Barnes & Noble has introduced a new service called PubIt! that will allow aspiring authors to publish their books as eBooks and sell them on Barnes & Noble.  The books will be included in Barnes & Noble’s “Read In Store”, “LendMe”, and “Sample” programs

PubIt! by Barnes & Noble is similar to Amazon’s Create Space that also allows people to self-publish books.  The major difference is that Create Space also allows people to publish music and video on demand as well.  Here again, you sell your published work through Amazon.

Formatting guides like the following are provided by Barnes & Noble to aspiring authors and easy access to your titles, sales and account is provided.

  1. ePub Formatting
  2. Microsoft Word Formatting (.DOC and .DOCX) and RTF Formatting
  3. HTML Formatting
  4. TXT Formatting

Barnes & Noble takes royalties of between 35 percent and 60 percent per sale.  The actual terms are:

Pricing and Payment Terms

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de...
English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de eBook Беларуская: Фотаздымак электроннай кнігі Русский: Фотография электронной книги (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barnes & Noble may update or alter the Pricing and Payment Terms at any time and changes will be effective and binding on you on the date thirty days from posting, as described in the PubIt! Terms & Conditions.
Publisher will set a List Price for each eBook between $0.99 and $199.99.
Publisher will be paid a royalty off the List Price according to the following terms:

  1. For eBooks with a List Price at or between $2.99 and $9.99
    • 65% of the List Price
  2. For eBooks with a List Price at or below $2.98 or at or greater than $10.00 (but not more than $199.99 and not less than $0.99)
    • 40% of the List Price

Publisher will, at all times, ensure that the eBook List Price:

  1. Is no greater than the eBook’s List Price at any other retailer, website, or sales channel.
  2. Is no greater than the eBook’s print edition (if applicable).
  3. Complies with the minimum and maximum pricing policy as stated above.

Sample royalty calculation:

  1. List Price: $9.99 – Publisher Royalty: $6.49
  2. List Price: $20.00 – Publisher Royalty: $8.0

For those that may find the wording confusing the author using the PubIt! service is the publisher.  Writers must do their own editing and proofing which is a more daunting feat than many imagine.  All of the jobs that reputable publishers would provide are now the responsibility of the writer including cover art and marketing.

For people unfamiliar with how to price books and eBooks in particular, the temptation might be to set a price of $20 for your work.   Considering that Barnes & Noble sells most of their eBooks between $0.99 for short pieces and sale books to $19.99 for best sellers from well known authors, $20 is really not realistic for unknown authors, especially those without any clue or plan for marketing their eBook.

Barnes & Noble nook (ebook reader device)
Barnes & Noble nook (ebook reader device) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are of course, the usual content restrictions.  Author’s are not allowed to print libelous material or other peoples material unless the author has given permission or it is in the public domain.  Pornography and thinly veiled advertisements disguised as eBooks are also not allowed.  There are some other restrictions that might impact a writer’s marketing ideas.

The information that describes your eBook (Product Data) is also subject to our Content Policy. Please note the following data points that are not permitted in your Product Data:

  • Hyperlinks of any kind, including email addresses.
  • Request for action (i.e.: “If you like this book, please write me a review.”).
  • Advertisements or promotional material (including author events, seminars, etc.).
  • Contact information for the author or publisher.

In other words, Barnes & Noble makes it extremely difficult for authors to be contacted by fans, other authors, agents or publishers.

As simple and easy as PubIt! may make publishing a book, writers always need to remember that it doesn’t mean that anyone will read or buy your book.  Just like real estate, location and active marketing matter.  Without prominent placement in the  eBookstore or Barnes & Nobel newsletter, your chances of multiple sales to more than friends and family will be slim.  As can be seen above, your own attempts to market the book may be difficult.

There are other do-it-yourself publishers that can be found online that will also offer services for graphic cover art and editing.  You can also find services like Wattpad that are more of a community for readers and writers to interact.

PubIt!  offers one way of self-publishing but not the only way.


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