In a move that could give the small but growing digital comics business a boost, DC Comics has signed deals to sell comics through online stores owned by Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Previously, comic book readers could only purchase digital copies of the issues to read on tablets or other digital devices through DC’s own app or an app controlled by the ComiXology company.
While graphic novels were previously available for purchase for digital devices at a variety of stores, DC is the first company to offer unique comic book issues through Apple’s iBookstore, Amazon’s Kindle Store, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Book Store.
The deals mean readers can, starting Wednesday, get copies of comics such as Superman, Batman and Justice League from digital stores built into the iPad, Kindle and Nook.
Growth in digital comic book sales is essential for DC, owned by Warner Bros., its main competitor Marvel (owned by Walt Disney Co.), and smaller publishers, as print comic book sales are in long-term decline.
In September 2011, DC began selling digital copies of its comic books the same day as print issues as part of a relaunch of its line called New 52.
So far this year, DC’s digital comic book sales are up 197% over the same period in 2011. Thanks to the launch of New 52, print comic book sales are up 12%, offering at least a temporary reprieve from the long-term downside. -off in comics printed on paper.
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