iVerse is rolling out a new program that will allow libraries to offer digital comics for their patrons to borrow. The company intends on officially unveiling the new service at this July’s San Diego Comic-Con.
The new service iVerse is rolling out will be named the Comics Plus: Library Edition. It will allow libraries to lend their patrons comic books for about two weeks apiece. One of the main benefits is that the comics can be read on virtually any platform. You will be able to read the various editions on iOS, Android, PC, and any web browser that supports HTML5.
Publishers Weekly spoke with iVerse and reported that the library market accounts for about 10% of the U.S graphic novel market and it’s growing. As for the selection, Elder said that iVerse currently has over 10,000 titles in its Comics Plus catalogue, including comics from Marvel, IDW, Archie, Top Cow, Zenescope, Boom!, and more. The company is currently negotiating with publishers regarding participating in the program, and Josh Elder said the response has been overwhelmingly positive. While the service will be available to all the library’s patrons, Elder predicts that the typical user will be between 8 and 12 years old, with a 60-40 split between boys and girls. “Just as library graphic novel usage is dominated by YA titles, manga titles aimed at a YA audience, and children’s titles, we expect that will be our core audience as well,” Elder said. “Our goal is to reach everyone who is reading graphic novels in libraries.”
So how exactly will libraries be able to pay for this service and offer comics for their patrons? iVerse intends on offering individual comics for loan for ten cents and graphic novels for fifty cents. The library will setup a monthly budget to buy a certain number of books and when they’re loanedout, the library is then charged. There will also be a fair number of free comics available that will have an infinite number of copies available for readers.