Do you know what it means when Diamond won’t pick up your book? I’m willing to bet that you don’t.
Most new creators think that the fact that Diamond won’t pick up their book is because they’re too busy getting fat off the teat they suckle on from Marvel and DC, so they won’t give indie books a shot.
This is utter crap.
There is a single reason Diamond won’t pick up your book.
They can’t sell it.
Diamond is a business, and a business’ sole purpose is to make money. If your book can’t make it into Diamond, that means they can’t sell it and make money off it. This is not a decision made lightly. If they can’t decide internally, they have a panel of retailers they’ll send your book to and ask. If the retailers say no, then you’re done.
Why did Diamond reject your book? There are lots of reasons why. The two main reasons are art and story. The bulk of the time, it comes down to those two things.
As the Editor in Chief of ComixTribe, I see all the pitches that come our way. Some of the creators have already tried Diamond and have been rejected, and then quite literally tell us they’re just trying to get in through the back door. (Yeah, it doesn’t make us feel all warm and fuzzy, either.) That doesn’t typically get a rejection from us. We look at books on their own merit.
Most of the time, the book has something fundamentally wrong with it. I just forced myself through a pitch that was boring and filled with a lot of fluff that tried to pass itself off as story. It didn’t hold my interest at all…and I’m easy. I said no. If we can’t sell it because it’s boring, then Diamond more than likely can’t, either.
Then there’s the art. There is a difference between style and laziness. Some of you aren’t going to like this, but Rob Liefeld has a style, and it’s called laziness. His art style hasn’t evolved in 30 years. He’s still making the same mistakes. If you’re an artist, don’t be like Liefeld. Anatomy and storytelling are big parts of what you need to learn. Just as a writer has to learn a lot about their craft and practice it in order to become proficient at it, so must you, too. It isn’t easy, and if you think you’re “good enough”, then you possibly aren’t ready yet. (But that’s a whole different discussion.)
Diamond doesn’t take the best of the best. Diamond takes what they can sell. This means the onus is on you to create something they can sell, if you’re trying to get in through Diamond on your own.
You learn this lesson, and you’ll be well ahead of your peers.