Rantz Hoseley is interviewed at CBR about Longbox, a digital comics platform similar to iTunes, is expected to launch later this year as a free download for Mac, PC, and Linux. Developed by Quicksilver Software, Longbox comics can be download for a suggested price point of $.99 per issue, with the potential for block and subscription pricing. The first two publishers confirmed for Longbox are Top Cow and BOOM! Studios.
In an effort to make the Longbox platform appealing to publishers, the software toolset used for creating the secure digital files integrates with publishers’ existing production process, plugging in to Adobe InDesign and Quark to add an “Export as Longbox”-type menu option. “The problem with a lot of digital comic solutions is that they require per-comic either adaptation or alteration in converting print comics to digital, in order to customize it to the platform. That immediately incurs an overhead cost that the publisher has to recoup they’re even at a break-even point,” Hoseley explained. “Depending on what that cost is, immediately that’s a negative for the publisher, especially when monthly sales are dropping, cover prices are going up and distribution costs are going up. The last thing they want is another expense on something that isn’t proven. One of our keys is having a toolset that works as a natural extension of their existing production path so that it doesn’t take additional production time or effort to simply create a secure digital version of the print comic that they’re already producing as part of their ongoing publishing line.
[via robot 6]