Seems like only yesterday that DC Comics was adding the Nook tablets to its formerly exclusive deal with the Kindle Fire platform, and releasing graphic novels via e-book stores. But the thing about DC on those color tablets was that the comics were actually sold through third-party stores like comiXology, or DC’s own app Vertigo. However, today DC announced it will be selling digital comics in single-issue (DRM-protected) format directly through the Kindle, Nook, and iBooks e-book stores.
DC will start with current-release issues, then move into backlist titles. 70 titles were available as of today. At the moment they’re restricted to color platforms and not available for e-ink reading, though DC will be examining how the titles look in black and white as it considers whether the added convenience is worth the lost color.
At the same time, DC released some interesting statistics about its digital comic sales comparing the months of January through September 2011 with the same period in 2012. Digital comic sales have risen by 197%—but print sales have also risen by 12%. This suggests that digital sales may not be a danger to the print market, at least in the comics industry.
And moving from third-party apps to the main-event e-book stores for the major devices has to be a feather in DC’s cap. It will let the company reach a wider audience of potential comic readers who don’t feel like hunting down and installing some add-on but might be happy to buy a comic e-book if it’s in the store they have already. Of course, this does add the same problems with DRM and lock-in that most commercial e-books have—but on the other hand, there’s no reason to expect their DRM to be any harder to crack than those are.