Onezumi Studios is excited to announce its (Beta) Webcomic Central iPhone app service (SM)!
So, What is it?
The Webcomics Central iPhone app service is a free service that will allow independent webcomic creators the ability to get their own branded iPhone apps developed and submitted to the Apple iTunes store. The first in this series is the “Central” app (which our own version, Chaos Central, is the example). This app is designed to consolidate in one place all of the many areas that creators now utilize to connect with their fans. Twitter, Youtube, Assetbar, RSS feeds, pretty much any source that utilizes XML or RSS output can be read into the app and displayed to your fans. In addition you can also send special “exclusive” content to fans directly to their phone to reward them for their readership.
Once your app is developed and placed in the iTunes store you will be added to the Webcomics Central app page so that people can find your app and download it to their phone. As more comics join the party the link matrix will grow and more people will discover your comic and app. It’s a win/win on all counts for all of us. Also, within the app is an easy way for iPhone users to go directly to this matrix and download new apps directly to their phone, so we’re making it very easy for this to grow quickly.
So, There’s a catch right?
Nope, no catch. We have always been strong supporters of providing free software and support to other artists and webcomic creators (We run the AWSOM.org website which provides free art and management oriented plugins for the WordPress CMS system). In this case we developed the basic engine for the “Central” app for ourselves and see no reason not to let others use it also. There’s absolutely no cost to get your app made, and no cost in the future ever. As we upgrade the basic engine for the app those upgrades will also be free and will be submitted for all apps automatically. Yeah, we’re a bit crazy like that.
So what do I need to do to get in on this?
Obviously we need to sleep at some point, so for the moment we’re doing this as a Beta service (there are a whole ton of you other webcomic people out there :) ). You can apply to be part of the Beta by going to our contact form and selecting “App Development” from the drop down and asking to get more info and join the Beta. It would be helpful if you provided a link to your comic site of course. We can’t guarantee a time frame for development for anyone’s app, but we’ll let you know your status and how far along things are as we go. If we get hit with a huge response we’ll have to form a list of order for development, but we promise that all professional webcomic creators will eventually get their app made.
So, what’s the shady legal stuff I have to agree to?
Not much, and it’s not shady. Let’s put it in regular language so it’s really clear. To get a branded version of the app we obviously need to use some images and content you create to put in the app, so you give us the right to put that in the app (duh). You also of course give us the right to actually develop an app that connects to your content. And we also have the right to publicize that we developed an app for you, and we can use the app in marketing materials (which promotes your app as well as the overall Webcomics Central service).
You have rights also of course. You can, for any reason and at any time, decide to have us take down your branded app for sale from the iTunes store. We can remove it for any reason and at any time also if we choose (but I can’t imagine a normal reason why we’d do so unless you turn into a serial killer or terrorist).
That pretty much covers it. When you request to be a part of the service you basically agree to the above.
And what’s in the future?
This is our first app, but we have plenty more we’re working on. Many of them will even be ones that we put up as paid apps. In those cases we’re also going to offer them to the community as well for free, but with a revenue share on the profits. If you are in the Webcomics Central service you’ll get first shot at those, but it’s not required. More info on those will be coming over time. (and we are looking at Android and other smartphone platforms for these apps as well)
We have version 1.0 of our branding guide now available. This guide gives more info on how the app works and what options you have to brand and set up a version for your comic.