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IDW Publishing Takes Graphic Novels To Apple’s iBooks Store

IDW Publishing made its first major foray into Apple’s iBooks store yesterday, releasing a combination of original graphic novels and collected editions of serialized comic book stories for a total of 19 initial offerings. The move makes IDW the first major comic book publisher to effectively take the iBooks plunge in a meaningful way, although several smaller publishers (and DC Comics, which released a Supernatural tie-in comic) have been releasing material on iBooks since its launch last year.IDW’s official list of iBooks offerings:

• Code Word: Geronimo
• Bloom County: The Complete Digital Library 1980-1981
• Locke & Key Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
• Locke & Key Vol. 2: Head Games
• Locke & Key Vol. 3: Crown of Shadows
• Locke & Key Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom
• Parker: The Hunter
• Parker: The Outfit
• Star Trek: Movie Adaptation
• Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon Movie Adaptation
• The Last Unicorn
• Little Adventures in Oz Vol. 1
• Dead Space
• Dragon Age
• G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds
• Witch & Wizard: Battle for Shadowland
• The Murder of King Tut
• True Blood Vol.1: All Together Now
• The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures

IDW has priced each of its iBooks offerings for less than their print counterparts. Several titles, like the $4.99 first volume of Locke & Key, seem discounted as a way of encouraging downloads from new readers.

Looking through the list, IDW seems to have concentrated on its most viable brands — graphic novels with literary ties and licensed comics — a strategy that probably plays well with iTunes and iBooks’ straightforward search functionality.

A number of IDW’s iBook items are also for sale on IDW’s iVerse iOS app (and iVerse’s Comics+ iOS app and standalone series apps). Pricing is the same across all digital storefronts on iOS devices, however, meaning the only noticable difference between downloads comes from each app’s reading interface.

Apple has yet to add a proper “comics” or “graphic novel” category to its iBooks storefront, but it will be interesting to see if one eventually manifests to support what’s likely to be a growing number of comics entering that retail space.

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