Previously, works were priced according to the equivalent of a print volume, which for a typical-sized book was $4.99 US. Now, Viz has announced that they are bringing the sci-fi manga Neon Genesis Evangelion to their online outlets… but it’s available chapter-by-chapter, with each chapter priced at $0.99. (The first one is free.) A new installment will be available every week. Already, the second chapter is today’s most purchased item at the online store.
There are some suggestions that shorter items are easier to read and to sell online, since a smaller chunk allows for a smaller price, which makes impulse buying more likely. The weekly schedule should also bring readers back more frequently, which might mean more purchases. That’s the model the direct market comic store has depended on for decades, after all.