ComiXology recently announced the Guided View Authoring Tools Early Adopter program. The new program takes the actual tools comiXology uses when creating guided-view digital comics, and puts them directly in the creators' hands! The new tool-set will offer a level playing field for independent creators and large-scale publishers.
"Creating opportunities for all publishers and independent creators is a major focus for us," said David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology. "The Guided View Authoring Tools is the first piece of a larger program that will benefit creators and publishers who either are unknown, have limited print distribution through Diamond or have an older property that won't get the shelf space it deserves. We created these tools for ourselves and they are the actual tools we use at comiXology when creating Guided View."
The program is currently in a private alpha phase that launched with TOKYOPOP, Devils Due and Arcana Comics. After the alpha phase completes, a limited Beta release will go down, leading up to the full launch. The final launch will give all comic creators and publishers access to the tool-set, and will allow them to seamlessly publish their work "in an iTunes-like model."
This is great news for independent creators. As long as they want to put in the hard work, they will have the opportunity to reach a wide audience, previously unavailable without large demand for their comics.
ComiXology's Guided View is the leading digital comic format, and can be found on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, as well as home PCs. So what do you think? How much will this help independent publishers? Will this change the face of digital comic distribution as we know it?