One of the biggest stories coming out of last week’s New York Comic Con is that Dark Horse Comics plans to launch an extensive digital program in January. With single-issue digital comics priced at $1.49, Dark Horse’s new app is getting a lot of attention.
How can they offer such a low price? By creating and managing its own digital publishing program—the Dark Horse Bookshelf app—Dark Horse Comics has eliminated third party fees on its digital editions. This means lower prices for customers, as well as higher profits for comic creators.
The Dark Horse Bookshelf app will be available on iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. Comics can also be purchased and read on modern web browsers at the Dark Horse Digital Store. Launching in January 2011 with comics priced at $1.49 per issue—50 cents lower than the industry standard—the Dark Horse Bookshelf app will be available for download from the iTunes Store and online at digital.darkhorse.com . To drive customers to brick and mortar retailers, the app and Web site will also include links to local comic shops.
The bookshelf app will launch with over 150 titles, including the horror anthology Creepy, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy and B.P.R.D., Joss Whedon’s Fray and Serenity, Felicia Day’s The Guild, BioWare’s Mass Effect, Robert E. Howard’s Conan, Gerard Way’s Umbrella Academy, and Eric Powell’s The Goon. There will also be bundled packages of three to four issues available for $2.99-$5.99. Starting in February 2011, some Dark Horse titles will feature synchronized release in both the digital and print formats.
Dark Horse also has a plan in place that will allow retailers at comic shops and bookstores to offer readers exclusive digital content through the Dark Horse Digital Store. The specifics of this plan will be announced at a later date.
Dark Horse will keep fans updated on their digital program at http://digital.darkhorse.com/ 
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