Tag Archives: amazon

Top Five Predictions for comiXology’s Announcement this Friday

Something is brewing over at comiXology, the 800lb gorilla in the digital comic market space. The company will have a “major announcement” at 2pm PDT/5pm EDT which you can watch on Twitch. Along with the live stream you can attend viewing parties at their nearest Amazon Pop-Up or Amazon Books retail locations. Exclusive giveaways will be available to those attending the live stream at Amazon’s retail locations while supplies last. The livestream will be hosted by noted esports personality Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham and will feature special guests including noted comic book writers and artists.

With some mystery still remaining, I threw together my top five predictions from most likely to least likely as to what will be announced.

  1. The announcement specifically mentioned comiXology Originals, the company’s line of comics produced in partnership with other publishers. After an Eisner nomination for Marley’s Ghost, it wouldn’t be a shock if the company is expanding this line. Expect a line of original comics produced directly through comiXology and most likely leveraging Amazon’s self-publishing portal in some way. While this is almost a sure bet, the real announcement will be the details of the how and the creators involved. Will it be open to anyone? Will it be curated? These are the unknowns. Likelihood: 100%
  2. Amazon’s self-publishing is now part of comiXology Originals. You can publish your own series or write familiar character through a program on Amazon and it’s possible this will blend together with comiXology Originals so your Amazon published stories will now sync with comiXology bringing down what looks like a walled operation. Likelihood: 75%
  3. Amazon and comiXology are buying a publisher – Not as likely, but there’s a lot of publishers who are floating “for sale” signs and have for a while. With Netflix purchasing Millarworld, it wouldn’t be crazy to see Amazon purchase an established comic publisher of their own. Not only do they get comics, they also get intellectual property to mine for their Amazon Prime original series. Likelihood: 50% (predicting this one down the road though)
  4. (Insert Big Name Creator) is getting a line of comiXology Originals – Giving creators their own pop-up imprint is popular again. comiXology has dumped a truck of cash at the feat of some big creator who is going exclusive and will manage a new line of original comics. Likelihood: 25%
  5. ALL ORIGINAL!!! – Forget the big two, comiXology is going all original and dropping everyone…. Yeah, not very likely. Likelihood: 0%

While it’s pretty clear from the original press release teaser that this will have something to do with comiXology Originals, there’s still a lot of possibilities when Amazon is involved. The industry is wide open for a jolt of energy when it comes to digital comics and maybe this Friday we’ll see the first steps of that. We’ll be live Tweeting whatever the announcement is and you can follow us to find out when things are revealed.

Creators Corner: Creating Rebirth of the Gangster, Part 9– Self-Publishing and Distribution

Over the summer, I wrote a few parts in a series detailing the creation of my comic Rebirth of the Gangster (on sale now!)

In case you missed it, check out these links to the first three parts-

Part 1: The Birth of the Idea

Part 2: Brainstorming and Outlining the Plot

Part 3: Outline, Synopsis and Chapter Breakdown

Part 4: Scripting the Action

Part 5: Finding the Right Artist

Part 6: Pages in Progress and the Artist/Writer Collaboration

Part 7: Submitting the Comic and Cover Letters

Part 8: Filtering through Publisher Feedback

And now, for Part 9: The final installment in my series about creating and publishing Rebirth of the Gangster!

After being rejected by all the publishers I sent my comic too (it wasn’t completely worthless, though, since I received some good advice, as I covered in Part 8), I decided to self-publish Rebirth of the Gangster.  Self-publishing does come with a taboo, of course, but the revenue and respect given to self-publishers has been growing in recent years (The Martian was a self-published book at first, for one example of self-publishing being worth money and industry cred).

the martian

While much of self-publishing deals with the details of print and distribution, I decided to release individual issues digitally and distribute graphic novel collections of each six-issue story arc.  After I made that choice, the next step for any self publisher is to figure out how to get your comic in the hands and hearts of fans. While I would like to get printed copies to fans, frankly Diamond Distributor isn’t very friendly to independent comics–they will only guarantee payments if enough copies have been sold to stores in their ordering phase.  And I wasn’t–and still am not–in a financial position to take on that kind of risk. So, I started exploring the largely uncharted waters of digital sales.

I did some research–looking online and then sending questions to companies to get some answers about their reach, their payout structure, their editorial requirements and more.  Not only did this help me understand my options better, I was able to distill these findings into a Slant article for others: giving them a map and compass to navigate digital terrain.   That article is no longer available, since Slant went under and the domain was lost, but here’s what I wrote:

In recent years, the comic industry has been adapting to new demand for digital versions of their comics (although print is still a viable option), which has led to companies creating numerous platforms with some key differences in pricing for customer, payout to creators, editing and submission process, philosophy, and degree of involvement.  

Platforms like Selz, Pulp Free Publishing, Gumroad, and Sellfy all responded to interview requests; other platforms of note (Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Comixology, Scribd, and Tapastic) didn’t respond to interview requests but were researched for the following information.  A huge thanks to Zeno Telos Press and Publishers Weekly for some of the research that supplements the interviews.

 

The Basics for Each Site

Platform Customer Cost Creator Payout and Platform Cut of Profits Editing and Submitting Process
Comixology Varies by comic–there is a section titled “Free Comics” though 50% (after credit card fees and cost from Apple, Google, Kindle) Can submit once an account has been created with company information and payment information. Get started here.
Amazon Kindle Varies by comic, but you can also join Kindle Unlimited, their Netflix-esque program.  It costs $9.99 a month and gives access to as many books as the customer wants. If the sale price  is less than $2.99, the creator gets 35%
If the sale price is greater than $2.99 and less than $9.99, the creator gets 70%*
If the sale price is more than this, the creator gets 35%
Submission information here.
Barnes and Noble Nook Varies by comic Barnes and Noble didn’t have this easily available, but a source says that as of Oct-2013, this is the payout structure:

Prices from $ 0.99 to $ 2.98 = 40%

Prices from $ 2.99 to $ 9.99 = 65%

Prices from $ 10.00 to $ 199.99 = 40%

Submit here.
iBookstore Varies by comic. 70% They didn’t list any specific requirements, but they posted this set of steps here.
Pulp Free Publishing Kevin Bricklin, founder of Pulp Free Publishing states:

“After Apple’s 30% fee, we share 70/30 with creators.  70% for the Creator and 30% for PFP (that equates to 49% of the sales price to the creator)”
There is a Premium Package–a one-time payment of $99 lets creators keep 100% of sales.

Although they don’t have editorial requirements, they do say they have the standard “ page specifications (which are required so that the comics can look good on retina devices)”, according to Bricklin.
Comics Fix
(website is offline while they relaunch their service)
8.99 a month, Netflix style–this was their pricing plan before they took their site down to reboot and relaunch it 50%

This was also what was listed before.

No information available.
Selz Varies by comic Melissa Whidjay, Selz community manager says, “All we keep is a small transaction fee on each sale, which is usually under 5% of your sale price. You get to keep the rest!” They don’t have editing requirements, but Whidjay did give this advice for file format:

It’s totally up to you! We let you sell pretty much all file types, but your best bet is to publish in PDF as it’s the most widely accepted file type for reading comics. “

Sellfy Varies by comic 95% No editing process–they’re only interested in running “ a third party [that]  manage[s] the sales and download link delivery”, according to customer service manager Matthew.
Gumroad Varies by comic 95%. The only requirement Sahil Lavingia, founder and CEO of Gumroad, gave was “the standard NSFW stuff (though since we’re not a marketplace, we can sway more freely).”

Details on how to submit here.

Scribd Netlix style subscription for unlimited comics, books, audiobooks and sheet music: $8.99 a month; there are individual texts for sale too, with varying prices There are a few different creator payout guidelines:
For an individual sale: 80% after $0.25 processing fee.
There are a few different payout options for subscription readers, depending on publishing service used by creator:
Smashwords:If books are read past the 30% mark: 60% of sales. 10 reads between 15-30% will also count as an individual sale.
Draft2Digital:

If books are read past the 30% mark: 60% of sales.

BookBaby:

55% of sales
INscribe Digital:

This is another option but the royalty structure wasn’t outlined.

Submission information here (broken down by categories like publishers, self-publishers, etc…).
Tapastic Some are free, but some have varying costs Monthly Support: 85%

Ad Revenue: 70%

Storefront: 50%

Submission information here.

 

More Detailed Descriptions of Each Site

Comixology You Tube Channel

While Comixology didn’t respond to interview requests, there is some further information available about their platform. Comixology was acquired by Amazon in April of 2014.

Most people buy individual titles and issues, but Comixology does have a subscription option, although there isn’t any discount for subscribing to an issue.  They currently have thousands of titles available (7500 individual issues, 700 of which are free) and thousands of individual submit titles available (creator-owned and self published titles, not ones published by big companies like Marvel and DC).

John D. Roberts, cofounder of ComiXology and director of Submit, describes their submit program this way: “Submit has the broadest range of comics and graphic novels possible, and that’s what customers really enjoy about it.  From superhero to queer comics, slice-of-life graphic novels, all-ages manga, and beyond, the readership of Submit titles is as varied as the books submitted.”

If you’re a creator looking to submit your comic to Comixology, it has to meet their quality standards (not outlined on their website).  They say the process should take 3 months minimum, but it can sometimes be longer (6 months or longer) depending on whether the creator meets Comixology’s specifications right away, needs to make changes, or other issues.

The big specifications problem, according to Roberts, is creators producing poor digital quality when converting their files to PDF.  He says that these PDF files often “suffer from artifacting and pixilation, primarily due to excessive compression. Some of the more popular PDF tools have compression defaults that are hard to find and change, and thus we get a ton of files that we can’t use”.  He also reminds creators that they’ll be competing–on Comixology and in general–with big companies that have strong formatting for their digital content.

 

Kindle You Tube Channel

Amazon Kindle also did not respond to interview requests.  

Similar to Comixology, Amazon has content requirements, mainly formatting, that a comic needs to reach to be accepted.

Creators make less for individual issues on Amazon than they do on Comixology, so some people suggest releasing individual issues elsewhere, and then submitting graphic novels to Amazon.  They do admit that submitting individual issues to Amazon is good exposure and increases marketability.

 

Nook You Tube Channel

Barnes and Noble also did not return requests for an interview.  The most current information available is already described above.

 

iBooks Video

iBooks also did not return requests for an interview.

When submitting to iBooks consider this following information about file format, given in the Q and A here: You can submit your work for publication in the iBooks Store as an .ibooks file, where you can sell it or offer it as a free download. You can also export your book from iBooks Author as a PDF, text file, or .ibooks file which you can distribute outside the iBooks Store or through iTunes U.

 

Pulp Free Publishing You Tube Video

 

Tapastic You Tube Video

 

Sellfy Vimeo Video

 

About Scribd Video–interview with CEO and CTO

 

Intro to Gumroad on Vimeo

 

Video Tutorials for Selz

 

 

That’s it!  After 9 detailed parts, my behind-the-scenes look at the making of Rebirth of the Gangster is over!

I hope you enjoyed them all (and if you missed any, click on the links at the beginning of this article): for future news and behind-the-scenes looks, check my website out: cjstandalproductions.com.

Around the Tubes

Tomorrow is new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below! While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The ComicChron – March 2018 comics sales estimates online: Metal #6 vaults to 187k copies – For those that enjoy the horse race.

The Beat – Sources: Maybe it *is* Amazon who is setting those 99¢ prices on Marvel collections – Most likely.

The Hollywood Reporter – ‘Batgirl’ Movie Back On, Now With ‘Bumblebee’ Writer – Cool.

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Curse of Brimstone #1

Talking Comics – Goosebumps: Download and Die #1

Talking Comics – Isola #1

Newsarama – Normandy Gold

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! What geeky things will you all be doing? Sound off in the comments below. While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

ICv2 – Diamond Hires Jim Kuhoric as Purchasing Director – Congrats!

Comicbook – AMC Responds to ‘The Walking Dead’ Lawsuit – Well this should be interesting.

Comicbook – FX CEO Says They Are Pretty Optimistic About ‘Y: The Last Man’ – Duh?

The Outhouse – Amazon’s The Boys Sets Five Of The Seven – Who’s looking forward to this series?

 

Reviews

Comics Bulletin – Ice Cream Man #1

Justice League Vol. 1 Gets Alexa Audio Commentary

We at Graphic Policy think digital comics and the use of technology has the ability to transform the comic industry. One of the things we’ve thought would have happened by now is “digital commentary” for comics taking us into the mind of the creators and process.

We now have a step towards that with a new Alexa app called “Justice League Origins” about the Justice League comic series in time for the new movie.

Hear Jim Lee share EXCLUSIVE commentary around his experiences and thought processes while drawing Justice League Vol. 1 – a critical new origin story in the DC Universe, and the inspiration for the Fall 2017 Justice League movie. Known for his incredibly detailed and dynamic artistic style, Lee is one of the most revered and respected artists in American comics, and currently Co-Publisher of DC Entertainment.

You can enable the skill for free now.

Celebrate Thor: Ragnarok with Three FREE Thor Graphic Novels

Thor: Ragnarok opens in North America today and Amazon is celebrating Thorsday with three free graphic novels featuring Thor from Marvel. No strings at all.

Today, November 2 only, get these three classic Thor adventures FREE on Kindle.

Thor by J. Michael Straczynski Vol. 1 is written by J. Michael Straczynski with art by Olivier Coipel and collects Thor (2007) #1-6. Returned to the pantheon of great Marvel heroes, the Asgardian God of Thunder is reunited with the mortal form of Dr. Don Blake. Together, they must reckon with the legacy of the mythic Norse kingdom and the awakening of its immortal heroes – but in a world that may not want them back!

Thor: God of Thunder Vol. 1 is written by Jason Aaron with art by Esad Ribic collects Thor: God of Thunder #1-5. In the distant past, Thor follows the bloody wake of murdered gods. In the present, the Thunder God discovers a forgotten cave that echoes with the cries of tortured gods! And thousands of years from now, the last god-king of a ruined Asgard makes his final stand against the God Butcher’s beserker legions. As three Thors from three eras race to stop the God Butcher, the full extent of his vicious scheme takes terrifying shape!

Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson Vol. 3 collects Walt Simonson‘s work from Thor #360-369. It was a time of magic… Few people have ever left their mark on one character quite the way Walter Simonson has. His work on the Mighty Thor swept the Norse God of Thunder to heights never before seen and rarely achieved in his wake. Spanning epic tales of heroism and treachery, love and war, Simonson’s work is often considered the definitive Thor. From the majesty and mystery of fabled Asgard to the gritty streets of New York City, Thor was never the same.

The Tick Season 1 Part 2 Gets a Teaser Trailer

In a workaday world where superheroes fly among us, mild-mannered accountant Arthur Everest (GRIFFIN NEWMAN) suspects The City is controlled by a fabled villain known as The Terror (JACKIE EARLE HALEY), despite evidence of The Terror’s death 15 years ago. Arthur has a traumatic connection with The Terror, whose movements he has obsessively tracked since childhood. Arthur’s sister, Dot (VALORIE CURRY), is a paramedic who dotes on her brother but also provides a sibling’s tough love. The more he talks about super-villain super-conspiracies, the more she warns him to “keep it real.”

Fate soon brings Arthur together with a tall, verbally adroit muscleman with superpowers and a mysterious past: The Tick (PETER SERAFINOWICZ). As they investigate the mystery surrounding The Terror, they draw attention from the electrifying enigma known as Miss Lint and a hyper-violent vigilante named Overkill, confronting the complexity of the struggle between good and evil. The Tick, bursting with relentlessly original storylines and quotable dialogue, shows what a blast crusading for truth and justice can be. Our culture is now awash with self-serious mythologies and grimly determined, interchangeable characters filling not just franchises but entire universes. The time has come for The Tick.

The Tick returns February 2018.

Amazon is Offering 70 Digital Marvel Graphic Novels for FREE with Purchase

Amazon is currently running a promotion where you can get one of 70 “best-selling” Marvel graphic novels for free on Kindle with the purchase of a hardcover or paperback graphic novel. Those who partake will get a free credit automatically applied when to “click to buy eBook.”

The offer expires October 21, 2017 and is limited to one per customer account.

This is the second recent promotion Amazon has run regarding digital copies of Marvel graphic novels and trade. I twas not too long ago the company blew out digital copies with 70 to 80% off regular price bringing some down to just a few dollars (if that).

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