As far as easy, straight-to-e-reader publishing goes, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is still the reigning champion, in no small part because the Kindle still remains the leading e-reader on the market. Barnes and Noble has had its own self-publishing software for years, but you wouldn’t know by the numbers; while PubIt! attracted 20 percent more independent authors every quarter, Kindle is already overflowing with them, to the point where 27 of Kindle’s top selling 100 books are self-published. And while 25% of books on the Nook platform are self published, between CreateSpace and KDP, that number is most likely much higher on Amazon’s vast marketplace
Nook fans will be happy to note that Barnes and Noble is looking to change all that, however. Yesterday they announced the relaunch of their self-publishing program under a new name, Nook Press (which already sounds much more enticing as a publishing platform, in our opinion!). This new platform has web-based content tools for authors to write, edit, format and publish their work, as well as an online forum for writers to share their work securely, and merchandising opportunities in the Nook Store.
Authors who opt to use the Nook system will be able price their titles between 99 cents and $199.99 and receive royalties accordingly. As The New York Business Journal reported, “For Nook Press Nook Books priced at or between $2.99 and $9.99, authors receive 65 percent of the list price for sold content. For those priced at $2.98 or less, or $10 or more, authors receive 40 percent of the list price. Nook Press authors will be compensated from the list price they set with no additional charges, regardless of file size.”
PaidContent writer Laura Hazard Owen notes that in contrast to Nook Press, Amazon’s KDP pays “a 70 percent royalty on most ebooks between $2.99 and $9.99 and a 35 percent royalty on those under $2.99 or over $9.99.” So if you were to publish a book between $2.99 and $9.99 — where most ebooks tend to fall — you might end up sticking with Amazon. But if you’re looking to release a string of short $2.00 books to just build up an audience, it might be worth checking out Nook. The competition at Nook may also be less intense, so you could even end up higher on the bestselling list than you would on Amazon.
While we’re waiting to see with everyone else whether or not Nook Press will be able to carve out a bigger role for itself in the self-publishing market, we’re very happy that the industry is getting more competitive. The more outlets there are for self-publishers, the likelier it is that self-publishing will be seen less as a passing fad and more as a viable business venture.