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Graphicly pulls comic book apps to focus on self-publishing

updated 01:05 am EDT, Fri April 6, 2012

Can convert comics or books for digital stores

Digital comic-book publisher Graphicly has decided to focus on emerging self-publishing markets for all kinds of visually-oriented digital books, and has consequently pulled its comic-book storefront app for both iOS and Android, though it will still publish graphic novels and comics to the various digital bookstores, including iBooks, Nook, Kindle, Kobo and others. Going forward, it will publish both comic and non-comic books.

The company charges creators a flat fee to convert digital comics or other types of book files into either e-books suitable for any of the major e-book outlets or into a standalone app for either the iOS or Android platform. An e-book conversion from PDF can cost as little as $150, and the author retains all proceeds of net sales once the book is published.

By "net sales," the company means the proceeds after the individual bookstore platform takes its cut, which can reduce the gross amount by up to 30 percent. Graphicly is one of the few distributors that is accredited to work with all of the major ebook platforms simultaneously, and also offers a free web viewer where authors can post excerpts or whole books on websites or Facebook, bypassing e-bookstores for free books if desired.

In addition to the conversion and publishing process, Graphicly also provides authors with sales and analytical data for each bookstore. In explaining the change, CEO Micah Baldwin told VentureBeat that the company had found that buyers were much less willing to use a third-party bookstore app than their own device's native bookstore application, using the example of the iBookstore -- which outsold the company's own bookstore app by five to one, "and in some cases outpacing their print equivalent."

About 40 percent of the publishing clients the company has attracted have been non-comic authors, although Baldwin says that digital comics will always be welcome. Beyond indie comics, Graphicly has put out children's books, textbooks, picture books and cooking tomes as well as other types of graphical content. The company can also turn books into standalone apps for about $500 per conversion, again without ongoing royalties or any additional payments.

Baldwin says that in addition to focusing the company's resources on digital publishing and distribution, it would like to expand the number of outlets available to digital authors. While the major e-bookstores such as Amazon's Kindle store, the iBookstore, the Nook store and the Kobo store make up a majority of e-book sales, Graphicly is looking at expanding to more international platforms as well as other "digital book shops."

The company will continue to make its published offerings available to customers who have bought them via its own webstore and Facebook, and will continue to run the comic-oriented website and podcast iFanboy. [via VentureBeat]

by MacNN Staff



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