[T]he solution to having both digital and print living in harmony is to tie them together as one. Buy a book or comic, get a code for the digital copy free of charge! It’s a solution that will ensure that the bigger companies continue to publish printed material for those who don’t like their books running out of batteries and allows people who do like e-books to take their physical collection anywhere their reader can go. And for the smaller companies who can only afford to go digital, they won’t have to worry about it one bit. Sales of print copies goes back up, independent publishers can still sell to their audience without breaking the bank, and consumers get the best of both worlds. It’s a win all around, as far as I’m concerned.
A seemingly cogent solution. And one at I think isn’t limited to comics. But the biggest challenge I see is the future. No one likes to talk about it, but people may look back at our reluctance to give up print like we look at spermaceti lamps today.
I do lament for the small bookstore. I, too, enjoy perusing the shelves to find that hidden gem. I hope that a viable and sustainable business model for them can be found. But I’m convinced it needs to be for a better reason than nostalgia.
In the meantime, it’s ideas like the one above that we need to see. Eventually one or more right answers will be found!