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Thursday, November 01, 2018

CBZ vs Kindle Unlimited

Question for Arkhaven fans: We are giving serious thought to taking the comics out of Kindle Unlimited in order to offer higher-resolution digital editions in CBZ format. The files would be about 20 megs apiece and would cost the same $2.99 as the Kindle editions. Despite the files going to the backers free, we still sell literally hundreds of copies of each Kindle edition, not including the KU downloads.

But due to the way Amazon pays virtually nothing for a KU edition, one CBZ sale would be the equivalent to 22 KU sales. Also, since it appears that Amazon has begun playing algorithm games with our books in order to reduce the visibility of our Kindle editions, there is no material benefit to our being on KU anymore.

The resolution would be 3150 x 2100 vs 1280 x 800. Please share your opinions.

Labels:

106 Comments:

Blogger The Observer November 01, 2018 11:04 AM  

If I remember correctly, the purpose of them being on KU was the benefit from advertising.

If this is no longer the case due to the algorithm games, then I'm all for taking them off KU and selling them through other outlets and in different formats.

Blogger Teleros November 01, 2018 11:05 AM  

*Reads second paragraph*

Go for it.

Also, the Kindle Paperwhite has ~2GB storage and most phones etc have quite a lot more, so 20MB files shouldn't be an issue for 99% of people if they've got even vaguely modern devices and internet connections.

Blogger Panzerdude November 01, 2018 11:08 AM  

Make the proper business decision. As a backer, long term viability is the result we are looking for. Otherwise, we won't take down the Thought Police.

Blogger Wraithburn November 01, 2018 11:08 AM  

I agree with the Observer. You know the utility value of KU advertising, and if it doesn't provide enough of a return anymore then drop it.

Blogger R Webfoot November 01, 2018 11:08 AM  

Is there a reason you cannot do both? Sell the low res version through KU, and sell the higher res version with Rebel's actual costume through Castalia?

Blogger P Glenrothes November 01, 2018 11:09 AM  

Is the release of paperback editions intentionally delayed to boost digital sales?

Blogger Ten41 November 01, 2018 11:10 AM  

I don't use KU, so CBZ is just fine for me.

Blogger Tom November 01, 2018 11:11 AM  

Prefer CBZ format, displays better on both PC and Tablet than KU.

Blogger SirMaorio November 01, 2018 11:18 AM  

first reaction, go for it. but I'm in agreement with @3 Panzerdude do what is best for the long term because that is part of the reason I backed in the first place

Blogger Daniel Paul Grech Pereira November 01, 2018 11:19 AM  

CBZ

Blogger Brick Hardslab November 01, 2018 11:21 AM  

I'm a fan of ku

Blogger lowercaseb November 01, 2018 11:22 AM  

Same as above...CBZ is fine for me. No point using KU if you are making microscopic profits on it.

Blogger J L November 01, 2018 11:22 AM  

CBZ

Blogger veryfunnyminion November 01, 2018 11:23 AM  

As a backer who also has KU, I use both in the hopes of getting you a little bit extra from KU.

As a minion, however, my opinion on the matter is exactly what the SDL tells me it is.

Blogger Starboard November 01, 2018 11:29 AM  

Sounds like high rez CBZ is the way to go.

Doesn't Amazon restrict where you can sell if you use Kindle Unlimited? If that's the case, and they are playing algorithm games to lower your visibility, and KU pays a pittance compared to other plarforms, then it's time to drop KU.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 01, 2018 11:30 AM  

I don't even see how this is a difficult decision. Do it now.

Blogger Cetera November 01, 2018 11:32 AM  

I vastly prefer the CBZ format, and would love the option to purchase all the titles in that format. I would always choose the CBZ format over Kindle if that is an option. The readers are far superior in every way, and they look much much better.

However, is there a downside to protecting your art if you are distributing in the CBZ format? You can use any ZIP file app to unzip the CBZs, and then have access to high resolution picture files to be modified and/or distributed. I kinda figured that is why Jon Del Arroz did his Flying Sparks e-comic in PDF format. I didn't actually care for that, but I understand the decision.

As for me, if all the works are available in CBZ, I'm going to purchase a lot more than I otherwise would have. I hope this feedback is helpful.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart November 01, 2018 11:44 AM  

I read much KU, most of which from your Castalia House. I use it because it's convenient.

I find it nice, but frankly unnecessary, for you to ask us. I'd like to encourage you to do what's commercially best for you / Castalia.

Backed your comics anyway.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart November 01, 2018 11:48 AM  

Also, the Kindle Paperwhite has ~2GB storage and most phones etc have quite a lot more, so 20MB files shouldn't be an issue for 99% of people if they've got even vaguely modern devices and internet connections.

It's less the size, it's more the convenience of the Kindle store, apps, and devices.

Vox - will you still have Arkhaven on Kindle, in their native MOBI format, just not on KU?

Blogger Brian S November 01, 2018 11:48 AM  

CBZ is easy to use with the reader you recommended, and it looks great.

Blogger MendoScot November 01, 2018 11:52 AM  

Not bothered. Do what the team thinks s best.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart November 01, 2018 11:52 AM  

@17 Cetera,

The readers are far superior in every way, and they look much much better.

What's your favourite CBZ reader? Platform availability (Win, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS)? Cross reading (which is a nice Kindle feature albeit I'm aware that any cloud offering always gives away your control to "them").

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit November 01, 2018 11:52 AM  

I've never been on KU nor wanted to (I work in a library). If the switch to CBZ still leaves us with the option of buying them with our Amazon accounts, that'd be prime.

If not, how much is the value of the verified purchase Amazon/Goodreads reviews toward building Arkhaven worth?

Losing the Amazon purchase option would be a loss of convenience for readers like me, but I'd still buy the digital editions through the Castalia House site.

Can anyone speak to the issues regarding storage space on a tablet (mine is a Kindle) in going this route?

Blogger Michael Kingswood November 01, 2018 11:52 AM  

I'm a big believer in not being exclusive anywhere. Pull 'em out and go wide.

@17 - "You can use any ZIP file app to unzip the CBZs, and then have access to high resolution picture files to be modified and/or distributed."

Worrying about piracy is a waste of time and resources. Can't stop it no matter what, and the people who engage in it were never going to be customers anyway. It CAN result in unplanned and free advertising for the product, though.

Blogger Jack Ward November 01, 2018 11:53 AM  

Sounds like a plan to me. Amazon will lose enough of their business that they lose their business?

Blogger InformationMerchant November 01, 2018 11:53 AM  

Kindle is annoying on anything but a mobile device for comics.

As long as other people that buy the comics can still find them in order to buy them, I don't see why not.

My only request is that you let us know when you've made up your mind. I only have KU because you decided to publish a bunch of comics and I didn't want to buy all of the Dark Legion ones. Last month's KU decision and this one would get me to stop giving Amazon money.

Blogger dtungsten November 01, 2018 11:54 AM  

Backer here. I don't have Kindle Unlimited, but I had been buying the Kindle versions anyway. They seem to play nicer with the kindle app.

I'd probably not buy the digital versions from Castalia of the ones I'm already getting as a backer, but I'd otherwise be happy to. I'd continue to buy the print versions from Castalia anyway.

It's not worth the pittance you get from Amazon just to put it in a format that this one consumer happens to like slightly better. I'd find a workaround and you'd probably have more sales and happier customers overall.

I'd prefer if they were available on Kindle, but NOT Kindle Unlimited. If you have to remove them from both, that's still the better choice, in my opinion.

I expect whatever you decide will be fine by me. I hope this helps.

Blogger VD November 01, 2018 11:55 AM  

Vox - will you still have Arkhaven on Kindle, in their native MOBI format, just not on KU?

Yes, we'll still use Amazon, we simply won't have the digital editions exclusive to Amazon. Since Comixology STILL hasn't gotten back to us about our submission from 4-5 months ago, we have to assume they don't want to sell Arkhaven comics.

Blogger Pierre Truc November 01, 2018 11:57 AM  

I would very much like the higher resolution, as I read comics on my huge HD TV. The art deserves it.

Don't worry about piracy. It is quite easy to download the images from the in-browser web kindle reader anyway, so piracy will occur anyway.

Blogger Eric Blanton November 01, 2018 11:58 AM  

I don't have KU and I believe that you should publish as far and as wide as you can. I buy the ALT-Hero titles on kindle.

Blogger Didact November 01, 2018 12:05 PM  

The rationale for moving to CBZ makes sense to me. I'm all for it, especially if Amazon is using their algorithms to dick with Arkhaven and Castalia sales.

While we're on the subject of Arkhaven - any update on Alt*Hero:Q at all?

Blogger Ray - SoCal November 01, 2018 12:05 PM  

Key issue is the reach, not the resolution. It sounds like you will soon be at a tipping point that will decide for you. Until then, stay on KU. No reason to leave KU prematurely.

Blogger VD November 01, 2018 12:07 PM  

While we're on the subject of Arkhaven - any update on Alt*Hero:Q at all?

Next week. It's all good.

Blogger Ingot9455 November 01, 2018 12:07 PM  

I want full glorious resolution of every beautiful headshot.

Blogger Cetera November 01, 2018 12:10 PM  

Franz Lyonheart wrote:@17 Cetera,

The readers are far superior in every way, and they look much much better.

What's your favourite CBZ reader? Platform availability (Win, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS)? Cross reading (which is a nice Kindle feature albeit I'm aware that any cloud offering always gives away your control to "them").


I use Comics++ (http://www.comicsplusplus.com/) on Windows. On my android phone I use ComicRack. ComicRack is also available in Windows, but it is just too much. Comics++ is pretty customizable as to page display, zoom, two pages side-by-side, etc, and is still very light-weight and easy to use. ComicRack on the PC has so many options and configuration necessary, and the interface is unintuitive, that it takes some getting used to.

However, on the phone, ComicRack is fantastic, simple interface, great swiping, etc. ComicRack can be used to sync between devices, but I don't use that functionality. I don't use any kind of cloud functionality or service to sync files or progress or anything. I have emailed ComiXology a few times to try to get them to carry Arkhaven, but have never received a response or even an acknowledgement. If they ever got that set up, I might use them, but at this point I've got my own setup that I'm used to. I'm going to be super excited if we start getting CBZs of all Arkhaven stuff.

Blogger Cheeta November 01, 2018 12:12 PM  

Drop KU.
I am in agreement with doing the right business decisions.

I too prefer CBZ. I find it a chore to use kindle format for comics. The PC app for kindle is not so friendly for comic reading. I am limited to reading at a desk with a 27 inch hi resolution monitor ... so I am way behind in reading anything.

Blogger S. Misanthrope November 01, 2018 12:14 PM  

Whatever dooms KU I support.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart November 01, 2018 12:14 PM  

@35 Cetera, many thanks!

Blogger The Deuce November 01, 2018 12:15 PM  

I don't have KU, so getting rid of it is immaterial to me, and as a digital backer, I always read the CBZ version when I receive them in email.

Blogger Cetera November 01, 2018 12:16 PM  

Michael Kingswood wrote:
Worrying about piracy is a waste of time and resources. Can't stop it no matter what, and the people who engage in it were never going to be customers anyway. It CAN result in unplanned and free advertising for the product, though.


That's always been my feeling too, but I wanted to mention it just in case it was overlooked. It isn't my business or my work that I'm encouraging to be open to us with high-resolution digital materials.

Piracy only matters if it affects sales, and usually those that pirate and don't buy weren't ever going to purchase. If they pirate a few and then become customers because they like the product that is a huge win. I don't know if anyone can ever prove that really happens outside of extremely anecdotal evidence, though.

Blogger Longtime Lurker November 01, 2018 12:17 PM  

Deplatform KU. I don't use it.

Blogger IAM Spartacus November 01, 2018 12:22 PM  

But are you selling 220 KU for every one of the CBZ? And if you make the change would at least 10% of those KU sales move to CBZ?

As a backer I get the CBZ. However fact I pull the KU ones only because of convenience as CBZ require a couple extra steps. If there was a CBZ app that I could get the books deliverer (or purchased) through that would make it much easier to get I would go that route

However KU is not a money maker it is an advertisement in the form of free book. You could use and put an ad in the front of it "Go here to get hi-rez version of this book!" that could help for driving traffic to the CBZ version but I don't know how Amazon deals with that. I remember all the old Comic books with the add page for camping gear and all sorts of fun gadgets.

Blogger Loyd Jenkins November 01, 2018 12:23 PM  

I believe in going wide, letting no one being in the spot of being able to stop you. So go and leave KU behind.

Blogger Lami November 01, 2018 12:27 PM  

I buy the Alt-Hero on Kindle, but I'm not a KU subscriber. It won't make a difference to me if you pull it from KU, and sounds like the better decision in the current conditions.

Blogger Unknown November 01, 2018 12:28 PM  

I tend to take the same position that Larry Corriea does:

You and your team are writing comics to get paid

So. whatever decision best implements that overall goal is what I endorse.

Go with CBZ. Like others here, I don't use KU; I know authors get more money from individual sales, so that is how I buy books.

--UnknownSailor--

Blogger Amy Bowersox November 01, 2018 12:28 PM  

As long as you still have the Kindle editions on sale, I'm good; I don't use KU.

Blogger The Deuce November 01, 2018 12:30 PM  

Vox:

Maybe slightly off-topic, but maybe you could consider running something along the lines of KU yourself for the digital versions of comics that Castalia House publishes, once you've got your distribution network fully in place. That is, instead of buying each comic they want individually, Castalia customers could sign up for some kind of monthly fee, which would get them access to all Arkhaven and Dark Horse comics published that month or something.

I'm not on KU since I don't buy books on Amazon at a fast enough rate to justify the price, but the one thing that made me consider it was looking at how quickly the costs of buying individual Castalia-published comics adds up once I got into them.

Blogger Cary November 01, 2018 12:35 PM  

Backer but not a comics guy, so I don’t use CBZ other than to read Alt-Hero. I don’t use KU but like getting a Mobi version in addition to CBZ. I have used both to read depending on device. Since you say that there will still be a Kindle version, I say drop KU if it makes business sense.

Blogger VD November 01, 2018 12:37 PM  

maybe you could consider running something along the lines of KU yourself for the digital versions of comics that Castalia House publishes, once you've got your distribution network fully in place.

I like the idea, but I'm reluctant because we don't have a publishing schedule. I would not want people to feel they were being taken advantage of on months that we only released one or two issues.

Blogger Bobiojimbo November 01, 2018 12:43 PM  

CBZ.

Blogger B-Rex November 01, 2018 12:52 PM  

Sounds good to me. I don't use KU anyway.

Blogger justaguy November 01, 2018 12:58 PM  

Drop KU. I don't use it. I buy copies of what I read via kindle.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart November 01, 2018 1:00 PM  

Since Comixology STILL hasn't gotten back to us about our submission from 4-5 months ago, we have to assume they don't want to sell Arkhaven comics.


Just received:

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: ComiXology Support
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2018 at 16:46
Subject: A Message from Your Friends at comiXology Support


Hi there, Franz!

Thanks for writing. No word on that quite yet, but I'll pass along your interest!

We'd appreciate your feedback. Please use the link below to tell us about your experience today.


Best regards,
Andrew
.......................................................................................................................................

How did we do?-> https://comixology.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6yDG4AqlET16mzj

........................................................................................................................................



---- Original Message: ----

Message from user 'Franz' :

Hi guys,

Are you going to carry Arkhaven comics? I'd like to join your service to read them. Up and coming indie comics publisher.
http://www.castaliahouse.com/introducing-arkhaven-comics/

Thanks,
Franz


--USER DATA--
Useragent: Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 11_4 like Mac OS X)
Hostname: www.comixology.com
Country: GB
Device: com.comixology.webstore
Referrer: https://www.comixology.com/about
Username:

Blogger Vespasian November 01, 2018 1:03 PM  

CBZ.

Blogger Resident Moron™ November 01, 2018 1:12 PM  

CBZ works for me.

Anything that takes money away from SJWs and their amenable authorities, and gives it to allies, I'd do even if it cost me money.

At the same cost?

Priceless.

Blogger MrNiceguy November 01, 2018 1:15 PM  

I'll add my support for CBZ. I'll also mention that Moon Reader for Android works well as a general e-reader and includes CBZ support.

Blogger Trid November 01, 2018 1:18 PM  

I didn't know KU pays so low. CBZ is a good archive format imo so despite being a backer and KU user, CBZ is the way to go.

Blogger Feather Blade November 01, 2018 1:32 PM  

Thirding (or whatever) the "whatever is best for the business".

Also not a KU user, so I don't have any attachment to the service.

Blogger Tino November 01, 2018 1:37 PM  

CBZ.

Thanks.

Blogger Bodo Staron November 01, 2018 1:54 PM  

Do what is overall best for the series.

Blogger Cataline Sergius November 01, 2018 1:58 PM  

@Vox

I honestly don't wish to give offense but my opinion is what it is and you did ask for it.

Kindle Unlimited is a very useful tool for organic discovery but only within the context of what the A9 will do for you, the publisher.

The problem for Arkhaven comes down to what I call Also Bought Incest.

It is awesome that Castalia fans come out for new releases.

And it's more than awesome that they actually BUY.

However, here is the downside as I see it. So far as A9 is concerned, Castalia fans are all reading the SAME books.

Click on the any Castalia title and look down at the Also Boughts and they are almost all Castalia titles with maybe a couple of Galaxy's Edge books thrown in.

This creates a...well I'm trying to avoid the word ghetto but what else can you call a walled neighborhood you aren't allowed to leave?

In summary: given that A9 will not bring anyone to Arkhaven's party that wasn't going to show up anyway and that one Arkhaven sale is probably worth more than what KU will pay for someone who reads your entire catalog. I think the choice is obvious...

Leave Kindle Unlimited.

Blogger Servant November 01, 2018 2:05 PM  

Was thinking of canceling service anyways after you talked about removing your books

Blogger VD November 01, 2018 2:09 PM  

The problem for Arkhaven comes down to what I call Also Bought Incest.

No. That's not the problem. I am probably more familiar with the vagaries of the A9 than most, and that's NOT what we are talking about here. We're talking about something that is more akin to shadowbanning of the sort that the Darkstream videos presently are experiencing on YouTube.

Blogger Cataline Sergius November 01, 2018 2:12 PM  

VD wrote:The problem for Arkhaven comes down to what I call Also Bought Incest.

No. That's not the problem. I am probably more familiar with the vagaries of the A9 than most, and that's NOT what we are talking about here. We're talking about something that is more akin to shadowbanning of the sort that the Darkstream videos presently are experiencing on YouTube.


Then the answer is the same.

Leave KU.

Blogger tuberman November 01, 2018 2:12 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Cataline Sergius November 01, 2018 2:25 PM  

@Vox

One question. Does KU pay graphic novels pay more per page read than it does for books?

Blogger Jeff Weimer November 01, 2018 2:53 PM  

CBZ is cross-platform, so I think it's a great idea.

Blogger weka November 01, 2018 2:54 PM  

Read cbz and Kindle. Cbz is superior, and you get paid better, and it hurts Bezos.

No brainer. CBZ

Blogger SouthRon November 01, 2018 2:55 PM  

CBZ. I've been craving higher resolution on my 12.9" iPad.

About Castalia or Arkhaven Unlimited, credit any underage to the next month's subscription price.

OT: For the past couple weeks the comment form does not show up on a number of iOS browsers I have tried. On Windows, Edge and a possibly Brave have been hit and miss when I Publish a comment, the page refreshes with no comment posted.

Blogger VD November 01, 2018 2:56 PM  

Does KU pay graphic novels pay more per page read than it does for books?

No.

Blogger Greg with 1 G November 01, 2018 3:00 PM  

Cut the cord on KU long ago...

CBZ for me!!

Blogger Zeke November 01, 2018 3:16 PM  

CBZ

@17 Same here

I may be doing something wrong. However, I strongly dislike reading comics on my Kindle hardware and on the Mac Kindle app to the point that I've abandoned it. I can't zoom the way I want and consequently I often can't easily read what's in the text bubbles.

I typically read comics with CBZ readers. There are enough CBZ readers to choose from that I'm able to find one that suits my preferences. I like something very minimal, lightweight, easily zooms, easily turns pages. Oftentimes I like to stay zoomed in the whole time and space bar through the panes and pages. That's something I can do with CBZ readers and I can't seem to do with Kindle.

On Mac OS X I use simple comic and yacreader. At the moment simple comic seems a bit sluggish and yacreader is snappy.

Specifically I like to use yacreader in single page mode, left to right, fit to page, zoomed in around 180%, so that each "page" view involves 1 space bar tap to scroll from top to bottom and then a 2nd space bar tap automatically advances to the top of the next page, still zoomed in.

Blogger Cataline Sergius November 01, 2018 3:17 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Cataline Sergius November 01, 2018 3:18 PM  

VD wrote:Does KU pay graphic novels pay more per page read than it does for books?

No.


Good god.

Leave! And never look back!

Blogger Zwiebel November 01, 2018 3:30 PM  

My opinion is: no one should ever do KU. It's bad business for everyone but Amazon in the long run.

Blogger Silly but True November 01, 2018 3:42 PM  

I’m not on KU. I don’t like KU and under current conditions, I don’t see ever doing KU.

I like CBZ format; I’ve viewing comics in that format for years.

Blogger Steampunk Koala November 01, 2018 4:01 PM  

I'm a little late to the fray today and only skimmed the comments, so if this has already been addressed ignore me.

Given the publicity and the number of links to the current issues on various sites, it might make sense to leave a few of the existing editions on Amazon for new readers to find and from now going forward do everything under the new format. That would let people find Alt-Hero through existing channels, and encourage them to move to better platforms once they are invested. I am not a big comic book buyer though, so maybe serious comic fans are more willing to drop three bucks on something sight-unseen than I would be.

Blogger Drael64 November 01, 2018 4:18 PM  

Seems like a no brainer. I definately enjoy the flexibility of actual files. Higher resolution is obviously good too. KU is apparently on a bit of a downturn as well.

Blogger James Dixon November 01, 2018 4:36 PM  

The only reason I have KU is to have easy access to the Castalia House books and the Arkhaven/Dark Legion comics. With you pulling the Castalia House books Iwas already considering not renewing.

Paying full price will reduce the number I can afford to read, and I'll miss the easy access from anywhere, but if it doesn't give you any advantage there's no point in staying with it. You have to make money to remake an industry, and that's the long term goal.

Blogger SciVo November 01, 2018 4:40 PM  

Cetera wrote:I use Comics++ (http://www.comicsplusplus.com/) on Windows. On my android phone I use ComicRack. ComicRack is also available in Windows, but it is just too much.

Thanks! I agree about ComicRack for PC, and gave up on CBZ since I couldn't find a reader I liked, whereas PDFs -- although not super great -- have many options.

Given good CBZ readers and KU algobanning, I say ditch the two-timing ho and hook up with the higher-res hottie.

Blogger Scott November 01, 2018 5:05 PM  

Do what is best for the long term business. Hopefully Amazon can carry the new format, and the new issues have art worthy of the higher resolution. No complaints about the writing.

Blogger Man of the Atom November 01, 2018 5:19 PM  

I will buy Castalia/Arkhaven regardless of the format, but would prefer to have the CBZ. Please do what is best for your long-term goals and the company's profitability.

Blogger eharmonica November 01, 2018 5:38 PM  

I'm only reading the comics because they are on KU. The only ones I've bought are the Jeeves/Wooster comics.

Blogger Baelzar November 01, 2018 5:38 PM  

Yes for CBZ.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart November 01, 2018 5:53 PM  

OT: For the past couple weeks the comment form does not show up on a number of iOS browsers I have tried. On Windows, Edge and a possibly Brave have been hit and miss when I Publish a comment, the page refreshes with no comment posted.

That's because all iOS browsers are effectively just wrappers around Apple Safari. Because Apple doesn't allow any genuine browser competition into the Apple iTunes App Store.

You get your comment box back by appending ?m=1 at the end of the URL (but before any # hash character).

Blogger By My Greybeard! November 01, 2018 6:24 PM  

@VD

I gather KU is a bundle of electronic reading material sold as a monthly subscription for a single low(?) price. A subscriber gets a certain amount of reading of whatever different genres suits the readers fancy, to mix or match, up to a certain limit.

Would it be possible to build a KU-style system with older published non-comix titles AND the comix titles? Even if it required partnering with other independent publishing houses in order to gain depth, breadth, and (most importantly) volume of field, it seems to me that it's an underserved market.

I guess there's two suggestions in what I said, but what I'm uncertain of is if your reluctant pov wouldn't be answered with a multiformat viewer and biasing said viewer to natively access Castalia House's own products.

I don't read comix, so I don't know much about this, so I fully expect to be slapped down.

But that ok. I've already learned a lot from your negative feedback of everyone you've criticized.
BTW, I know this has come out really beta, or worse. My meds for my idiopathic peripheral neuropathy are losing effectiveness and I'm just trying to hang on until my regular appointment next week.

Sorry, this is already too long winded, I hope I've been understandable.

– BmG

Blogger SouthRon November 01, 2018 6:57 PM  

Thanks Franz. I figured they were all Safari Inside. I’ve tried the m=1 trick but may have been tired and slapped it after #commentwhatever label.

Blogger widlast washere November 01, 2018 7:03 PM  

Bigger is better, nuff said.

Blogger James Dixon November 01, 2018 7:10 PM  

> A subscriber gets a certain amount of reading of whatever different genres suits the readers fancy, to mix or match, up to a certain limit.

Largely correct. There is a fairly large library of Kindle Unlimited titles, all of which are free to read and the only limit is your reading speed and the fact that you can only "borrow" 10 books at a time. The cost is currently in the range of $10/month, though they have periodic specials that can beat that. Why they haven't merged it into prime is something I'll never understand.

Blogger Alt London November 01, 2018 7:13 PM  

I do subscribe to Kindle Unlimited but I also view it as, with a few honourable exceptions, a repository for trash literature. It tends to influence any preconceptions I may have about a work that is in KU.

As a supporter of the AltHero projects, I've never consumed AH on KU, other than when Vox has asked us to for the numbers. Kindle readers are monochrome, so there's no point, and even with colour on the tablet apps, they don't do the work justice.

The CBZ format on my laptop or tablet is by far the most satisfying way I've found to consume the digital downloads.

Blogger InformationMerchant November 01, 2018 8:32 PM  

"I like the idea, but I'm reluctant because we don't have a publishing schedule. I would not want people to feel they were being taken advantage of on months that we only released one or two issues."

I appreciate that you already have the book club but if scheduling is a problem, can't you do a loyalty card style system?

If you did a loyalty card system for books as well as comics, you'd be able to get some of the advantages of KU too. Plus you can do fiendish things like offering volume 1 of something for a low amount of loyalty points which can lead to people buying the 2nd comic/book in the series. You didn't mention that the 3 or so books it made sense to keep KU were, but they sound good candidates to be at a discounted loyalty point rate.

It gets more people buying direct rather than from Amazon. I don't think you'd have a problem designing a system that effectively gives away a digital version of something away every time someone buys $X worth of Y or whatever.

The obvious advantage this has over the book club is someone that buys every book from you doesn't gain much from the book club, as opposed to someone that only buys from you every now and again.

Blogger VD November 01, 2018 9:47 PM  

Would it be possible to build a KU-style system with older published non-comix titles AND the comix titles?

No.

I appreciate that you already have the book club but if scheduling is a problem, can't you do a loyalty card style system?

What is that? Pay $120 for a year, get X number of credits, then people can download the books that are priced in credits? $120 is the annual price of KU.

Blogger Taqiyyotomist November 01, 2018 10:48 PM  

CBZ.

This is new terminology to me. Completely. So happy about this development. Build your own platforms, indeed.

https://infogalactic.com/info/Comic_book_archive

I had to look it up. Now I want to get a reader, just don't know which one.

The downside to this infestation that requires us to build our own platforms is that it has no limit. What, build our own banks and credit card companies?

I predict that next, after Google's latest revelations, and Facebook's and Twitter's regarding political bias and deplatforming, we WILL see actual ISPs banning sites. Comcast will be the first. The rest will follow. Aw crap, now we have to build our own ISP. And our own backbone, and related infrastructure and labor, right?

I'm continually amazed that teh Google hasn't deleted this very site, though. I don't know that it gives me hope, but it lessens the despair.

Blogger InformationMerchant November 01, 2018 11:35 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger InformationMerchant November 01, 2018 11:39 PM  

"What is that? Pay $120 for a year, get X number of credits, then people can download the books that are priced in credits? $120 is the annual price of KU."

Sure, you can do it that way, I'd sign up for that.

I was suggesting a slightly more complicated way, which might be needlessly complicated.

Work out what you'd like to put out per month, then if people buy through your direct store give their ID points. The points can be redeemed for a digital version of a comic.

Buy Alt Hero #3, Avalon #2, Quantum Mortis #3. --> Get points redeemable for a digital Gun Ghoul #1.

I think you could use that system on books as well as comics, but it works for comics alone. My thinking was the book club email usually offers a free Y if you buy X before Z. You get way more freedom if you use a points system.

Pre Order Jordanetics get double the usual amount of points.

Obscure books that have been out for a while can be redeemed for fewer points than their price would usually dictate. You can temporarily offer book 1 of a series for a low amount of loyalty points when book 2 is about to come out.

If you want to keep it close to the KU model, you can have points decay over time. I'd prefer that you didn't make points decay, but that's the counter to an occasional buyer.

----------

There is definitely a way to design a system for this. There are a bunch of people here that have KU just to get Castalia House/Arkhaven/Dark Legion products.

It's also obvious that people here will buy different versions of products they already have access to via KU. The Indiegogo campaign for Alt Hero Q happened when you said the entire thing would be on KU, people like physical copies of some books, and gifts require purchases.

I will sign up for any system you design that effectively gives me Castalia House unlimited.

If it's a de facto version and I have to buy 75% of everything Castalia House prints to get the other 25% free, that works too.

At the moment I'm paying for KU and Audible and using both of them exclusively on Castalia House products. I'd rather pay you directly than pay Amazon.

Blogger Revelation Means Hope November 02, 2018 3:05 AM  

Backer here. I vote higher resolution CBZ

Blogger CoolHand November 02, 2018 3:48 AM  

I'm a backer, and I do tend to use KU to show people the comics, but I have no allegiance to Amazon, so if that all goes away it's not that big of a deal, at least not to me.

Do whatever you think is best, Vox.

Your choices for this project have gone well so far, I see no reason to doubt you now.

Blogger James Dixon November 02, 2018 4:37 AM  

> I will sign up for any system you design that effectively gives me Castalia House unlimited.

This. $120/year for full access to the digital versions is probably my limit and $99 would be better, but I'd almost certainly sign up if this were offered. I have no idea if it would be feasible or not, of course.

Blogger VD November 02, 2018 7:21 AM  

The downside to this infestation that requires us to build our own platforms is that it has no limit. What, build our own banks and credit card companies?

Why not?

Blogger James Dixon November 02, 2018 8:23 AM  

> What, build our own banks and credit card companies?

If things continue on their current path we'll have to eventually.

Blogger CoolHand November 02, 2018 9:41 AM  

James Dixon wrote:> What, build our own banks and credit card companies?

If things continue on their current path we'll have to eventually.


Some of us are already working on it.

So many hoops to jump through, and none of it happens quickly or cheaply, so it's not a project that can be spun up in couple of months time.

But we'll get there.

Blogger Monster November 02, 2018 11:36 AM  

I vote CBZ.

Blogger James Dixon November 02, 2018 12:38 PM  

> But we'll get there.

Let us know when and how we can help. I think the willingness to do so has already been demonstrated.

Blogger Stan_qaz November 02, 2018 2:19 PM  

KU pricing is really dropped if you have Prime and buy a 24 month subscription on Prime Day. There are (according to the Amazon blurb) a limited number of discounted subscriptions available. My last purchase was $143.00 for 24 months.

I read a lot and find lots of good quality Science Fiction available under KU. I have over 500 books in my "to read" Amazon list and my reading is constantly falling behind the new releases I add there. For me it is a very good value and it has pretty much ended my re-reading of books already read when I reach the end of my book purchase budget for the month and want to read something.

Even given my self interest I'm not a fan of the KU program due to the restrictions Amazon forces on authors to be part of it, the games they play with the program and what it is doing to authors, both in and out of the program.

By all means dump KU for the comics and anything else it makes sense to have out of the system.

Blogger James Dixon November 02, 2018 3:37 PM  

> KU pricing is really dropped if you have Prime and buy a 24 month subscription on Prime Day.

My wife just got an offer of three months for $0.99. She took it, of course. But we're not Prime. It's not cost effective where we live and with our Net connection. If the just offered the free shipping for half the price or added Kindle Unlimited into Prime, it would be.

Blogger kevmalone November 02, 2018 6:43 PM  

Do whatever is best commercially.
I'll still continue to back the comics and read Castalia publications

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