After a period of beta testing, Diamond is ready to roll out their digital comics sales this September. As there is not much else happening that month, maybe this will perk things up.

More seriously, about 30 publishers are participating in the venture, which is run through iVerse and involves participating retailers generating codes for sale. The program will begin more advanced beta testing in stores in August.

Interested retailers can sign up here.

Diamond Digital – the joint venture between Diamond Comic Distributors and iVerse Media which will empower brick and mortar comic shops to sell digital content – announced today that in September, Diamond’s retail comic shop customers will be able to pre-generate codes redeemable for new digital comics.

The Diamond Digital program, with components in both physical stores and on comic shop web sites, is an initiative unlike anything undertaken in other retail markets. Many of the comics in the program will be available first from comic shops or will contain special bonus material unavailable elsewhere. Participating stores will be able to sell a wide range of new comics, digital back issues and digital backlist graphic novels. A key feature of the initiative is the Print PLUS option, which allows consumers to purchase a digital companion copy of a print comic book, usually for just 99¢ more.

According to Dave Bowen, Director of Diamond Digital, “The September launch date has actually been our target for months, but we didn’t want to announce it until we’d passed certain critical unit testing benchmarks. This worked out well because of the way our Beta Test group of retailers has evolved. After we put together our Beta Test group, an international assembly of more than fifty businesses, the participants suggested many great ideas and improvements, including added functionality in support of the individual retailer web-site based part of the initiative.”

The beta process, supported by close partner and industry technical leader iVerse Media, LLC is now well underway. Michael Murphey, CEO of Iverse said, “Part of the beta test group is currently doing dry-run testing of the web site capabilities we’ve created for them. The advanced group, companies with existing sophisticated e-commerce web sites, are beginning to integrate our API into their processes.”

Bowen says the next phase is to get physical. “In August we plan to beta test new weekly digital comic offerings in the physical stores, giving our code generation and redemption processes a good workout. We’ll also use this time for retailer training with the beta stores and customer service training on the Diamond end. By September we should have a more mature, well-tested process that any store can join with minimal effort.

“All of our Retailer Services will be driven from http://www.diamonddigital.com,” Bowen says. “Retailers can go there now and read the general information about the program. In September, we plan to turn on full login capabilities for all Diamond accounts, including UK and International retail customers. Participating publishers will also be able to log in and see how their material is being represented, monitor their sales, and gauge the effectiveness of the program.”

On the publisher side of the program, Bowen noted that more than 30 publishers—including IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Archie, NBM/Papercutz, and Top Shelf— are currently participating in Diamond Digital, and that the number continues to grow. “We recently confirmed the addition of Image Comics, which is very exciting because it brings a cross-section of creative voices with broad consumer appeal to the program. We’ve also been adding some unexpected publishers like Within Temptation, a symphonic metal band that produces a comic which is integrally tied in to their music. Their lead singer, Sharon Janny den Adel, is providing an exclusive video clip which will be bundled with the digital comic. We’re still in talks with many other publishers and expect participation to expand continuously as a natural part of the business process.

“We’ll be launching Diamond Digital with dozens of new releases and nearly 2,000 back issues,” Bowen added, “many of them graphic novel length. All of those digital issues have been created in the central Diamond system so we can invoice retailers and pay publishers correctly. This is only one of technical challenges we’re meeting as September draws closer, and we are confident that all concerned will appreciate our efforts to get every detail of this launch right.”


  1. >>>is an initiative unlike anything undertaken in other retail markets.

    Well, Google eBookstore has had brick & mortar indie stores in their program for months now.

  2. 33% of the sale goes to the store. Are they being charged 66% of the SRP? Paper margins are around 50%.

    From the FAQ:
    “17. Will I need to charge sales tax on digital comics?

    Collecting state and local sales tax on digital comics you sell within your store is generally required. Digital comics sold on your web site will need to be taxed if the purchaser lives in your state (as on eBay).”

    So, has anyone coded a webpage so a customer can visit a store’s website, buy the digital copy, and have it automatically load to the user’s computer/phone? Because this is an excellent opportunity to compete NATIONWIDE with every other comics retailer, especially with those who do not have an e-commerce site, or even a web site. (The modern equivalent of the retailer making change from a cigar box.) “Buy from me at 20% off!” No manpower needed, except to code the website to pull codes and covers. It brings customers to your site, where they’ll probably buy other things. You still make a profit, from customers who can’t visit your physical location.

    And the elephant in the room:
    How many sales will migrate from paper to digital? Why should I stock marginal, non-returnable paper copies when I can sell a digital copy with no overhead? Heck… order only paper copies for subscribers, and stock the shelves with PDF previews.

  3. Who need Diamond as the middleman anymore?
    They are going to go the way of the dinosaur in 5 years.Just like Wizard magazinre.

  4. Traveling to a shop to buy a digital comic defeats the convenience factor of digital comics.

    I buy my digital comics in my pajamas at home or from my office on my iPad. I’m not going to a shop do buy a download code. Thats asinine.

  5. I like to deal with local vendors whenever possible. Maybe I will be in the minority, going to the local store to get downloads and schmoozing, rather than just doing it all online.