How to become a digital comics sensation: ComiXology’s David Steinberger tells all!

When it comes to the best digital comics app on the iPad, there really is only one top dog – ComiXology’s Comics. The iTunes of comics apps, ComiXology are the pioneers of digital comics on the iPhone and iPad and the powerhouse behind Marvel, DC and Images own apps. As I explored the world of comics on the iPad, it got me wondering just how the titles are published and how would I go about getting my work published if I were an indie comics publisher. And who better to ask than the folk at ComiXology themselves. So if you’ve ever wondered what the secret is, here’s the answers, courtesy of ComiXology’s David Steinberger their founder and CEO !

How are comics supplied to you for uploading onto the Comics app?
DS:
All of our publishing partners send over print ready, high quality PDF’s or JPGS of their comics that they want to digitally distribute. Once we receive them, we have our “authors” put the comic in our Guided ViewTM format. Our goal during this process is to preserve the story and format it to be read as the creator intended it to be.

Do publishers restrict how many titles they give you to drive traffic to their own apps or do you get access to all the big name titles?
DSOur publishing partners choose the titles that they want us to distribute digitally, and to clarify, we power the majority of the current comic apps out there. These include, Marvel, DC, Dynamite, BOOM!, Image, Scott Pilgrim, The Walking Dead and many more. Our system is a buy once read anywhere platform, so anything purchased on the iOS, Android or Web will sync if you use the same account.

Do you think the growth of apps like Comics has helped the comics industry? E.g. Are Independent Publishers flourishing with a new global audience?
DS
Yes we believe that the growth of digital comics has created more awareness for the comic industry while also expanding it because of the ubiquitous reach the technology has. We also have numerous programs in the works to support print retailers, like our Retailer Tools and Digital Storefront Affiliate Program to empower retailers to sell digital comics through websites. While I can’t get into specific numbers about any publisher, I would say most of our partners are doing very well.

Do you have any examples of particular success stories from smaller publishers?
DS
A few that come to mind would be Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, which we have the exclusive rights to and has really become a fan favorite. It is released the same day digitally as it does in print. Another great example would be Atomic Robo, which has taken off and is doing really well.

Are Comics successful on other digital platforms like Android, or is it mainly on iPads and iPhones? Did you notice an obvious upsurge in business when the various iPad models were released?
DSWe actually just hit 1MM downloads for our Android App in only 6 months! Initially the Android platform was a little like the wild west, but Google’s In-App Payment system really helped streamline the purchasing process, which helped a lot. The Marvel, DC and our own Comics App are currently the top grossing books apps on the iOS with our iPad App being inducted into the Apple Hall of Fame, which we would consider a success.

If I was a small publisher how would I go about getting my title on your app? Do you have an approval process like Apple do on the App Store?
DS: 
We have a program in beta that will continually empower smaller publishers and creators to get digital distribution through our platform with our Guided View™ Authoring Tools program will help level the playing field by giving independent creators and publishers an equal chance for visibility in the digital marketplace through a standard format and ubiquitous platform. Anyone interested in joining our program can sign up here http://www.comixology.com/self_authoring_signup/

Author: Alex Thomas

Alex Thomas is the Editor and founder of PIpedream Comics. He grew up reading comics in the 90s, so even though he loves all things indie and small press, he is easily distracted by a hologram cover.