David Steinberger is the king of digital comics. Having just signed a deal with DC Comics and previously signing a deal with Marvel Comics, it appears that Coimixology and Digital comics may become synonyms. Comixology is the official Digital Comic provider for Moonstone Book including Captain Action. David was nice enough to stop by First Comics News and talk about Digital Comics.
First Comics News: I talked to you when you were originally setting up the Comixology Digital distribution system. Now you are the leader in the field. Would it be safe to say that you are the Diamond Distribution of Digital Comics?
David Steinberger: First, we’re all really impressed anyone would think that. We are the only iPhone/iPad distribution that can give Marvel and DC to consumers in one place, which gives us a great advantage, but we’re far from a near-monopoly!
1st: All comics aren’t drawn the same, at some point will comics be drawn so with the digital formats in mind?
David: Absolutely. Jim Lee already said he can imagine font sizes increasing to accommodate the smaller iPad size. You’ll see more and more 3×4 or 2×3 proportions, which match the devices perfectly.
1st: You have just signed DC Comics, how do you make sure companies like Moonstone Books still get the attention they need?
David: First, we’re doubling our capacity to get comics through our system, so we can catch up to where we want to be with our indie and creator-owned comics. It’s been an interesting experience. At first, we were begging for content, even having a hard time getting publishers to send enough for us to process. Now we have an embarrassment of riches, and are ramping up to get those through efficiently. We have a couple of rabbits up our sleeve we’ll reveal later this year to make it even better. We love having Marvel and DC comics on the app, of course, but we were built first on the indie and creator owned works, so that holds a special place in our hearts.
1st: What does it take for a smaller publisher to be successful as a digital comics company?
David: The same as it does print comic companies. First: Make comics that are great, and that people want to read. Second: deliver them on a regular schedule. Third: Keep consistency of product very, very high. Fourth: Become internet and social marketers until you have enough money to pay for serious marketing. One of the reasons we moved to sell on the Web at comics.comixology.com was so creators and publishers could link directly to a point of purchase for their digital comics. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it. The reading experience on the web is really, really excellent, and there’s no iDevice required!
1st: How are Captain Actions sales?
David: I leave that to Moonstone to reveal.
1st: With digital comics at nearly the same price point regardless of publisher does this give smaller publishers a change to over come price resistance?
David: Part of this is an iTunes issue. We’d love to price in .10 increments, but Apple requires $0.99 and then dollar increments above that.
1st: How long do you keep the Captain Action Comics available for download?
David: Forever! Or as long as Moonstone lets us sell it. To be clear, once you buy, we have the right to deliver the file forever, even if we can’t sell more.
1st: How do you spotlight Captain Action as a digital comic to help drive sales?
David: We’ve given Captain Action several banners on the app, and have helped them with a sweepstakes on our site. We’ll continue to support them as they come out with new work via podcasts and spotlights in our upcoming blog.
1st: What digital formats are Captain Action comics available in?
1st: What can you tell fans about Captain Action that is so cool that everyone will rush to the comixology website and download every issue right now?
David: Captain Action has it all: quick action, great artwork, killer covers and a lot of fun. My only complaint is that there isn’t any more of it!