One of the big fears that many comics and manga fans have as the print world turns digital is what it will do to comic book stores and other book vendors. With both comics and manga seeing a stronger push in 2010 towards the digital realm, the folks at comiXology are working on their existing foundation of direct market connections and plans to build something more for retailers to be able to supplement their brick and mortar sales with new digital comics sales. The combination of the two ecosystems are something that could have a profound effect as time goes on, especially as specialty stores begin to stock more trades over floppies and more toys and such as well, by being able to offer a growing deep library of titles. Right now it's a small amount, but as libraries get brought in more and more, for those that simply want to read the stories rather than collect, the potential for snapping up large runs of books at a good price will be more enticing.
comiXology, the leading distributor of digital comics, announced today the industry’s first Digital Storefront Affiliate program for retailers. The program will empower comic book merchants to prosper from the sale of digital comics with a comiXology-powered store and reader. Leveraging comiXology’s technology will provide retailers the foundation for future digital initiatives as the program evolves.
The comiXology Digital Storefront Affiliate program offers retailers the opportunity to tap into comiXology’s vibrant digital marketplace with a simple integration into their existing site. These retailers will be able to offer their customers access to comiXology’s library of digital comics and integrated reader from participating publishers. Consumers will now be able to purchase digital comics online from their local comic store’s digital storefront for the first time. All digital purchases will also be compatible with the Comics by comiXology platform, providing fans the ability to enjoy their comics on their mobile devices and on the Web at their retailer’s websites by way of cross-platform synchronization.
"By having a comiXology-powered store and reader integrated with our existing new and back-issue comics website, we will provide our customers with even more access to the comics they love while increasing their loyalty to us,” said Chris Powell, General Manager and CRO of Lone Star Comics and mycomicshop.com. “Having seen comiXology’s Retailer Tools and Pull List services, we trust comiXology’s technology to help us thrive in a market where customers are interested in both print and digital comics. ComiXology will help us provide the one-stop shopping that customers are looking for.”
Participating publishers will benefit from comiXology’s Digital Storefront Affiliate program through wider distribution on the Web and by strengthening the bonds between publishers, comic stores, and fans that have so successfully made comics a major force in world culture. comiXology plans to announce participating publishers in the coming weeks.
"The comiXology digital sales and reading platform embedded directly on a retailers website is a great opportunity for retailers to participate in the digital comic business,” said David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology. “As a result, the program will create a new marketplace online for publishers and retailers to increase revenue streams while strengthening their relationships. It also marks the beginning of new way of thinking for retailers, which will ultimately lead them to taking full ownership of their digital initiatives as we continue to roll out the stages of the program.”
ICv2 recently announced a strategic agreement with comiXology to provide customer support for all comiXology’s retail initiatives including its Retailer Tools and the Digital Storefront Affiliate program. Milton Griepp, CEO of ICv2, Steinberger, and comiXology CTO and co-founder John Roberts will demo the Digital Storefront Affiliate program at the upcoming ComicsPRO conference in February.
“Comic retailers have built and nurtured the local communities that support the comics business, and it’s important that those retailers have a way to participate in and profit from the digital comics revolution,” said Roberts.“ Building on the success of our Retailer Tools, we look to expand our relationship with retailers by helping brand each digital storefront to the specific retailer, while hosting it at no cost. With a plan to integrate the Retailer Tools and Pull List, comic retailers will become a one-stop shop for all comic readers needs.”
“Digital comics can be a great tool for reaching out to new or lapsed customers, and retailers should not be afraid of this new format. Instead, they should look for ways to make the digital format complement their existing print business," Powell added.
To request more information about the Digital Storefront Affiliate program, retailers can visit http://retailers.comixology.com/digital_form/