Friday, December 23, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Comic Book Digest returns! Is the industry saved?

Amid the flurry of downbeat stories on independent publishing this past week or so, a welcome ray of light is the announcement that ALIAS ENTERPRISES is relaunching their COMIC BOOK DIGEST preview book. Originally, about a year back, CBD was an oversized black and white monthly that previewed independent titles in 8 page chunks, along with some editorial, for a super-low cover price. It failed to get the penetration it deserved, but it was a great idea.

Now Alias has announced the plan to bring it back, from the Newsarama press release:
"full-color previews of upcoming Alias releases from LULLABY to TWIN BLADES, and everything in between for only 25 cents each month!

Originally a black and white preview book spotlighting various independent Comic book company projects, the all-new FULL COLOR, 32-page monthly CBD will feature at least two comic book previews in each issue, with each preview being a minimum 11-pages or more of art."
The books return sees it as a preview book for Alias titles, which is understandable since they're a publishing company now, so it's not quite the independent press tool it was before. However, they do mention that they're taking advertising for it, and also go on to indicate with proper sponsorship, they could reach a much wider distribution.

You can see the full article HERE

I think this is exactly the kind of idea that independent publishers need, a promotional publication previewing their books with a strong penetration to the direct market (the very thing they can't obtain with ads at the back of the Previews catalog). I only wish this was open to all publishers, though it remains to be seen what kind of advertising or rates they offer, or if they can actually achieveve or maintain the distribution they're talking about. The theory, paid participation from independent publishers, for broader exposure of their products with a mass distribution to the direct market, is one I floated around some message boards a little ways back, so I think it has some chance, and I also think it's exactly what independent publishers need! It will be interesting to see where this leads, not only for Alias, but for independent press and the market in general.

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