Over the last six months we have been working on a process that will allow us to grow our company and take advantage of many of the new technologies that are coming out. My company sells comic books, but we have noticed that on eBook readers – certain kinds of comics look absolutely brilliant. So we are working with a number of companies right now to get licensing agreements together to start carrying eBook comics into the market.
There are a number of problems when trying to open up a new avenue for business; one many of the folks we want to work with are not ready to take this step. It would mean opening up their entire back catalog to us to digitize and prepare for eBooks. That licensing agreement is going to be interesting because of the current climate that exists towards intellectual property – it is difficult to get anyone to give up anything even if there is a potential benefit.
The benefits are going to be potential because this is a new niche and while there are a lot of avenues for this process – it is not like multiple comic book stores that can be allowed to carry Kindle ready comics – realistically this is going to exist for one company at first. There might be opportunity later on depending on the number of systems – but this is going to mean an exclusive licensing agreement on the part of the company that owns the Intellectual Property. It will be difficult to get this – but depending on what happens in the market and what new markets open up – exclusive agreements can be based on delivery system to allow others into the market.
EBook readers have become hugely popular as we have seen from CES – it makes sense for people to start digitizing their books and getting them into the market place now. Getting in now means grabbing this market and owning it. While this might leave a lot of smaller companies out, the company that grabs this market and takes it to its logical conclusion wins for everyone, the Intellectual Property Owner, the distribution system, the eBook reader, and the consumer. Imagine hundreds of thousands of back catalog comics and other books open to the market, this will do a lot to kick off eBooks and eBook readers.
If anyone knows of an artist that wants to work on this kind of agreement then we would want to work with them. Given the current market for independent comics and their authors – especially with the pressure on space in regular old comic book stores – this provides an opportunity for comic book artists to get an audience in a low cost and highly effective way. Now comes the interesting proposition of touching bases with the smaller independent presses and seeing if we can get a licensing agreement with them.
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(Cross-posted @ TechWag)