Robot 6

Slash Print | Following the digital revolution

Marvel's iPad app

Marvel's iPad app

Quote of the week goes to Penguin’s deputy chief executive Tom Weldon:

The only way to fight piracy is to publish digital content across as many formats as possible, through as many channels, at a fair price. If we go for exclusive or proprietary formats, we’re completely screwed.

This got approving links all over the place, although at TeleRead, commenters pointed out that Penguin seems to be doing just the opposite at the moment.

Marvel: In a BookExpo America panel, Marvel executive VP Ira Rubenstein said that iPad sales are increasing, and they are leading to sales of physical books. His reasoning is that people are discovering new characters as they browse, then picking up the comics on their next trip to the store: “We’re seeing that digital is becoming the newsstand of today.”

Digital publishing: In case you missed it, be sure to read Augie De Blieck, Jr.‘s Pipeline column chiding publishers for regarding comics stores as partners to be protected, rather than one of several possible income streams (with digital sales being another). Sean Kleefeld raises another possibility, though: Maybe publishers are holding back because they are afraid going digital won’t bring in new readers, because everyone who would ever read a superhero comic is already reading them.

Digital publishing: Todd McFarlane is taking a wait-and-see attitude toward digital comics:

So, I’m still sitting on the fence as to what level in the next few years, comic book sales and the money to be had in terms of the current state of downloadables actually increases. Here’s what I do know. Nobody’s bragging about how much money they’re making and if somebody was getting rich off of it, somebody would be bragging. Nobody’s bragging right now.

Nook: A color version of Barnes & Noble’s e-reader is in the works, writes Todd Ogasawara at Mediabistro’s MobileContent Today blog.

Webcomics: Jeph Jacques, creator of Questionable Content, has a checklist for beginners who want to start a webcomic, with plenty of good advice plus some straight talk. (Via Lauren Davis.)

E-books: ICv2 reports that the e-book market was $89 million last quarter, up 250% from the same period last year.

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Comments

One Comment

Steven R. Stahl

May 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Adding value to the publications that pirates can’t duplicate is pragmatic and a good strategy in any case, but publishers should still go after people who do the initial scanning. Scanning in a 300-page book, in the case of prose publications, is work. Make that hazardous to do, and the level of piracy might drop.

With shorter publications, targeting the scanners is harder, but comics are already niche publications. The possible readers that could be gained by going digital at suitable price points seem to outweigh the drawbacks.

SRS

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