Today, the digital comics revolution got just a little bit more interesting with the announcement that ComiXology – the digital comics engine behind apps and storefronts for major publishers including both DC and Marvel Comics – has created a free submissions portal called ComiXology Submit that will enable unsigned creators to self-publish their work digitally and make it available alongside titles like Batman, Avengers and The Walking Dead.
“When we started ComiXology it was with a handful of comics from deals done directly with creators and very small publishers,” said co-founder and CEO of the company, David Steinberger. “We are happy today, with the announcement of ComiXology Submit, that we now have a turnkey system to service this incredibly vital part of the marketplace. ComiXology Submit, helps keep the promise to our customers of having the best and most diverse comic books and graphic novels available worldwide.”
The Submit engine will allow new and established creators to upload their work for review by a team within ComiXology – Something that is being done, Steinberger has said, not to ensure a specific format or subject matter, but instead that the submissions are of a high enough quality to be featured alongside professional work – with the work then being made available, post-approval, at a price of the creator’s choosing, as long as it is above 99 cents. ComiXology will take 50 percent of the gross profit, once costs have been factored in (For example, anything bought on ComiXology via an Apple app automatically loses 30 percent of the price to Apple, meaning that the creator and ComiXology each get a 35 percent share).
Company co-founder John D. Roberts said in the press release announcing Submit that “Having the most diverse material possible serves comiXology’s mission.” He went on, “Publishers have long known that comiXology is the most valuable platform for digital comics in the world and having a way to let self-publishers participate in that is good for our customers, for comiXology and for comics… It’s great that we can now open our platform to self-publishers and deliver a whole new wave of creative works to our customers.”
Currently, ComiXology Submit is in a closed beta mode, only accessible via private invitation, although the company hopes to be able to launch it publicly early in the new year. An invited team of creators have already submitted material through the portal, and ComiXology is predicting that that material will be available in eight weeks or so. In the meantime, creators interested in getting themselves involved with the service can visit the ComiXology Submit website and sign up for emailed updates… and then start thinking about how to spend those potential future digital dollars come the public launch in 2013.