On Monday, digital distributor iVerse announced a new initiative that would allow libraries to download books from their digital library on a cost per checkout basis.
The program is simple and invites library patrons to choose from a vast catalog of content. This content is accessed through a library’s web portal in much the same way other digital content offered by that library is accessed. Patrons are able to search, check out and engage with content on most major devices, including PC, Mac, iPad, Nook and Kindle Fire. Libraries are charged a small amount whenever a book or graphic novel is checked out; this revenue is split among participating publishers. Patrons will find not only new releases, but also have the opportunity to read back list titles, which they might never have discovered otherwise.
Brigid Alverson dug into the program a little deeper with Josh Elder, who is the account manager for the project:
According to iVerse, the library market accounts for about 10% of the U.S graphic novel market and its growing. As for the selection, Elder said that iVerse currently has over 10,000 titles in its Comics Plus catalogue including comics from Marvel, IDW, Archie, Top Cow, Zenescope, Boom! and more. The company is currently negotiating with publishers regarding participating in the program, and Elder said the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Unlike other digital library programs, iVerse will allow more than one patron to check out the same digital comic at once. “It’s a cloud service, so we don’t care if every patron checks it out at the same time,” Elder said.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.