Okay, But What About Digital Comics?

Thank you to everyone who passed around the link to my blog post last week. It was a whirlwind of conversation and, even with over 140 comments back and forth on the blog and dozens of tweets, the vast majority of people were civil, supportive and incredibly thoughtful.

The most common question that came up last week was “What about digital comics? How do those sales work?” It’s complicated and I don’t know all the ins and outs, but I’ll do my best to share what I know on that front.

With the ubiquitous nature of digital media in all aspects of our lives, digital comics will almost certainly play an important part in the future of the medium. They’re available globally 24/7 and don’t suffer from print run limitations or shipping damage.

The most popular digital comic platform is comiXology. They’re the current 800 pound gorilla in the still-niche digital comic marketplace. Marvel, DC, Image and most of the other major comic publishers are available through their website and app(s).

A lot of people have talked about the need for cheaper digital comic prices to drive impulse buying in casual/new readers. Right now most of the digital comics available are selling at a similar price to their print counterparts. Outside of sales and special promotions, a $2.99 print comic is selling for $2.99 digitally. People assume that digital content should be much cheaper because it has no physical component, but there are development and infrastructure costs that go into creating and maintaining a digital platform. It’s hard to say whether they’re equivalent, but right now the pricing is relatively equal.

Consider this…

…on a $2.99 digital comic ($3 for simplicity’s sake):

-$0.90: 30% goes to the mobile platform (usually Apple or Google). This is a standard fee leveled on all in-app purchases (which is where the vast majority of digital transactions are happening). This is as close to non-negotiable as things get. You use their device, they take their share. It’s my understanding that comics bought directly through the website don’t have this fee levied against it, which means more money for comiXology, the publisher and the creative team, but it’s way less convenient.

-$1.05: 35% (or, more specifically, 50% of what’s left after Apple/Google takes their share) goes to comiXology. Staff is needed to prep files, maintain servers, update the site and deal with technical issues, so comiXology is acting as the digital distributor. Other digital platforms may take a lower percentage of the cover price, so this amount is by no means universal, but it applies to the current leader in the marketplace.

The remaining $1.05 is split between advertising, the publisher and creative team. Each publisher has their own digital rates and it varies quite a bit from what I’ve been hearing. In some cases publishers don’t offer any percentage of digital sales to the creative team on a creator-owned title. Other than that unfortunate scenario, some publishers are making the same amount they would on a print copy (11-12%), while on the higher end the amount is split evenly between the two. With such a large range it’s hard to nail down exact figures, but it does give you a sense of how things tend to work.

What’s more difficult to answer right now is how well digital comics are actually selling through these platforms. Publishers and companies like comiXology have been very secretive about digital sales numbers. Press releases go out talking about “Best Selling Digital Comics” or “Record Breaking Digital Sales”, but no one’s explaining how many copies are involved in the hype. That makes it impossible to calculate sales figures, understand trends or decide the frequency of sale pricing on digital comics.

Some people have bandied about the broad figure that digital sales are averaging 10-15% of print sales. It’s unfortunately an untested number but, if remotely true, then the 5000 print run example from my previous post would be selling 500-750 digital copies per issue. With a rough range and a rough percentage breakdown that would mean anywhere from $255 to $517 left for the creative team, or $127.5 to $258.50 each for the writer and artist per issue (not counting the cover artist, letterer, colorist, etc.). The creative team gets more of the pie with a digital sale, but it’s a smaller sized pie right now.

If you’re buying digital comics when they’re on sale for 99 cents, the above numbers all get chopped down by 2/3. The pricing drives purchases, but 3 times as many copies have to be sold to make the same amount of money. In addition, the readership may come to expect that 99 cent pricing and wait for another sale rather than buying new digital issues at full price as they’re released.

The above numbers are extremely hard to gauge and shouldn’t be thought of as absolutes. Without solid sales figures to work with it’s impossible to nail down how many copies are actually being sold.

The only remotely solid numbers I have are my own. I’ve done quite a bit of promotion about my comic Skullkickers being available on comiXology, iVerse and Graphicly. We have a free zero issue and we’ve had a couple 99¢ sales, so some of our early issues have sold quite well digitally but, if you count 99¢ copies as a 1/3 sale money-wise, we’re selling at about the 15% range of our print sales on early issues. Later issues are sitting at around 8-10% of print sales right now. Admittedly, the 99¢ pricing has expanded our audience much faster and that’s nothing to sneeze at. They’re not blockbuster sales numbers but at least I know that as our exposure increases back issues will keep selling without any fear of ever being out of stock.

At this point, digital creator-owned comic sales through mainstream platforms aren’t generating a substantial amount of revenue, but it’s growing and things are changing quite quickly. As tablets become more prevalent and people become more at ease with paying for digital content, these figures will expand quite a bit and this space is going to see all kinds of upheaval. Right now it’s really hard to say where it will all end up. I think that having a stake in the ground at this early stage is important and making sure my work is available on as many platforms as possible helps grow our audience.

So, you may be reading this and think “Mainstream print distribution doesn’t make much for creators, mainstream digital doesn’t make much either, so how the heck do I get ahead?!”

Good question!

In my next couple blog posts I’ll talk about online outreach, other revenue streams, working with focused retailers, conventions, and more. Until then, feel free to add your two cents to the above, improve my accuracy and let me know if I’m missing anything. And, if you’re hungry for other things to read, feel free to check out my other tutorial articles about breaking in and writing technique.

If you found this post helpful, please let me know here (or on Twitter) and share the post with your friends. Please consider buying some of my comics online, from your local retailer or from me in person if you see me at a convention.

Leave a comment ?


  1. One of the biggest benefits to online is that it sticks around long after print gets taken off the shelf. So there’s always the potential for long-term legacy sales. Five years from now I may not be able to go to a store or convention and pick up Skullkickers, but I would be able to do so digitally, and that’s the cost that a digital issue is hiding – long term sales. At least that’s what I’ve always appreciated about digital. Thoughts? ­

    Rod Salm
    Death At Your Door, a weekly webcomic about Death trying to live a life.

    • I completely agree. Once a print run is sold out and not re-printed, the sales numbers end forever. With digital, new sales are always being generated. I can’t even begin to tell you how many out-of-print comics I’ve purchased digitally.

      • You would assume that to be the case but Marvel has already shown a willingness to pull things back from the digital market.

        If a creator isn’t in charge of the availability of his/her works digitally then there is every reason to assume that a publisher will be pushing what the publisher wants and not always what a creator would want.

  2. That percentages SUCK! you might want to check out DrvieThruComics.com. They take between 30 to 35% and that is it! You might even just want to put up “special editions” directly at your website and use Paypal. Then you will keep about 95% of it. ComiXology might be the most popular but you can find other ways to keep more money in YOUR pocket.

  3. Because there’s only one real major player in digital comics what you also have happening is a similar situation to US traditional printed comics… only in a much smaller capacity.

    If you’re an independent creator that can’t work your way into Comixology you find yourself having to set up your own store and sell PDFs. Which actually on a percentage basis works out much more favourable.. you only lose tiny percentages through, say, Paypal transactions and a monthly Big Cartel subscription. But you don’t get the benefit of Comixology’s dominant position in the App market and all the exposure that comes with it.

    Having said that, I did try doing it all myself and it’s worked out for me so far. Although, my audience is perhaps not the same as the main US superhero publishers so I’m not as reliant on the US comic industry to get me my traffic.

  4. Seems a higher percentage of my purchase could make it directly to the creative team (depending on the publisher) than it would if I bought a print comic. I think I’ll keep buying digitally then. 🙂

  5. I’ve been self publishing through Amazon CreateSpace and Kindle Direct publishing. So far, my full color book Wandering Ones: Scout Trail has sold about 300 copies total (print and digital).

    I priced the 56 page PRINT book at a price needed to make any profit- $11.50. I was able to price the kindle version at $3.75 and still make a profit. For me, the print editions are almost just a “doing it just because” venture. The digital version costs me less and is easier to price at a reasonable level.

  6. Jason Goldsmith

    Being part of a large platform has huge advantages for an independent creator, this is the same reason they do print despite the low profits. The late platform has the potential to payoff big. Running your own site is a great idea but you have to decide if you want to market your website and content or if you want to make more content.

    Whether it is ComiXology, DriveThru or our site ComicBin, we all have overhead to some degree which covers hosting, development and most importantly Marketing. When the comic is on a larger platform the platform does some of the marketing for you (or it SHOULD at least).

    One problem with running your own site will be credit card transaction fees. The fees on a $0.99 comic will be roughly $0.33-0.37 depending on the processor and volume. So even then you’re only getting a small piece of that sale. Buying multiple copies will improve that number, but once you’re caught up on a monthy title from a creator with only 1 title, that’s going to eat a lot of the money too.

    At the end of the day, I think the BEST thing you can do for a creator is get other people to read their books. That drives volume and that’s the real solution to the problem. The dynamics change greatly when a creator can sell 10k print books or have 100k people reading their books on various digital platforms.

    If the comic market were to double to triple in size, things would be significantly better, but that only happens when everyone including the fans encourages new readers. We’re hoping to play a part by offering a different complimentary business model to make reading easier and more accessible to new people.

  7. I understand the need for Comixology now, but it seems with the recent push to have same day and date releases in the iBook, Kindle, and Nook stores that their time in the sun is already over.


    Although, the digital market is small right now and buying comics through native bookstore apps is new; there’s potential for extreme growth.

    “In our early testing, (selling from a device’s native digital store) has created a positive effect for publishers and creators, with books in the iBookstore outselling (those in an) iPad app by 5:1 – and in some cases outpacing their print equivalent.”


    Comixology is the 500 pound gorilla now, but it’s an unnecessary middleman. No one buys music, movies, or games through a seperate app; why are comics an exception.

    Selling through a native bookstore app would allow larger audiences (potentially 5:1) and larger percentages 70% (after Apple, Amazon, and B&N take their 30% share) between publisher and creative team.

    Split equally (and your graph shows creators earning more than the publisher), a creative team would earn $1.05 dollars per issue which is equal to Comixology and greater than Diamond in your print run estimation.

    • Are you sure that’s accurate? Comixology is a middleman but they’re a middlman because they are willing to put in work many creators and publishers just don’t have the time or cash flow to do.

      Also think of Comixology like iTunes. People certainly still use that. People may have all sorts of ways to buy movies but they aren’t buying them direct fro the director, producer or the studios.

      • Comixology is a great comic reader and store. I love Guided View, their frequent sales,and compatibility across multiple platforms. I’m sure Comixology will continue to be the dedicated digital comics reader for many in the future.

        Even so, Comixology simply doesn’t have the reach that the Amazon Kindle Store or iBooks have. A native pre-installed app will always sell more books than a third-party app. Plus, you’re less likely to worry that you’re going to lose your entire library because Amazon or Apple aren’t going out of business while it’s possible that a small startup like Comixology may. Comixology’s value can be easily replicated by a major company like Apple, Amazon, B&N, or Google. The Nook’s Zoom View and the Kindle’s Panel view are relatively equivalent to Comixology’s Guided view.

        I don’t understand your second paragraph. Comixology’s competitor is iTunes. No one buys comics straight from the publisher (not counting subscriptions or a publisher controlled digital storefront like Dark Horse).

        I say Comixology is an unnecessary middleman because the value chain right now is

        Publisher – Apple/Google – Comixology – Consumer

        When it really should be

        Publisher – Apple/Google – Consumer

        • I strongly disagree that ComiXology is an unnecessary part of the chain. From what I’ve observed, they more than pull their own weight.
          ComiXology serves the digital chain in a way that a very, very good retailer does for the print chain. It provides an easy place to shop, staffed with pleasant people who understand comics, kept organized and supplemented by advice that will help you find the things you want — and things you’ll love that you didn’t already know about.
          Then they go a bit further than even the best retailer by providing your digital longboxes, keeping them stored and organized for you, and even delivering your comic to you no matter where you are (any place, any device). Plus, they guarantee you against loss, theft or damage to your comics.
          The biggest loss when you are distributing your own work is that the only people who come to shop are 1) people who already know about you and 2) people you have attracted by advertising and promotion that you have to pay for. You are on your own.
          On ComiXology, I started as a lapsed DC fan who was born again — and became someone who buys almost as many non-DC titles from publishers I’d never heard of before. Often I buy these other comics because I see them in the New Releases list on Wednesday morning and am attracted to the art, the blurb, the creators, or the concept. That exposure is damned attractive, especially for a smaller publisher.
          I buy the vast majority of my digital comics through Comixology’s website simply because I think they deserve a big piece of the pie, and I don’t mind taking it away from Apple/Google or whoever.
          The variability of the publisher/creator split seems the most negotiable, and it should be. The more of the organizational and promotional burden the reactors are willing to bear, the larger their slice should be. Not everyone wants to self-publish, and those who are willing to turn more of the publishing end over to others in exchange for more time to create will find comfortable places, too.
          But in the end, the pie has to get bigger. As it does, the Apple/Google percentage should and almost certainly will shrink as the market becomes large and varied enough to give the comics industry some leverage.
          But I still believe that that pie will grow faster when prices are lower. When the physical component (printing/shipping) is removed, selling four 99¢ comics beats selling one $2.99 comic. I suspect that the impulse buy urge at 99¢ will make that much more than a 4-to-1 ratio. We’ll see…

          • The 30% Apple/Google fee is almost certainly non-negotiable no matter how popular comic books become. That’s because Apple/Google have to pay credit card transactions. The industry standard is 20 cents plus 1-2% of the total price. For a 99 cent comic, Apple/Google pays 22 cents to a credit card company. Their 30% app store tax makes a lot of sense then.

            I agree with you. Comixology appeals to a certain niche audience much better than its competitors. I like their layout much better than the comics section on the Kindle store. Please continue supporting them. All I’m saying is that the best way to support creators is to buy comics from retailers that have as few middleman as possible. Whether that’s directly from the Comixology website (35% to creator), iTunes (35%), NookBookstore (35%), Kindle Store (35%), directly from the publisher (50%) artist’s website (78-93% when you factor in credit card transaction fees and price), or the artist at conventions (100%) is up to you.

            Creators get screwed over when a dozen different hands each take their piece of the pie.

  8. Very interesting… My only problem with Digital and the big distributors like ComiXology,or even Marvel and DC’s is space. The problem is 2-fold: first,the space on my device and secondly the space on the servers from these providers.

    My device: the comics are saved & linked to the app, they cannot be moved to the SD, MicroSD, USB or portable hard-drive. So after a while I have to delete and make room for new issues.

    The supplier’s servers:they will also eventually delete and make room for more. What happens when they decide to delete the comics that I purchased, will they send me a copy in a different format that can be saved WHERE I WANT? I do not think so, it will be deleted and never seen again, unless I save a copy on my device. 👿

    • It’s absolutely true. One of the tough things about the model is that they’re not sending you a digital file of your own, you’re essentially paying for rental or a reading service, not an actual digital file you can keep. One of the big unknowns is what happens if comiXology (or other providers like them) go away, what happens to the comics that are bought. I don’t have that answer.

      There’s a similar discussion about iTunes and whether or not you can give your music collection to someone else.

      • I can’t foresee us choosing to remove comics from ComicBin. I can see losing licenses and not having them anymore, but not pulling them to save space. That might change, but storage is cheap and getting cheaper.

        We plan to offer offline reading down the road, which will allow you to read books without an Internet connection. But you’ll always have to manage space on your device, whether you “buy” or subscribe to a service like ours. Marvel and DC have 10s of thousands of comics, EACH. Even at moderate resolution you’re talking gigs and gigs of data.

        We think having an explicit rental model makes more sense than pseudo purchases of content (whether ComiXology, DRM PDF or through Amazon, etc)

      • Well, you can make physical, non-DRM copies of music you buy on iTunes. You can burn these to a disc. (And re-rip as regular .mp3, for example, not Apple’s native format.)

        Either way, you can make a physical copy of what you buy outside of the app. This is not the case with Comixology, obviously, as you pointed out. This stuff is for readers over collectors.

        • Theres no DRM on a music file you buy from the iTunes store. Hasn’t been that way fior almost 4 years. Movies and books do have DRM. Also the Publishers are the ones wanting DRM on the files they sell, not Apple. The publishers are completely shooting themselves in the foot by wrapping their books in DRM.

        • Printing is much more complicated than burning CDs, to get color right, to make the prints last a long time, etc.

          I saw a picture of some original comic art where the artist inked with marker and the marker was fading and turing red from UV exposure.

          Comics are a bit of a strange case compared to music and video because those mediums didn’t have a big collectors market when digital via internet arrived (CDs were digital back in the 80s I think so have to be more specific). Sure some people still collected vinyl and bootlegs and such, but the industry wasn’t built on collectors.

          So we have a bit of an odd situation where the primary buyers of comics are collectors. They actively dislike digital comics and aren’t all that interested in buying them.

  9. By the way, I currently buy +/- 60 monthly (paper) comics per month. The only Digital copies I get are those given freely by Marvel as part of their REDEEM program. The primary reason for that is mentioned on my other post. 😕

  10. Which is best…

    http://www.ComiXology.com SAME DAY DIGITAL COMIC at $2.99


    wwww.eXpertComics.com SAME DAY PRINTED copy at $2.99 – 25% Discount = $2.25 + Free Bag/Board + Free delivery for orders over $100.00

  11. Not sure if you’re going to cover selling DRM-free downloads in a future post, but Spike Trotman has been doing well selling PDFs of Poorcraft and Smut Peddler at half print price via Gumroad (which takes a 5% + $0.25 cut). This was good for ~1000 sales as of the end of October:


  12. I’m using Gumroad for a few things at Pay-what-you-want right now and let me tell u it’s TOTALLY DOPE.

  13. One thing I’ve been thinking about recently…I’d argue that, for creator-owned properties right now, the single most PROFITABLE sales channel for selling digital comics is actually KICKSTARTER.

    The transaction cost is somewhere around 9%. Everything else goes to the creator, who can deliver a PDF.

    Looking at some current and recent Kickstarters, you’re seeing big time digital sales…

    Ex.) Ryan North’s latest KS has 421 Backers for a $15 PDF, he’ll net $5,750.

    Mark Andrew Smith’s Sullivan’s Sluggers Kickstarter had 186 backers for the $10 PDF, that’s a cool $1700 net.

    My own OXYMORON Kickstarter had 50 backers snag the $10 PDF pledge, netting me over $450…which would be about 2 times ComixTribe’s total previous digital sales for a half dozen books through a half dozen digital distributors.

    Just an observation…and Kickstarter is a twist on the sell-it directly point other’s have made.

    Things change rapidly, and who knows where we’ll be a year from now. But at this moment, the KS channel is powerful for digital as well.

    • This is something that we talk about in the studio some times, but KS does seem more and more to be one of the more successful venues for publishing creator-owned comics (print or digital).
      I haven’t looked into it seriously yet myself, but I’ve had friends who were very successful with KS (and other crowd-sourcing options). I think a large part of that is simply that it forces the creator to really push the marketing, which is something that they should probably be doing anyway (or rather, something that a publisher should be doing, which they don’t often do enough).

      It doesn’t give you the benefit of mass distributors, but somehow the money still works out to be about the same (sometimes better, sometimes worse, but same-ish).

      • I think you’re right. The biggest problem with marketing in the current direct market is that it’s marketing to the vacuum.

        You’d need to reserve and pay for an ad in October, to run in Previews in December, for a book coming out in February.

        You’re supposed to generate buzz to get people to PRE-Order a book two months prior to it being on the shelves…

        You do all this work in a vacuum, with no idea if it’s working and to what extent, and then you get your order numbers.

        Now, compare that to Kickstarter, where it’s a focused campaign, you direct people to just one site, you get metrics for which sites, blogs, social media platforms are driving the most traffic (and dollars)…it’s a pre-order system was built today, not in the 80’s.

        But you’re right about the mass-distribution thing. But by going directly to our super-fans, reaching “the masses” might not be necessary to have a financially successful book.

  14. Other people have mentioned that one of the major benefits of digital comics is the consistent availability of the product going into the future (without having to pick up the tab for additional print runs). The real bonus of that, however, is that it accumulates. It seems to be the case that when someone buys a comic through Comixology, they don’t just buy the one issue, but buy several at a time. So the more comics you have available, the more sales you’ll make all at once. I only have limited info about this from my comic Power Play ( http://www.comixology.com/digital/12727/Power-Play ), but I’ve heard the same thing from other creators who release work digitally.
    I’m sure there’s a point where it tapers off, but it’s something to keep in mind that for every new issue you promote, you’re really promoting all the previous ones as well which you’ll never have to restock.

    One of the larger points being made in Jim’s blog entries is how out of whack the once of money/ounce of labor ratio can be for creator owned comics. One of the benefits of digital, though, is not needing to fill 22 pages for every unit of product that you put out. You can put out more product for less work on your end.

  15. Making Money Doing What I Love | geektechteacherdad - pingback on December 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm
  16. Very interesting post Jim….and interesting comments too.

    The problem with making money on these things is that the audience is just too small right now. When we’re talking about total distribution of 10K copies, there just isn’t much money to go around because 10K is a small number. I’m optimistic about digital comics because I think they have some CHANCE to fix that problem. I mean….there are probably more that 10K people in the world who want dog poop scented perfume so there has to be a way to sell more than 10K copies of a really snappy comic book. I don’t see any formula for growth with paper comics, so it’ll have to be digital.

    One question I have…..Have you noticed any pattern between the number of ratings a comic gets on Comixology and sales? It would be nifty if it was pretty consistent that roughly 10% of readers rated the comic, then we could start to get some idea of total impact of those sales, right?

  17. One of the most surprising things I ever hear this:

    “It’s my understanding that comics bought directly through the website don’t have this fee levied against it, which means more money for comiXology, the publisher and the creative team, but it’s way less convenient.

    The idea that buying from the website is way less convenient is baffling to me. On any given week I buy no less than 3, sometimes as much as 10 new books. On the website I fill the cart and make a single purchase. In-app purchases have to be One. Comic. At. A. Time.

    UGH! I actually find in-app purchasing unbearable.

    Navigating the store online is also easier and faster than navigating the in-app store.

    • Ziggy, I guess it’s a matter of how you consume content.

      If one is lying on the couch reading about a particular new release on Twitter on an iPad, then yeah, firing up Comixology and buying it right there, is the easiest way to go.

      But you’re probably right, for power shoppers doing their weekly pulls digitally, the web experience is probably better.

      But I think in general, most users are going to want the ability to acquire the comics from the device they consume it on…and in more and more cases, that device is the tablet/mobile reader.

  18. Comixology justifies its existence by constantly improving its software, running on many platforms (iOS, web, Android, Windows 8), adding retina-resolution comics for no extra cost, and being a portal to almost every significant comics publisher (with the exception of Dark Horse).

    That said, I really wish there was more competition in the digital comics space. We really don’t need to repeat the Diamond model again. But unfortunately it’s going to require some deep pockets and smart people to catch up to what Comixology offers now. A couple years ago I thought Panelfly might have a chance, but they’ve almost disappeared.

  19. The money model again: digital and the web and what works - pingback on December 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm
  20. Hi all, this is George from Emanata Comics (www.emanata.co).

    I hope this post won’t appear to be too spammy or promotional… I thought I should mention our Comics App – Emanata Comics. It’s a free app on the iOS platform (both iPhone and iPad) and with the forth coming Android app.

    We cater to indie creators to both promote and sell their works within our app (through the iTunes payment system).

    We have a self-service platform. Free-to-read won’t cost you (creator) anything.

    Paid content is revenue shared (similar to what Jim mentioned in the post) but at a very competitive rate (you can find out more info in our blog post about that).

    We are a 2.5 people (the half person is a part timer 🙂 company that love indie comics and would love readers to discover mor indie works.

    You can find out more about us on the Comic Book Resources profile of the company:


    Check us out if you can. Thanks! 🙂

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  22. when I buy a physical DVD of a new movie, it’s around $20. When I rent a DVD from a video store, it’s $4.00.

    Unless and until I get an actual file from the digital comics provider, there is no justification for having the same price point.

    now, Marvels Digital Comics Unlimited initiative, which has a monthly/yearly fee similar to Netflix is a different situation. The agreement there is clearly that you are buying temporary digital access to the books for a subscription fee.

    “Selling” me a digital comic for $2.99 that is really only digital access for as long as the company deems appropriate or stays in business is not the same as buying a copy at my local comics store that I can keep in my longboxes for however long I wish – OR have the right to sell/give away/loan as I wish.

    i want the creators to earn more – I try to support artists directly whenever I can. But the consumer has some rights and reasonable expectations in terms of what they are paying for as well.

  23. Hi All, Becky from Graphicly here.

    I do appreciate Jim breaking this down for everyone, as far as I can see, it is very correct.

    Jim mentioned Graphicly here for a bit, and I want to tell you how our model is different from Comixology’s:

    Graphicly does not take any revenue from comic book creators once your book is on Amazon, iBookstore, and Nook. Period.

    While for a time, we were like a ‘middleman’ with our own app, we now do not have an app. We put your book on Amazon and Apple directly. This move was hard, but it has been enormously successful.

    If you purchase a book that has been distributed by our service, most of that money goes to the artists and authors. Apple and Amazon WILL take a cut. But we have negotiated that price down very far, so much that it benefits creators more than if they went directly through Amazon.

    Ebooks are difficult to configure, release, and store, — but lately, ‘hardcover’ releases on Kindle Fire outsold brick and mortar hardcover sales for the same books.

    Comics are niche, so these sales numbers may not carry over to a niche market, but I think we can safely say that the epub format is here and it is very strong.

    Also, to note: Apple will probably always be here. Amazon will probably always be here. If you purchase ‘A Casual Vacancy’ on your Kindle Fire, that book will not be going away any time soon. It won’t break down or get lost. It’s there. The same is true for any book that we distribute through our service.

    If this is useful to just one person then I am happy.

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  26. I appreciate the insight Jim and from all the comments… digital margins just don’t seem to be the level of prior technologies as a whole and have to make it up in volume. I am encouraged to see comics being an industry worried less about cannibalization and makes the full transition into the medium to come.

  27. OK at the risk of sounding completely ignorant, why do you need to involve a publisher in the digital equation? Could you not just produce the book and provide it to Comixology? That way you get that whole publisher chunk back in your pocket.

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  29. You can use 88mpd.com to sell your comics on your site.

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  31. The Price of Comixology | Sequential Pictures - pingback on May 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm
  32. The Price of Comics | DC Infinite - pingback on May 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm
  33. Hey Jim!

    I’ve been looking into putting some of my comics up for digital recently and am starting to submit to comixology – so I very much appreciate your candour in this regard.


  34. What about the revenue split between the authors/collaborators of the same comic? Do common digital comic stores/platforms have the feature of already splitting the revenue directly to different persons, or is it more commonly in a “that’s *your* problem” basis?

    I’ve read Lulu has this feature. It’s very disappointing if platforms that are specialized in comics would lack this feature, which is specially handy for comicbook authors, who more often than “just text” book authors, will work under a team. Having such feature just removes an enormous potential hassle of creating comics, you basically can just team up with whoever from wherever and everything is almost done by default.

    Without that it seems that the proper way to do it would be to have an LLC and things like that, and, doesn’t matter how “easy” it may be in a single instance, it probably adds up and becomes a huge slowdown in trying to run several independent collaborations. Not to mention collaborations between authors from different countries.

  35. Any new updates regarding digital comic sales seeing how Amazon now owns comixology, graphicly is long dead and many more comic books/graphic novels are being turned into tv shows/movies?; Y the last man, sweet tooth.

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