It's been a week since Amazon announced that they were acquiring Comixology , and the surprise deal has left many questions unanswered, including what Amazon plans to do with Submit.
But now that Comixology is owned by Amazon, it would seem that Submit is redundant. After all, Amazon owns a comics imprint (Jet City Comics launched in July 2013) and a self-pub platform (KDP), so there is little reason to keep Submit around.
Or is there? At least one comics creator thinks Submit will be sticking around, and I agree with him. Bleeding Cool invited Tim Gibson, author and artist on ComiXology Submit title Moth City, what he thought:
I think it’ll affect Submit hugely, though it’s hard to tell how at this stage. I suspect with Amazon’s financial success with Self Published Fiction (a real money spinner for them, as seen here) Comixology’s Submit platform and its recent growth might have been the cherry on the top of the Comixology sundae.
Overall, I’m feeling optimistic. Comics and Graphic Novels make up such a small part of Amazon’s e-book system. Around 1% of e-sales if you believe Hugh Howley’s author earnings data (linked to above), so they’re an untapped market within the Amazon platform. They changed their submission engine to encourage more comic submission in the last year or so, but were hampered by some odd file-delivery fees and a small comic audience.
Comixology Submit was definitely the first priority for interdependent comics creators looking to sell digital comics, and if Amazon absorbs some of their systems and oversight it could open up a whole new audience for creators.
Comixology Submit is a strange beast. It was originally launched as a way for creators to self-publish, but unlike KDP Submit is run with a fair amount of oversight. Not every title is accepted by Comixology, and that in many way's makes Submit more of a publishing imprint than a self-pub platform (and Amazon already has one of each of those).
But I don't think it's going away.
Amazon made it clear last week that Comixology would remain its own platform, and if that is true then Comixology will probably have as much independence as Audible. That audiobook distributor is closely integrated with many of Amazon's systems, including accounts, the Amazon.com website, and the Kindle Fire Android tablets, but it is still its own entity with its own distribution network and even a self-pub platform (ACX, which launched in 2012).
It's more than likely that Comixology will retain a similar degree of independence even after it has been closely integrated with Amazon. And that means keeping its own self-pub channel, apps, and distribution network. And given Comixology's success so far, it's probably the right move.
If nothing else, the basic structural differences between prose and comics support the idea that they not be combined into a single ebook format in a single store.