Indie book publisher Blurb that specialise in allowing authors to self publish books through them is hiring key members of the digital comic publisher and enabler Graphicly, including co-founder Micah Baldwin to increase their digital publishing program. Graphicly used to be a ComiXology rival, then reinvented themselves as a service to enable comic creators tpo publish their work digitally.
Blurb will be hosting a party for self publishers at tomorrow’s Book Expo America (attending by Bleeding Cool) and will have ex-Graphicly folk on hand. In a press release, Baldwin is quoted as saying,
After spending four years working on digital publishing, it became clear that we were telling half the story. Print is not dead, it’s wildly important in the natural growth of creators, but it too is only half the story for self publishers now. Combining the best in class print platform from Blurb, with all the ebook learning the Graphicly team has accrued over the past four years, was just too compelling an opportunity to pass up.
TechCrunch have their own take, confirming that Graphicly will be shutting down as a business. They say,
“None of the assets per se are coming over, but we are talking to publishers who were on Graphicly,” says Baldwin. “We are hopeful that Graphicly users will take their content and manage it with Blurb, and maybe print their books there, too.”
He says that all publishers will be able to go to their dashboards for the next 30 days and port their content into Blurb, or whatever platform they choose.
Of course, ComiXology’s move away from In App purchases and the impending end of a number of comic publishers’ exclusive deals with ComiXology does mean that there may also be a gap in the market… but for now there is also international ambition.
“One-third of Graphicly’s business was outside of the U.S. and Blurb has a significant business in the rest of the world,” Baldwin says. “Six months before Graphicly was sold we started to sell books in Amazon China. So I am interested to see how that develops.”