iVerse Media, creators of some of the world’s most popular and widely used technologies for reading digital comics and graphic novels, announced today their new “ComicsPlus Library Edition” initiative. This is a pay-per-checkout program at libraries that allows patrons access to thousands of comic and graphic novel titles on demand. The program is unique among digital delivery systems offered to libraries in that it was actually designed in cooperation with librarians.
“The program is offered at no risk to libraries,” said Josh Elder, President and Founder of Reading with Pictures, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and an industry specialist who is also leading iVerse’s efforts on the project. “And we do all the work and the libraries have complete control over the budget, so there’s no downside to their involvement.”
“We’ve worked very closely with the library community to ensure that this program more than meets expectations,” said iVerse CEO Michael Murphey. “Librarians have long recognized the importance of comics, graphic novels and manga in driving traffic into libraries and serving more patrons on a regular basis. “
While all publishers will find the program beneficial, mid-size and educational publishers may reap the greatest rewards with the opportunity to showcase a large catalog of content. That being said, Elder notes that some of the biggest publishers and most recognizable brands and properties will also be part of the ComicsPlus Library Edition.
How it works
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.
The program is customizable to provide local control of content and patron accessibility.
“I’ve been working the non-profit world as an advocate for comics in schools and libraries and this is a natural extension of that, “ said Elder. “We’re treating publishers fairly and offering the librarians the service they’ve been waiting for at a price they feel is fair.”
The ComicsPlus Library Edition is one of a number of digital delivery advancements and industry supportive initiatives announced by iVerse coming out of the recent Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo.