As digital comics distribution begins to take hold the system can be going through what can most aptly be described as growing pains.  Pricing, content, promotion, these are all being felt out right now and no one system can be said to have everything right.  Over at kotaku.com Stephen Totilo talks about his first experiences with comixology on his iPad and what he liked and didn’t like.

If we’re counting value compared to what I get from a printed copy of a comic, the iPad comics price fails. Most of the printed comics I buy in the shop I frequent cost $3-4, but the increased cost seems to be justified by the more difficult manufacturing process of printing a comic than in uploading one to the Comixology server. More importantly, I know today a print comic will last long enough for me to read it years from now; I have no idea if my Comixology comics will. I can also pass a printed comic I buy at the shop to a friend.

What’s stranger is that, below $2, the most common price I see for comics — the only thing that seems like a deal when searching for comics on the iPad — is free. The publishers working with the Comixology people and other comics-selling apps smartly realize that a free first issue of a series is an enticing first bite that will encourage me to decide to pay for the whole meal. I’m fine with that, but I’m surprised that the clever sales tactics end there. Why are second and third issues of a mini-series even sold separately? Who, when faced with the opportunity to buy the rest of a six-issue mini-series listed on the Comics iPad store, would skip issue #4? Wouldn’t the standard reader of these digital comics, once intrigued by a free or discounted first issue, want to buy the full remainder of the work?

The whole article is an interesting read.  He does make a point that the pricing structure can be off sometimes.  This is in part due to the lack of a $1.49 price point, which Apple currently does not allow developers to charge for in-app purchases.  so between the choice of $.99 and $1.99 most publishers have chosen the higher price.  Which is sad, because I do happen to agree that two dollars can seem like a lot of money for something that doesn’t have to factor in printing costs.

Do head over to kotaku to read the whole thing.

via ComicsAlliance

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