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Kindle Fans The Flames

Don't roll your eyes at me, I haven't done a comprehensive digital rights piece in ages.

 I still get people asking me when I'm going to release my stuff digitally.  Digital is the wave of the future!

No, it's not.  At first, it was a novelty.  Then major publishers realized the money to be made there and crowded out the indies.  They also made sure that you don't actually own anything, a content provider's dream.  Then, they started turning them into protected markets (Comixology is the Diamond of digital.  That's right, I said it).  It's commerce, it has nothing to do with the art form or reaching readers.

The latest round of stupidity started not long ago when DC announced that their top 100 graphic novels would only be available for the Amazon Kindle.  Barnes And Noble responded by pulling said books from their graphic novel section in the brick and mortar stores.  The DC app went live on the Kindle today.

Just one tiny little problem.

People with iPads and Androids have Kindle apps available to them.  So they tried buying some of the DC 100.

Won't work.

You can only buy and read them on a Kindle, so you better cough up.  This after Warner Bros told people over Twitter in September that they absolutely would be able to buy the DC 100 using their iPad and Android apps.

Once again, this is why I don't want to do my stuff digitally unless it's as a .pdf.  Digital Rights Management punishes people who buy your stuff legitimately and does nothing to stop piracy.  Those books are still on the torrents, RapidShit, or even your basic newb p2p.  It does nothing to encourage the very people willing to give you their money to actually do so because they go, "What is this?!?"  With comic companies starting to go exclusive with book distributors for digital offerings, this will mean you need a separate device for each of these things.

I want to point out that Amazon and B&N already know how much this will affect things -- not at all.  Notice they aren't doing this with major publishers like Random House.  It's only this little fringe artistic community that, before the DCnU launch, was lucky to sell six figures of any book.  Hell, Gears Of War was the biggest selling book of the year with 500K copies sold, and only 100K came from actual comic shops.  Comic companies acting like they are the biggest stars in the field is like bragging they are the tallest midget at the circus.

Comic books will never recover as an artistic medium until the producers of the product realize this isn't supposed to be a pissing contest.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 23rd, 2011 02:15 pm (UTC)
whaaaa? Oh WTFlamingF
Nov. 23rd, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
The key issue here is the file format. The DC 100 are available in Amazon's proprietary MOBI file format. And that only works with the new Kindle Fire. They claim it gives better results for viewing comics on the device, but I don't know what the problem was with the other.

This, of course, means that publishers just have to switch from the old ebook file format to the new one and your Kindle/iPad/Android is obsolete and you need a new, dedicated machine. Would they do it? Considering they already wiped out the ebooks of George Orwell, I wouldn't put it past them.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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