Top Shelf Adds DRM-Free Graphic Novel Purchases to Website

Top Shelf DRM-Free Digital ad

Following in the footsteps of Image Comics, Top Shelf has announced that they will be selling DRM-free digital graphic novels direct from their website. They will continue selling through various partners, as well, but setting up their own digital store (with choices of PDF, ePub, or CBZ) allows them to sell bundles — if you buy print direct from them, the digital version is also available for a small add-on price.

Top Shelf DRM-Free Digital ad

The first titles in the program (which seem to be new releases and/or works by web cartoonists who likely understand the power of digital) are

  • March: Book One by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell ($7.99 digital, $1.99 with print purchase)
  • Heck by Zander Cannon ($9.99 digital, $2.99 with print purchase)
  • Crater XV by Kevin Cannon ($9.99 digital, $2.99 with print purchase)
  • The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire ($6.99 digital, $2.99 with print purchase)
  • God Is Disappointed in You by Mark Russell & Shannon Wheeler ($9.99 digital, $1.99 with print purchase)
  • Chester 5000 by Jess Fink ($5.99 digital, $1.99 with print purchase)
  • We Can Fix It by Jess Fink ($6.99 digital, $1.99 with print purchase)
  • The Surrogates (Vol. 1) by Robert Venditti & Brett Weldele ($5.99 digital, $1.99 with print purchase)
  • The Surrogates (Vol. 2): Flesh and Bone by Robert Venditti & Brett Weldele ($5.99 digital, $1.99 with print purchase)
  • Swallow Me Whole by Nate Powell ($9.99 digital, $2.99 with print purchase)
  • Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? by Liz Prince ($3.99 digital, $0.99 with print purchase)

With this announcement, it appears that the last fears of retailer grumbling over publisher direct sales are gone… or irrelevant. Comic shop owners used to berate and/or try to punish (through ordering) publishers that pushed direct sales to customers, but it’s a whole new world now, and publishers need to reach out directly for their own success. After all, no one can push your book as well as you can.



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