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Terry Moore announced on his blog last week that he will release his comics digitally via comiXology, beginning with Strangers in Paradise and hopefully going on to Rachel Rising, his current series. Actually, he lets one of his would-be readers, Aaron, do most of the talking:
I went to Bedrock Comics today, asked about Rachel Rising #5, and was told that they only ordered two copies, and both were pre-orders. The shopkeeper said when the book first came out, he ordered more, based on track record, but they didn’t sell. I simply don’t have the time to go searching around, and I don’t buy enough comics to warrant a pull list. I’m not sure what the problem is that there “isn’t a single penny” for you with digital, but I’d buy PDFs straight from this site if I could. Unfortunately, I can’t justify $6.99 plus shipping for a comic….
There is something profoundly wrong with the distribution system when a title from a leading creator can’t be found at a comic store in a major metropolitan area. I can’t see how digital would be any worse for you, and it would be a lot better for me (and I’m betting plenty of others). I want to support your work, but it shouldn’t be this difficult.
This is the problem, in a nutshell, for independent creators like Moore. I’m sure if Aaron were looking for the latest DC or Marvel title, there would be no problem, but it’s hard for retailers to take a risk on titles that may not sell — or that don’t sell well for the first couple of issues. You can’t blame them for that, but it presents an obstacle to new or alternative creators whose work may take a while to catch on. Moore isn’t abandoning print, or the direct market, but he’s a good example of a creator who will probably add readers with digital.