George Gatsis writes;
After a year on getting Cerebus Digital, Animated and Distributed (CerebusDownloads.com )… I have finally had free time allocated back to myself so I can contemplate and procrastinate. Alas… both seem to be exactly the same for me.
So I decided to do the opposite of what I usually do… Usually, I devote my time to helping other people… It’s just who I am. But now I have turned inward and focused on what I was doing over a year ago… That was figuring out where I want to settle on digitally distributing my content The Black Diamond Effect.
The following is the organized insanity that led me finally to stick to one method of process, to delivering content with the LEAST worry.
I tried the appstore for a while. It was alright. But after a time, I realized something that was hidden in all things APPSTORE, that just really pissed me off in a huge way!
I really don’t like upgrades. Most of the time it has nothing to do with fixing bugs or new features… It’s more of getting you set-up, so you HAVE to fork over money to be able to continue. I own x-computer and x-software, so I can do my work. That’s it. Please don’t force upon me the need to upgrade so I can continue to access the environment I am relying on to get my content out there.
Yep, this single ubiquitous feature in our digital life got me thinking when Cerebus was on the verge of going digital.
The question that came at me was: “What is the best reading experience for the customer?”
(Based on what I have been doing for the last 23 years, getting my books printed and distributing the digital version for free… since 1990!!! Yes, given back then, hirez was as much as 400 wide x 600 tall pixels… It really didn’t matter if people came across my stuff and viewed it for free. I was in pre-press services at the time… I knew how to get digital quality line and resolution for print. Online wasn’t even close.)
My answer was instinctively quick: “Whatever format the customer wants.” Now WHY THE HELL couldn’t I come to this answer for myself? Why did I have to travel long roads, less traveled and not traveled at all, to get to this answer for myself?
I like to think, I just love going where no-one has gone before. Example: when I came out with my first issue in 1990… Marvel and DC were trying their hand at digital… But it was all bit-mapped. I was upset with the results that were printed, so I jumped into publishing years ahead of my plan and produced a mostly vector-based comic that looks like it was painted… Anyone remember Adobe Streamline? Well, it took about 10 years for the process to become just-a-way-of-life for publishing… Another example of roads less traveled… I have been developing a process for glasses-free-3D-TV for over 8 years now… Guess where the market is finally shifting too? Yep… And even James Cameron, after spending a considerable amount of time and money on stereoscopic 3D, is shifting away from what is an eye-sore for most customers.
So WHAT does the customer want?
ePUB is one format. CBZ is another format… and PDF is a long running format. HECK, if I can package up multiple images into a single JPG formatted file, I would.
But ePUB, CBZ and PDF are long reaching formats that the majority of the digital readers in the world, CAN store and read.
“So is this the sweet spot,” I asked myself.
No, there was something that was still bugging me.
What DRM ( Digital Rights Management ) could I attach to my content? So that it will not get copied… thereby not loosing a sale or a million. (I wish) :)
This took less time for me, to answer myself, than I thought it would. ( tongue twist in there I think )
I concluded, DRM only exists to upset the legit customers. Pirates will be able to bypass it very quickly… Therefore, DRM is not an essential element of distributing content. We live in a world where children know how to screen capture images and video and store the information on their hard-drives. Do you REALLY think your content is safe from un-authorized copying?
So, wait a minute!!! Where the heck am I going with all this? Oohhhh, yeah!
The sweet spot in digital distribution. ( yes, I actually scrolled up to read the title )
Provide multiple formats and don’t worry about pirates… Am I there yet? Nope. Almost there.
Long story short… blah, blah, blah… 99 cents. (really, after all this time, you really have to ask? Just Google it. )
Are we there yet? Nope. One more thing…
How to collect the money?
Apple, Amazon, Kindle, Ebay, WireTransfer, Mega, Bitcoin, Paypal, courier pigeon, young starving children… hmmmmmm… What is easy, quick and least of which light on the expense?
I’m sure the are better options than PayPal… But my lazy sloth horizontal contemplation position is engaged and I have settled on PayPal.
So the sweet spot is:
Multiple formats, don’t worry about pirates and PayPal ( or other such ) collects your sales.
Oh boy, did this road take a while to get to… I certainly cannot overlook Apple releasing DRM-FREE music on their billion dollar store, or CerebusDownloads.com or even most recently Image Comics DRM-FREE offerings… Or heck, the multitudes of individual artists out there that are offering their content in similar fashion… WAIT A MINUTE!!! Did I just say multitudes of individual artists are already doing this? Where the heck was my lazy ass all this time??? Oohhhhhhh, yeah… Traveling those other roads less traveled.
The sweet spot.
So finally after 23 years, I have settled on what I think will be a long lasting easy on my brain, sweet spot, distribution method for my content… and below are the links to the content I have been building.
The first 7 issues of 1990 release of THE BLACK DIAMOND EFFECT, packaged as a single purchase.
( available on the AppStore… and now, soon to be not. )
The first two issues of the my new ongoing series JOE VS. (pretty much whatever I can dream up), packaged as a single purchase.
( again, available on the AppStore… and now, soon to be not as well. )
Hope you were able to stick this far down… Because you can read the most important next three lines.
George Peter Gatsis