Dark Horse Goes Simultaneous Print and Digital Release – The Trend Continues

By Todd Allen

 Dark Horse Goes Simultaneous Print and Digital Release   The Trend ContinuesIn the latest announcement of its kind, Dark Horse announced today that as of December 14, 2011 it will be releasing all its comics simultaneously in both digital and print.  (Remember, just say no to the “day and date” phrase.)  Over at Robot 6, Brigid Alverson did a little digging and found out this simultaneous release extends to original graphic novels and trade editions, with a price point from $2.99 to $7.99.

The move to digital trade collections is an interesting thing you don’t hear much about.  Outside of the Direct Market, people like to buy the entire story, not just a chapter in a serial.  Looking at the Dark Horse digital store, sure enough, we’ve got:

It’s fair guess to think that simultaneous trades are going to look a lot like bundles, like this one of the Baltimore: The Plague Ships mini-series.

DC is already on simultaneous releases.  Marvel is transitioning.  A fair number of Image books are there.  Mark Millar… not so much.

As Millar illustrates, there’s still a little bit of disagreement on when digital editions should come out.  Is the world going to end if the digital edition follows the print edition by 2-4 weeks?  Well, that really depends on who you talk to.  It is becoming clear that every publisher needs to have an established schedule of when the digital editions come out and we’re seeing enough of the big boys moving to simultaneous release that simultaneous is turning into the standard practice.

Comments

  1. I’ve been calling it same day releases.

  2. Great news! Give the consumer as many options as possible.

  3. Torsten Adair says:

    *SIGH*

    Bundles mostly (aside from original graphic novels, such as Path of the Assassin).

    Requires an app to read.

    No e-books yet, not available for libraries via Overdrive.

    Byron Preiss figured this out back in 2002.
    http://www.worldcat.org/title/hitchhikers-guide-to-the-galaxy-book-two-of-three/oclc/062902975

    But then, CrossGen figured out a decade ago that digital sales don’t hurt paper sales, they help them. (Boom! proved the same thing four years ago with North Wind.)

    Or to quote Douglas Adams:
    “MARKETING GIRL:
    When you have been in marketing as long as I have, you’ll know that before any new product can be developed, it has to be properly researched. I mean yes, yes we’ve got to find out what people want from fire, I mean how do they relate to it, the image –

    FORD:
    Oh, stick it up your nose.

    MARKETING GIRL:
    Yes which is precisely the sort of thing we need to know, I mean do people want fire that can be fitted nasally.”

  4. MBunge says:

    “But then, CrossGen figured out a decade ago that digital sales don’t hurt paper sales, they help them. (Boom! proved the same thing four years ago with North Wind.)”

    Maybe not the greatest examples to use.

    Mike

  5. I agree! Same day digital is the term I’ve been using. Day and date doesn’t even come close to a good term. Where did the ‘day and date’ originate and who can we blame (or flame)?

  6. Synsidar says:

    Where did the ‘day and date’ originate and who can we blame (or flame)?

    There’s no one to blame. The “day and date” phrasing has been widely used in the music and video games industries for years, since their products have street dates.

    SRS

  7. Thanks Synsider! I guess what I really want to know then, is how “day and date” equates to street date? It seems like “street date” would be an easy enough term to have used. Apologies for my ignorance, I’ve never worked in the music or games industries. Thanks again for the information!

  8. Synsidar says:

    I guess what I really want to know then, is how “day and date” equates to street date?

    That, I believe, is because movies, CDs, video games, etc. are generally released on a given weekday. Tuesdays for CDs, movie premieres on Fridays, and so on. The date varies, but not the day.

    SRS

  9. Thanks again Synsider! Now I understand! And it even kind of makes sense! But with movies and records being released any day of the week nowadays, hopefully the term will go away!

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