Startup Graphicly has abandoned its digital comic shop mobile apps on both the iPhone and Android platforms in order to focus more on its successful and burgeoning publishing platform. In 2010, Graphicly (then known as Graphic.ly) offered a digital comic shop app with select titles from Marvel and Archie as well as others and sold 600,000 copies in its first five months! Their plan to become the “iTunes of comics” seems to have faltered, with the exclusive deals competitor ComiXology signed with DC and Marvel. CEO Micah Baldwin stated “The more we thought about it the more we thought having a marketplace within a marketplace is not a strong long-term strategy.”
Last month, the company offered up their new publishing platform, which went beyond comics and allowed anyone to self-publish their graphics-heavy books– this includes not only comics, but cook books, art books, children’s books and so forth– and have these works made available to a large number of sources including the iBookstore, the Kindle store, the Android Market, Facebook and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. There are also various tools to help these publishers and writers to see the average length of time people read a book, number of total readers, what platform people are using, social activity and other functions.
More than 2,100 books have already been published through this platform with over 1,000 already signed up. Baldwin says, “Revenue is increasing 300 percent month-over-month. And nine out of the top 10 graphic novels on Apple last week were published through Graphicly.”
The fact that the platform is open to other types of graphics-heavy ventures opens this up to a much wider audience, seeing as how things like cook books and children’s books sell much more heavily than comics. Comics are still available through Graphicly, but they are not currently focused on them.