Barnes & Noble Inc., the top retail bookseller in the nation, recently announced that NOOK Press™, the company’s self-publishing platform, launched NOOK Press™ print. This innovative program, available at BN.com, offers simple step-by-step instructions for turning indie manuscripts into professional-quality, printed books.
Eligible independent authors can now sell their books in Barnes & Noble stores across the country and qualify for in-store book signings and events. They need only submit their books to the Barnes & Noble Small Press Department and a corporate category buyer. More information can be found by following the NEW NOOK Press™ Sell in Print menu option on B&N’s website:
Barnes & Noble’s Chief Digital Officer, Fred Argir, had this to say:
“Barnes & Noble is proud to be the first to offer coordinated, national distribution for self-published authors who will benefit from in-store placement at [our] stores and online at BN.com…No one else can offer self-published authors a retail presence like Barnes & Noble can, and we are thrilled to lead the movement to innovate the self-publishing industry by leveraging our stores nationwide. We look forward to seeing how the new all-in-one program will increase the success of our authors!”
All an indie author needs is a Microsoft Word or PDF of their text and cover. They can choose between hardcover and softcover formats of any size and have their book published in color or black and white with multiple options for paper materials. These features are all available alongside the editing and formatting services offered by the original NOOK Press™ program.
With the Amazon Kindle e-reader outselling the Barnes & Noble NOOK, the bookstore chain is vying for a way to make its publishing platform more appealing. A similar service is already offered by Amazon.com and has produced several hit titles including The Martian by Andy Weir.
The unique benefit NOOK Press™ now sports is an in-store presence that only Barnes & Noble can offer.
“I think the NOOK Press™ print platform is going to be a tremendous success,” says New York Times bestselling author H.M. Ward, “For authors, being able to have their books available in print and digital is huge…readers…suddenly have access to more bestselling titles at greater prices. Barnes & Noble and authors can make self-published books available in stores and at events, which is something the competition can’t do. This is a game changer and shows that Barnes & Noble has the capability to change the self-publishing model in a way that no one else can.”
Implications for Independent Authors
There has never been a better time to be a bestselling author. To get a book professionally published in the past, an aspiring author typically had to have numerous short stories published in various magazines and have an “in” with a publishing house before their manuscript would even be considered.
Now, with NOOK Press™ print, anyone can be a published author. As with any art form, there is always immense talent brewing in the ranks, but without the proper professional connections, finding success in your chosen field is a daunting task that can take years or even decades. No longer, thanks to the rise of indie ingenuity!
With November being National Novel Writing Month, it will be interesting to see not only the number of bestselling books that may or may not appear next year but also the quality of said books.
The Fly in the Ointment
But is Barnes & Noble is merely looking for a new way to make money off the rise of self-publishing?
According to The Independent Publishing Magazine, the starting price for getting a book formatted, edited, and published via a B&N package is $999. While not exactly chump change for new authors, $1 shy of $1,000 is nothing next to the revenue generated by a national bestseller. But do note you are not required to buy into a package to publish.
Not all that glitters is gold. It was recently revealed by The Independent Publishing Magazine that Barnes & Noble is only able to bring this gift to the masses by having Author Solutions run it. Author Solutions is a publishing company with a notorious reputation for using underhanded methods to sign new authors while providing questionable services at high prices.
Author Solutions has been the target of a class action lawsuit since 2014 and has failed in its attempts to get the case dismissed. Sections of the agreement between Barnes & Noble and Author Solutions show that authors will have their personal information shared with Author Solutions along with permission to use those details in an attempt to sell their marketing packages. Excerpts from the deposition enforce this idea.
Time to Test
As of this article’s publication date, there have been no complaints from NOOK Press™ users regarding the addition of the Sell in Print program. For the time being it remains a resource for up-and-coming authors who may not otherwise have a chance through traditional publishing options to be published.
A printed book costs more than a digital copy, so if you’re an author with a following, reach out to your fans and see if they’d be willing to support the creation of a physical copy of your work. If you get a positive response, why not see if your book could become the next Martian?