The fact that comic book movies have been hot, with successful franchises like Iron Man, Batman, and now Watchmen, doesn't hurt either. We work very hard to be the place to go if you're into that sort of thing.
INBOX: Postage rates and paper costs have risen for nearly all publishers. How have those factors affected Wizard's publications?
SANCHEZ: We purchase our own paper, so I have managed to minimize the increase through direct dealings with paper manufacturers. Buying from the plant can add significant markups. Paper costs have come down recently, so we're finally beginning to get back to where we were a few years ago on that. As for rising postage rates, our subscriber postage costs have definitely gone up in the past few months. It has affected my thought-process on what to include in sub copies with regard to ride-alongs and polybag inserts, as I don't want to drive my postage rates even higher.