A letter from DC Comics Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee to the company's freelancers has outlined a new payment policy that offers royalties to the creators of digital-first comics and colorists (previously, payments just a flat rate), and changes the structure of how all creators are paid. The new plan, which will supplant a policy that has been in place for more than 30 years, goes into effect July 1 and is a direct response to a recent survey DC took of its talent pool.
Specifically, payments (DC doesn't use the term "royalties" because that implies ownership) will soon be based on net revenue -- how much money a book makes after costs -- rather than on the cover price. That gives DC "more flexibility to sell our material in new distribution channels that have different pricing models," according to the letter obtained by ComicsAlliance. That seems to point to digital comics and possible experimentation with pricing there.
So is this a positive or a negative for creators? That's a little harder to suss out.