Monday, November 26, 2007

Why Isn't Previews Free Online?

Why isn't Diamond's Previews catalog available online for free? Seriously, they could just create a PDF file from the InDesign (or whatever program they use) file and let people download it. Sure it would be a large PDF, but so what? Then more comics and graphic novels would get exposed to those who don't get the paper version, and people who never set foot in a comic store may find something they like. Most comic stores I know of either provide Previews for free to their regular customers, or sell them at cost; so they could save on shipping charges by not having to get multiple boxes of the print version. Seems like a win-win-win situation to me.

(Of course, the information from Previews is already out there each month from the various online comic shops; but a PDF version provided by Diamond would I think be more user-friendly.)


Anonymous said...

Well, picture-free text-only versions of Previews are available in several sites every month:

Dave Carter said...

True (which is something I mentioned at the end of my original post). But when you're buying comics, you kind of want to have pictures imho.

collectededitions said...

If they offered Previews in some sort of XML format, I imagine that might make it easier for some comics shops to bring their stock online (benefitting local comics shops overall).

Anonymous said...

Previews is pretty hefty, even for a low-resolution PDF, and it may be impractical for many to download an entire document if they only plan to look at specific sections. Maybe Diamond can create a catalog site similar to Amazon, where customers can use a search function, and where retailers can do online ordering.

Dave Carter said...

Previews in XML would be awesome. Then people could take it, mash it up, and make all kinds of interesting Web-things with it, thus exposing comics all over the place.

Too bad it'll probably never happen.

Anonymous said...

Retailers use a Flash-based system that lets you page through their weekly ads and zoom in on items of interest.

Previews might be kind of big for that, but yesterday I was looking through the ad for Walgreens, and that was 60 pages.

The size would only be a problem in terms of processing the source copy and turning it into Flash. The user only downloads the pages being viewed, rather than the whole thing.