- Posted by Johanna on November 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
Another day, another Marvel announcement about a product getting a “free digital copy”. This time, it’s the Season One line of graphic novels, retelling and “modernizing” origins of well-known Marvel properties that have movies, including Spider-Man, Daredevil, X-Men, and shown here, the Fantastic Four.
The books debut in February and run through Spring 2012. Marvel has announced that each one “will be shrink-wrapped with a code for a FREE digital copy of the story — a first for the comic industry — on the Marvel Comics app, at no additional cost to fans or retailers.” This “bonus” add-on, while perhaps making the book seem like a better value to customers and greatly annoying some retailers, has a gotcha attached, though.
The $24.99 books will, to keep the code secret, be shrink-wrapped. That means no one can browse through them — so now “new and old readers alike”, to quote Marvel’s intended audience, will have to buy them sight unseen.
I know plenty of comic shopping is done that way now, between having to preorder books to get to see them or buying for the best price on Amazon. But there’s a big difference between risking $4 (usually less with preorder discounts) and $25.
Besides, based on what happens at a lot of bookstores, the shrinkwrap will soon go missing. Between that and the ability for someone to buy the book, copy the code, and return it, I’m wondering just how effective this promotion will be in actually giving customers the ability to get a download. Will retailers accept returns if the code doesn’t work, or will customers even care if it’s missing?