Today, Tokyopop and comiXology sent out a press release announcing the “first-ever simultaneous print and digital release for a major manga title” with the release of Hetalia Book 1 by Hidekaz Himaruya yesterday.
However, this is not a simultaneous release. Over a month ago, Tokyopop announced that Hetalia was available digitally (through different company Zinio) before it could be bought in print. Now, the release with specific vendor comiXology, a much bigger player in the digital comic industry, is simultaneous with print publication, but that’s not at all the same thing, is it?
Also different this time is the price drop and free sample:
The first volume of Hetalia has been divided into six issues and will be available through the Comics by comiXology app and on the Web for $0.99 each. The first issue will be free.
So with comiXology, the whole book is available for $5, roughly. With Zinio, it was $6. In print, it’s $11 — or $8 at Amazon at the time of this writing. Is an extra $3 worth it for print? For me, yes.
Here’s the buried should-have-been headline: Hetalia is “comiXology’s first-ever manga offering”. Watch for more to follow.