After a long testing period, and a lot of controversy along the way, Diamond and iVerse are finally going live with Diamond Digital on July 23rd. The program will allow Diamond accounts to set up their own digital storefront, sell download codes and otherwise engage in the digital sales that everyone thought would kill comics but which has, instead, led to growing sales.
The program has been in beta for some time now, with some lively feedback from participating retailers. Publishers represented in the program include IDW, Image, Archie, APE, Arcana, Bluewater, BOOM!, Broadsword, Hermes, Sea Lion, Top Shelf, Viper Comics, and Within Temptation—Marvel and DC have yet to opt in.
Diamond Comic Distributors and iVerse Media are pleased to announce the official launch of Diamond Digital, a unique initiative which will empower 3,000+ independently owned and operated comic book specialty retailers worldwide to sell digital content both in their stores and on their websites. The new service will launch on Monday, July 23rd.
Thanks to Diamond Digital, comic fans will be able to read a wide variety of digital content on comic shop websites, and to download the content to their mobile devices via a “Digital Comics Reader” App for iOS and Android, with free cloud storage for all their Diamond Digital purchases.
“As more and more comic books and graphic novels have become available digitally, we’ve determined it’s very important to help the retailers we serve sell digital content, in addition to print, should they so desire,” said Diamond President & CEO Steve Geppi. “In pursuing this goal, we’ve been very fortunate to work with iVerse Media to design a system which gives comic book fans a way to enjoy digital content while still supporting their favorite comic book retailer.”
“We’re proud of the fact that we’ll be offering comic shops the same kinds of tools companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble use to sell digital content,” added iVerse CEO Michael Murphy. “We believe very strongly in the future of the comic book industry, in both the print and digital formats, and we’re committed to helping retailers provide the best of both worlds to their customers.”
Starting on Monday, July 23, a weekly cycle will begin whereby retailers can log on to www.diamonddigital.com with their Diamond username and password and generate digital redemption codes for sale in their stores. These codes will be redeemable by fans starting on Wednesday, July 26. In-store, retailers will have the choice of selling codes for day-and-date digital editions of new comics, usually at the same SRP as their print equivalents, and/or digital “Plus” edition codes, which will typically be priced at $.99 with the purchase of a physical copy. Codes can be redeemed at retailers’ websites, or at www.digitalcomicsreader.com. Customers can also purchase Diamond Digital content directly from participating retailers’ websites and access the comics immediately on the web or in the Apple iOS or Android app.
On the 23rd, retailers will also find more details about the online aspects of the Diamond Digital program at www.diamonddigital.com, including three different options for easily integrating Diamond Digital sales into their websites. The Easy Link option enables any Diamond retailers with a Business PayPal account to add a link from their website, newsletter or Facebook page to their custom micro-site hosted on www.digitalcomicreader.com to begin making sales. The Plug & Play option gives retailers greater flexibility by allowing them to add Diamond Digital functionality into their existing websites. The API option is a fully-customizable solution for retailers already expert in e-commerce. Diamond Digital functionality can also be integrated into existing search, shopping cart and payment systems on the retailer’s site. Any retailer can also participate simply by selling codes in-store and directing their customers to www.digitalcomicsreader.com to redeem the codes and read their comics.
At launch, over 4,000 digital comic books and graphic novels will be available, with new releases being added each week. Participating publishers include: IDW, Image, Archie, APE, Arcana, Bluewater, BOOM!, Broadsword, Hermes, Sea Lion, Top Shelf, Viper Comics, and Within Temptation, with more to be added in the coming weeks and months.
Cheryl Sleboda, Diamond Manager of Retail Technology, concluded “Thanks to testing and guidance from numerous retailers during our development process, we’ve put together a strong, flexible solution for comic shops that want to sell digital content—one we think comic fans will appreciate as well. Going forward, Diamond and iVerse are available to guide retailers through the set-up process, and we welcome their additional input as we strive to realize the full potential of this program.”
“I’d also like to thank the over fifty retailers who helped with beta testing and worked with us on development of the program over the past year—their help has been invaluable in designing a digital solution that works for all retailers.”
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.