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DIY digital publishing without Apple, Amazon

Marvel comics artist (and Eisner Award nominated series ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’) Skottie Young is testing the waters of digital publishing. Like most internet strategies – the idea is to cut out the middleman (Apple, Amazon, etc.) and sell directly to the public. After a week of selling a digital version of his book “The Adventures of Bernard the World Destroyer” he’s sold 391 copies.

I read an article about selling digital content with out going thru Apple. The concept was sound but the duct tape method of doing so didn’t make much sense to me. There seemed to be too many ways to mess up and leave your customers wondering where their product was. But the idea of selling product directly to my fan base was intriguing. After a 5 minute talk with Ryan Stegman, he suggested I give it try. We hit up google and found many options for selling your digital content and I picked the one that was already teamed with BigCartel (my online store). After adjusting my pdf, I started selling a digital copy of The Adventures of Bernard for only $2.

Here’s where it gets interesting. In 7 days, I’ve sold 391 digital copies. The only promotion I’ve done is on this blog, twitter, facebook, and deviantart. Since I started selling, a few news sites like CBR and iFanboy have done pieces on it. But that’s it. No real push, no real plan. Woke up last friday, no plan to sell anything digital and by noon the same day I was in the middle of this experiment.

He outlines what services he uses to sell his product and his only cut to a third party is the for transaction fees set by Paypal. If you’re interested in the print version, it’s priced at $10 (down from $15).

Something to think about if you have art laying around not making you any money.

UPDATE: This post reminds me that DJ Coffman sent me a link to a post he had written earlier explaining his digital publishing strategy. The take away from his post (for me) was that you can use PayPal’s micropayments and lower your transaction fees if the product amount is under $10.

Community Comments

#1 Patrick Scullin
January/26/2011
@ 11:57 pm

Good for Skottie! When you’ve got an established fan base like he does it really makes sense to cut out the middle man. I think we’re going to continue to see a lot more of this.

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