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Old 09-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #1
Namekuseijin
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Comic ebook prices

Bored of talking about ebook prices? How about talking about comic ebook prices?

I'm reading Y - The last man, a comic book series from Vertigo. Price in ComiXology e-store: 2 dollars per issue. So far so good. A very fair price for a very intriguing graphic novel (soon to be a movie).

Here's a shocking truth I learned today, though: a hardcover collected edition featuring about 5 issues per cover is sold here in Brazil for roughly 8 dollars. This is a first to me: the day a translated, hardcover, printed book would sell for far less than the imported virtual ebook. If I were to download 5 issues from ComiXology I'd spend 5*2 = 10 dollars. If in Brazil -- where imported goods are usually very expensive -- it is this cheap, I wonder how the printed collected edition fares against the ComiXology ones up yonder.

Then I wonder: couldn't the comic ebooks be any cheaper? The sad truth: no, this incredible, modern graphic novel can't be sold any cheaper because all of the historic back catalogue of bastards Marvel and DC sells for exactly 2 bucks! Amazing Spider Man issue 1? $ 1.99. How can you expect modern authors to compete with that?

Does anyone actually buy those out of historic curiosity?

These inflated and unrealistic prices for historical issues have bothered me for long and now I realized how this artificial lower limit also has bad consequences for modern works.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:33 PM   #2
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eComic prices are completely artificial - bounded by Apple and the US Retailers.

The lowest ComiXology can physically charge is $0.99 US as that is the lowest price supported by Apple's payment API. Retailer backlash (the Direct Market accounts for approximately 90% of their sales) has forced publishers to match print prices for new release comics, putting new books at $2.99 or $3.99.

ComiXology started charging $0.99 for back issues, but Robert Kirkman (creator of Walking Dead) wanted to price his books at $1.99 and when he did, sales rose. Naturally, other publishers followed suit, making $1.99 the standard back issue price. The other factor is that by pricing books at $1.99, publishers can have sales where they drop them to $0.99. If individual issues were already $0.99, the only lower price the system could support would be free. It's messy.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:54 AM   #3
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The lowest ComiXology can physically charge is $0.99 US as that is the lowest price supported by Apple's payment API.
oh, what a surprise. Once again we find scumbag Apple to be the source of all evil. One more reason for hatred.

Quote:
Retailer backlash (the Direct Market accounts for approximately 90% of their sales) has forced publishers to match print prices for new release comics, putting new books at $2.99 or $3.99.
see that text ebook fans? You whine too much for too little.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:01 AM   #4
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I have taken to buying all my graphic novels through Kobo to take advantage of Kobo's discount codes. I haven't found one yet that wouldn't accept a code. While they're only viewable on the Kobo Vox (and presumably the Kobo Arc) and the Kobo iOS app for now, it's likely the Android and Windows apps will support graphic novels before too long too (unless they already do and I missed the memo).
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:33 AM   #5
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I wouldn't call Apple evil in this case, running a payment API always has an overhead so it's not surprising they have a minimum price, and $0.99 is pretty cheap.

As for Kobo, they don't have what I want, which is current comics, same as you would get every Wednesday at Curious or Legends.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:06 PM   #6
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Well, I find ebook prices pretty funny.

Oh, wait, I see what you mean.

(Actually, I still buy all my comics from a real physical shop, because it is an excellent friendly independent retailer and worth supporting. Even though graphic novels are heavy and take up a lot of space. I've only used my iPad for a few freebies.)
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:32 PM   #7
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I view the current state of electronic comic book pricing as market failure, pure and simple. I'm just not going to pay $4 for a comic book that I don't even get to own. I might pay $1 for that, just for convenience.

It's a missed opportunity, too, because I would like to buy comics electronically, because I don't want the clutter of physical comics. Also, I want the creators to get paid. And I think electronic publishing would be a great way to discover new comics that I like.

For instance, when DC did their "52" relaunch, it would have made a lot of sense for them to offer the whole run of 52 issues for $50.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAcheson View Post
I view the current state of electronic comic book pricing as market failure, pure and simple. I'm just not going to pay $4 for a comic book that I don't even get to own. I might pay $1 for that, just for convenience.

It's a missed opportunity, too, because I would like to buy comics electronically, because I don't want the clutter of physical comics. Also, I want the creators to get paid. And I think electronic publishing would be a great way to discover new comics that I like.

For instance, when DC did their "52" relaunch, it would have made a lot of sense for them to offer the whole run of 52 issues for $50.
Well, right now you can get all 52 of the original first issues for under $52 on ComiXology. They're 99 cents each.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:42 PM   #9
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Yup, I've tended to take advantage of the Comixology sales when they come along, and stocked up with long runs of the series that I want to read. So I've mostly paid $0.99 per issue, which seems pretty fair.

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:33 PM   #10
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While it is easy to blame Apple (fun too usually), companies like Marvel could easily offer other options if they wanted to do so, such as the subscription service they do on the pc but have not brought to other platforms.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:38 PM   #11
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Well, right now you can get all 52 of the original first issues for under $52 on ComiXology. They're 99 cents each.
Thanks for letting me know. Though I don't know that I am as interested now as I was last year.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:35 PM   #12
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A scanner can let you produce .cbr or.cbz copies at home, even of stuff that will never likely be offered at online stores.

I don't see the Malibu run of Prototype coming out for example.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:42 AM   #13
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A scanner can let you produce .cbr or.cbz copies at home, even of stuff that will never likely be offered at online stores.

I don't see the Malibu run of Prototype coming out for example.
Yes, but given that it would generally take you longer to scan than to read, it's probably not worth the effort. (not to mention at least massively damage the spine, if a compilation, or destroy it utterly if you slice the pages out to get a properly flat scan. It's one thing to not care about mint, quite another to go out of your way to reduce its lifespan)
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:01 AM   #14
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Yup, I've tended to take advantage of the Comixology sales when they come along, and stocked up with long runs of the series that I want to read. So I've mostly paid $0.99 per issue, which seems pretty fair.
it's pretty fair for an individual issue of a relatively new series. Is it fair for Detective Comics issue 1? Fantastic Four 1? I'd say I'd pay 10 dollars at more for 50 old issues.

Funny thing is: such issues, pages all yellow, possibly dirty and perhaps ripped and torn, may be sold for a few thousand dollars for media collectors. You know, those people more interested in the original physical medium than in the contents. Though I've seen this phenomenon yet more terribly in the case of old console game cartridges of bad, lame and obscure games. The more lame and obscure -- and thus the less sales back then and consequently the rarer today -- the more valuable.

It's a terrible thought to think perhaps some day people will inherit and make worthy out of the worst of today rather than our best.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:16 AM   #15
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Digital comics are something I haven't explored all that much yet. Are comics from someplace like ComiXology in a format that can be accessed and archived into something useable if they were to ever go under? Something like 2000adonline does where you get CBZ & PDF copies?
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