Press Release: Economics of Digital Comics Explores the Business Side of Transmedia Publishing
January 13, 2015. The new book Economics of Digital Comics explores how the comics business has changed in recent years, including digital distribution and the increasing popularity of webcomics. It breaks down the industry into Four sectors: print publishing, print comic strips, webcomics and eBooks/digital downloads. Distribution channels, revenues and readership levels are compared with an eye on determining what readerships levels are necessary for income benchmarks and how feasible that really is. This is a microcosm of the issues facing publishing in the transmedia era, using a specific sector as a case study.
"The landscape has changed quite a bit in the last five years," says author Todd Allen. "Comics as eBooks are still in their infancy and we're only just starting to feel the reactions to Amazon's purchase of Comixology. Webcomics continue to become more mainstream and we're starting to see more webcomics creators dip their toes into the traditional print publishing world. The sales patterns of the Direct Market are changing, too - and print still informs the digital market more than you might think at first glance. This book examines the comics ecosystem as a whole."
This is Allen's third book on the digital comics economy since 2005. In addition to expanding coverage to include eBooks, Economics of Digital Comics now includes a look at crowdfunding.
"Crowdfunding has much wider applications than anyone initially predicted and there are now two specific flavors of it that both publishers and cartoonists can utilize," says Allen. And it isn't just for digital. There are plenty of print-centric projects funded this way."
Presenting comics in eBook format, much like presenting anything with significant graphics and layout requirements, adds a layer of complexity to the situation. It also adds a maze of exclusivity requests and varying vendor discounts.
"It's a new world out there," says Allen. "Publishers, syndicates and creators are all adjusting to the rapidly changing digital economy. As with anything, there's risk to go with the reward. We're following the money to try and map out where those risks are and how big the rewards potentially are."