Which Digital Comic Outlet Brings the Most Business? One Experience Shared

Now that the year’s half over, Michael Jasper, writer of In Maps & Legends, is doing the smart thing and evaluating how his business is going. He’s put together a list of which digital publishers account for how much of his webcomic’s distribution. (If you don’t know where you’re selling, you don’t know what markets to protect or which areas to focus on. And you can’t compare your costs to your income to figure out whether the work is worth the effort.)

In Maps & Legends

Surprisingly, the top distributor, with over 40% of sales, is B&N’s Nookbook Store, the outlet for the Nook. Comixology, the leading online comic distributor, comes in third — although that’s estimated, since they haven’t provided final second quarter figures. It’s interesting that Jasper was hoping to get those numbers with only a week’s delay, updating his post on July 7. In today’s instant online world, that seems like quite the wait, but a distributor needs time to break out and circulate data.

I made a pie chart out of his figures:

In Maps & Legends releases an issue every two months, with #7 just out. Their list of formats includes those for “whichever ebook device you own — the Android Phone, Windows Phone, or iPhone; the Kindle, the Nook, the iPad, or the Samsung Galaxy Tab; or on your desktop, laptop, or the Web (PDF, CBZ, HTML, and Flash). You can purchase all 7 (of 9) issues of the ongoing, contemporary fantasy comic from many different online distributors, including Comixology, Graphic.ly, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple’s iBooks, the Google eBookstore, MyDigitalComics, and DriveThruComics. Issues sell for just $.99 each.”

7 Responses to “Which Digital Comic Outlet Brings the Most Business? One Experience Shared”

  1. Rob McMonigal Says:

    Yeah, I put that one in my Sunday Readings post this past weekend because I thought it was really fascinating that nook was the leader. Who knew? These guys, I guess. ;)

    My nook is the original, so I don’t tend to even think of it for comics.

  2. Ray Radlein Says:

    It would be interesting to see similar numbers for someone who also distributed through the Apple iPad store.

  3. Johanna Says:

    It didn’t surprise me, given what I’d heard about the comic, that it appealed to a more “literary” than “comic” crowd, to overgeneralize. As someone pointed out, there are still few graphic options in some formats, so those who are trying to cover all the bases stand out.

    Ray, isn’t the iPad store covered by Comixology?

  4. Ray Radlein Says:

    Erm, I have no idea, alas. Having no iPad, I’ve never bothered to learn that. So maybe the iPad is included, then.

  5. Catherine Says:

    I think the Nook and Kindle reader software is available for multiple platforms including iPad/iPhone and Windows/Mac computers, so the numbers reflect which store was used and not necessarily what hardware. At least, I think that’s the way it works.

    That said, my husband has a Nook Color and it looks like it would work pretty well as a comics reader. And it’s quite a bit cheaper than an iPad.

  6. James Moar Says:

    Strikes me that the Kindle numbers are pretty high, considering that it’s a colour comic and therefore not really suitable for the main Kindle platform (by contrast, there are Nooks with LCD colour screens).

  7. Niki S Says:

    We are actually in the iBookstore, but we started with them pretty recently and I think they’re probably at <1% right now, so Mike didn't include them on our chart. We don't have an individual iPad *app*, but few comics do. Big development cost there, I think.

    We can't actually tell if all the Kindle sales are through the e-ink Kindle or not– there are Kindle apps for computers, phones and tablets too, and all of those show color.




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