By: Brendan Montgomery
President of Queen’s Comic Book Legion
What are digital comics
Effects on Readers
Effects on Publishers
Effects on Comic Book Stores
Digital comics are digital copies of
existing comic books that you read on a
compatible device, or Comics that are
made specifically for digital reading.
They can be purchased in a variety of
formats on different devices through an
• single issues
• Graphic novels
• Apple iphone &
• Android phones
• Kindle Fire
• Windows and mac
Digital comics can cost the same as a
print issue (usually $2.99) or can be
significantly cheaper at just $0.99
Digital comics are a form of digital media
which is continuously being shaped by new
Features such as animated panels and
behind the scenes content can enhance
digital comics beyond printed comics.
Let’s examine how this new digital format
launched in 2009 affects an industry
started in the 1930’s.
Similar to ebooks, digital comics are
always in stock and on sale 24 hours a day.
Readers have Tens of thousands of
comics to choose from. A Far wider
selection than any physical store
The main drawback for many readers is
the inability to sell or trade issues. Also
to read issues they already own in print
they would need to purchase them again.
Also many readers enjoy collecting
comics as a hobby while digital comics are
mainly just for reading.
Comic Book Publishers (the companies
who produce comics) are embracing digital
comics as an additional revenue stream
Digital comics attract new readers by
making it easy to try out new comics. They
also reach readers who do not live near a
comic book store
Publishers can make more profit from
digital comics since they don’t require
printing and shipping. This is beneficial
for small publishers and self published
comics since it lowers the cost of entry
into the market.
Integration with social media and online
advertising can drive more traffic to
publishers and increase sales. Also making
the purchasing process simple leads to
more impulse buying.
Most publishers don’t disclose their digital
sales figures. However Image Comics claim that
digital comics account for 15% of their sales.
This is up from 12 % of sales in 2012.
Many industry analysts fear that the
increase in digital sales will steal
customers from local comic book stores.
However, sales data which has been
collected from comic book distributor
(Diamond) indicates that sales have not
suffered and the industry as a whole has
grown since digital comics have been sold.
After a small downturn in 2010 & 2011 physical comic book
sales have continued to increase despite digital comic
books being available
the new readers whom digital comic books
attract are also beneficial to comic book
stores. They may not be frequent
customers, however they still provide
sales. As well, they bring friends into
stores who may choose print comics.
Overall, the effects digital comic books
have on the print market are positive.
Consumers have a new choice for how
they purchase and read their comics.
Digital comics have increased readership
and revenues for publishers. local comic
book stores have not suffered decreases
in sales as a result.
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