Truly, this a week for rock bottom pricing on digital comics. Previously, Marvel was having a $0.99 sale on digital editions of TPBs. They’ve shifted that sale a little bit and in a slightly odd way.
Over on the Comixology website, they’re calling the promotion “This Week’s New Marvel Collections 99¢ Each” and they’re highlighting new releases, notably the Master of Kung Fu and Avengers Epic Collections and the Guardians of the Galaxy: Infinity Quest.
Did you just stop and ask yourself “Are they really selling the digital editions of $40 Epic Collections for $0.99 the same day those books hit the comic shops?” And the answer is, technically they let you pre-order a day before they were on-sale and this is all before the books hit traditional bookstores. So if your local retailer is furious, they have reason to be. It certainly looks like they’re being dramatically undercut on some expensive titles, potentially before the retailers have a chance to sell them.
Now if you go over to Amazon, you find that the sale being displayed a little wider. It’s not the same depth as what was on-sale in the middle of the week, but you can still get Vision: The Complete Collection and the first volume of Walt Simonson’s Thor for $0.99, among other titles. That Vision collection is back up to $7.99 on Comixology proper.
Sometimes Amazon and Comixology are in sync with specials, sometimes not.
And speaking of not, Comixology currently has the lowest price I can recall seeing there for a digital comic. The “Dynamite Recent #1’s Sale!” is a sampler of 45 different first issues and they’re $0.49 each. These issues are not $0.49 on Amazon. I’m actually not sure if a publisher is allowed to sell something Kindle-related for less than $0.99.
I was somewhat facetiously joking about Marvel’s propensity for have each subsequent digital TPB sale having lower prices than the last and how it might have hit a brick wall with $0.99 this time around when the first sale was announced. Well, if Dynamite can sell for $0.49 on Comixology, then so can Marvel. It would be a surprise, but it seems the price level is supported.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.