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Indie Comics Get Their Own App

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When it comes to finding quality, indie published comix online it’s often something of a crapshoot.

Columns, Daniel VanderMolen, Homepage Feature  •  Apr 09, 2013

New Indie Comics AppWhen it comes to finding quality, indie comics online it’s often something of a crapshoot.

There are a couple of decent search engines out there (The Webcomic List and The Belfry WeComics Index, to name two), but finding top-notch work is often somewhat cumbersome and occasionally more effort than it’s probably worth.

Enter: ComiXology Submit.

Anyone with an affinity for digital comics has probably already heard of the website.  They’re the primary distribution hub for a number of mainstream comics, and in an unrelated story almost broke the internet (or at least their own servers) just recently when Marvel announced plans to give away 700 first-issue comics via the site.

If that’s what you’re in the market for you’ll find more than enough eye candy on the site to keep you occupied for a long, long time.  They’re a one-stop shop for flagship comics such as The Walking Dead (you can download the first issue of the popular comic for free on the site), X-Men and Batman, just to name a few.

However, while the big name stuff is all fine and dandy, it’s ComiXology Submit that’s really the game changer.  This brilliant new feature provides and incredible opportunity for self-published comic book creators to harness the power of worldwide distribution, all without having to fork over a dime.

And the best part?  It’s ridiculously easy to do.

All you have to do is sign up for a free account, upload your work, and then then if your comic makes it through the internal screening process (not all submissions are accepted), you’re ready for prime time.

After that everything is essentially set up to run the same way as a consignment shop.  They only make money if you make money, and authors split the profits with ComiXology 50/50.  There are certain fees associated with payment processing added in their too, but honestly, the idea of being able to make ANY money from your work is probably music to the ears of most authors.

They don’t allow you to publish free comic books through the site either.  Because users are allowed to make purchases through the Apple store the price of all titles must end in “.99,” so most of the current indie offerings on the site run from about $0.99 to $3.99 per issue.

ComiXology content can be accessed through the website, or you can take on the go by utilizing their mobile app.  I’ve played around with both, and in all honesty, I’m a bigger fan of the app.  You get access to almost all of the same features when you use it (you can’t upload to ComiXology Submit however, that feature is reserved for good old-fashioned computers), and the way that the indie comics are presented digitally is fantastic.  They even have what is called “Guided View” mode for the app, which allows readers to view a comic panel by panel.

I for one have always had trouble reading comics in a digital format, so this new technology is right up my alley.  If you’re not initially sold on this newfangled idea though, ComiXology does have one free title in their store which you can download to test it out.  It’s called “Too Much Coffee Man:  comiXology Submit Strips,” illustrated by Shannon Wheeler, and it’s essentially just a tool to explain the submission process and showcase their new viewing style.  It’s not the world’s most insanely engaging storyline…but it’s free and it’s helpful.  So that counts for something, right?

The Comixology Submit library is still a bit limited at this point (they only published a handful of titles for the launch), but it will no doubt start to grow rapidly as more and more people upload their work.  Even so, they have enough content available that it’s worth a gander in its current state.

But don’t take my word for it, head on over to the site and check it out for yourself.   And if you have an indie comic of your own definitely consider submitting your work to the site.  There’s almost zero risk involved, and the potential benefits are incredible!