I am a big fan of Graphicly, they power a lot of the reviews that we do here on Comics Forge because they have one of the biggest selections of independent comics out there. The good news hitting my e-mail this morning was the standard press release that Graphicly is going to the Amazon Fire, which opens a lot of doors for them. As this hits the wires, a lot of folks are going to simply cut and paste the press release and call it good, but realistically we also need to know why this is a good thing for Graphicly and a good thing for comic book readers.
Amazon is the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to e-books, and while the kindle is ok, it stinks for comic books. We have tried to route a couple of black and white comic books into the kindle and they look horrible. The resolution that you need to make it work on the regular kindle is between 72 and 96 DPI, and comics look like garbage. The rich experience we get in print matters, and it really matters when you go online and start reading comics on your mobile devices. We tried it with our in-house titles, and yeah it didn’t work so well.
The Kindle Fire is not revolutionary, but it does open up an amazing market to independent publishers. As well it opens up the market to independent comic book artists at the right DPI, with the right colors, and the right intent and meaning that a comic book artist puts into their work. There is nothing worse than having something crappy as your leader in the e-book market place.
The Kindle Fire changes that, much like the Ipad changes how we read comic books in digital format. One of the best reasons for foot dragging with amazon is how comic books translate and look on the Kindle, the Kindle fire is a much better solution to the digital comic book market place, and Graphicly was smart to make this deal. It is hard enough to find an audience, but when you have some 88 million people a month (according to compete.com) hitting a web site, you stand a much better chance of selling at least one comic book than you do trying to run an independent web site praying that you will sell something.
The commit rate in e-commerce purchasing is very low, usually someone on the order of 1% of all visitors to an e-commerce site will actually purchase something if you look at my comic book store stats over the last two years. If you can’t drive the traffic you need to go to somewhere that can, and Amazon truly can drive the traffic. Graphicly going this route is a very smart business decision on their part, because it opens a lot more doors to comic book authors than existed previously. Graphicly at best draws about 10,000 visitors a month, adding 88 million more visitors means adding a lot of potential buyers, and might just help spur the next generation of comic book readers to rediscover or discover independent comic books.
Smart move on Graphicly’s part.
- Graphicly Announces Acquisition of Double Feature Application (graphicpolicy.com)
- Graphicly and Image Team-Up (manodogs.blogspot.com)
- Yesterdays Rant about Independent Comics Being Doomed (comicsforge.com)
- Wanted Issues 1-6 (Available online at Graphicly) (comicsforge.com)
- One more thing to doom independent comics (comicsforge.com)
- Graphicly Expands Website With HTML5 Comics, Sharing (cash-bandit.com)