BOOM! Studios, who earlier this year offered each issue of North Wind on MySpace for free the day they were published, has added a webcomics area to their website that features several items from their backlist for free.
The titles they’re offering include Ninja Tales, Zombie Tales, Hero Squared, 2 Guns, Shmobots and Cthulhu Tales.
“This is a great way to get the word out about BOOM! titles,” said Chip Mosher in a press release. “When people come to the site for free comics, they’ll be able to take a look at the other quality books we’re putting out. The interface ties all the parts of our website – the store, current titles, free stuff – into one beautiful package. New fans who might be stopping by for cool zombie or Cthulhu content can get turned on to what BOOM!’s doing across the board and check out the print editions in local comic book shops or at Amazon.com and mass market bookstores via our distribution deal with Perseus Books. We expect that people who aren’t BOOM! fans will discover our series and titles and be excited to own print copies.”
Some retailers reacted negatively to the North Wind posting on MySpace, as noted here. This initiative doesn’t appear to feature new material, but rather stuff that has been out awhile (at least from what I can tell), so it’s probably closer to what Marvel’s doing with their digital comics initiative (minus the monthly fee) or even the comics feature here on Newsarama. It also seems like it’s a little more planned out than the MySpace promotion, which Mosher said came together pretty quickly at the BOOM! holiday party last year.
On a related note, Neil Gaiman posted the results of his recent foray into “free,” when he and HarperCollins offered American Gods on his blog. The conclusion:
Given that Harper Collins sold a lot more of all my books while the free American Gods was out there, with sales of all my titles up 40% through independent bookshops, I think I can safely say that we’ll be doing it — or rather, something similar — again. And that the 56% of people who didn’t enjoy the online reading experience may be a lot happier with how we do it next time out.