October 4, 2010

Barnes & Noble Joines the Self-Publishing Bandwagon

Today Barnes & Noble announced the arrival PubIt!, their new ebook publishing platform. On the surface, this service is similar to Amazon's DTP, which allows authors to self-publish ebooks for the Kindle reading platform.

The Basics

Self-publishers can create content in Microsoft Word, both .doc and .docx files, HTML files and plain text. The PubIt! website has a list of supported features for each format. The MS Word support alone is an impressive list providing plenty of options. Once you have a book written and uploaded, there is an emulator that will show you how it would look on the Nook. Aside from supporting .docx and some extra MS Word formatting options, the process seems similar to Amazon's DTP service.

Royalties

PubIt! has an interesting royalty policy. For books priced between $2.99 and $9.99, authors receive 65%, anything above or below and the royalty is 40%. This royalty policy is very competitive when matched up against Amazon DTP's standard 35% royalty program or the 70% program, which is calculated after delivery costs. It's also quite obviously an effort by Barnes and Noble to keep most of the ebooks offered for their Nook platform within a reasonable price range. It's a good bet that ebooks priced $2.99 and $9.99 sell better than their more expensive counterparts.

The bottom line is that competition is good for everyone. Readers have an easier time finding the work of a particular author and more competitive prices. Authors have easy access to multiple outlets and significantly increased exposure for their work.

PubIt!
Amazon DTP

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