NOOK Press

If you have published directly to Nook’s PubIt in the past, you likely received an e-mail from Barnes & Noble last week, announcing that they would have some exciting news for us all.

That news, we learned on Tuesday, is the launch of NOOK Press. I took the site for a spin this week to see how it all works.

Not much has changed in terms of the fine print. Royalty levels have stayed the same, and while I didn’t review the PubIt and NOOK Press terms and conditions point-by-point, they struck me as very similar – and similar to those offered by KDP and Smashwords, as well.

PubIt required that users sign in with their B&N login, if they had one; NOOK Press will let you separate the two accounts. And synching my old PubIt account to my new NOOK Press account went seamlessly. All my books showed up on the new platform, and my sales and payment numbers also transferred over.

The most striking new thing about NOOK Press is the Manuscript Editor. It’s similar to Google Drive in that it has word processing software built in – and not only can you write your novel directly at NOOK Press, but you can also allow collaborators access to it. No more sending your book back and forth by e-mail – just grant your co-author, beta readers, and/or editor access to your NOOK Press file. They can make comments right on the document. (I’m not sure whether the platform allows more than one person into a document at a time; maybe somebody can try it out and let me know.) The NOOK preview viewer is built right into the Manuscript Editor – you can hit “preview” at any time and see how your book will look on a NOOK device.

You can write your book at NOOK Press even if you never intend to publish it – and if that’s the case, you need never give B&N your financial information. If, however, you do intend to publish your book (and why would you bother signing up for NOOK Press if you weren’t going to, instead of using Google Docs or something similar?), you will have to “upgrade” to a vendor account. (Hint: if you’ve published with PubIt, you’ve already got a NOOK Press vendor account.)

Once you’re ready to publish, it should be straightforward. From the project home screen, you can upload your book cover (and your finished manuscript, if you’re a heretic like me who won’t be writing your book in the Manuscript Editor) and all the rest of the usual stuff. Hit “publish” and you’re done – in theory. My latest project isn’t complete, so while I was able to fill in all the publication information and upload my book cover, I didn’t try to put the book on sale. I really hope B&N didn’t just add the text editor to the old glitchy PubIt platform and buff up the site’s graphics.

The other good news is that B&N now offers live chat assistance during certain hours. That certainly beats trying to find an answer on the B&N chat board.

What is glaring in its absence, still, is marketing assistance. NOOK Press offers neither author pages nor anything remotely resembling KDP Select. In fact, NOOK Press, like PubIt, gives indies next-to-no promotional help, other than the same few basic suggestions they offered on the PubIt FAQ. B&N does plan to offer a program called NOOK Press Presents, but participating e-books will be selected by B&N employees, and the impression I’m getting is that indie authors have no way of applying for their books to be included. Please, B&N, figure out a way to give authors a higher profile on your site.

So let’s hear your thoughts. Does the Manuscript Editor concept interest you? And is it enough to get you to bypass Smashwords and consider publishing directly to NOOK Press?

Author: Lynne Cantwell

Lynne Cantwell grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She worked as a broadcast journalist for many years; she has written for CNN, the late lamented Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a bunch of radio and TV news outlets you have probably never heard of, including a defunct wire service called Zapnews. But she began as a fantasy writer (in the second grade), and is back at it today. She currently lives near Washington, DC. Learn more about Lynne at her blog and at her Amazon author page.

21 thoughts on “NOOK Press”

  1. I’m not really sure the manuscript editor is that much of a value add as far as I’m concerned, but if it makes it easier to bypass the Smashwords meatgrinder and perfect the end product, it’s worth a look. Thank you for testing this out!

    1. You’re welcome, Krista. I published the rest of my series with PubIt (and KDP and Smashwords, too), so it makes sense for me to publish the next one through Nook Press (and KDP and Smashwords). And yeah, I probably won’t use the Manuscript Editor in real life, either.

  2. If you want to share your work in progress, Git is the way to go, or so my computer programmer genius son tells me. Git lets you protect versions, share with other people, restore if the thing corrupts and generally do magic. Plus it stores on your own machine as well as in the cloud. And it’s free if you are willing to be public, a nominal yearly fee otherwise. Why otherwise risk your precious baby to the vagaries of the ether? So I am pleased to learn about the new Nook Press capabilities, but probably won’t use them. I might publish there, though. Thanks for researching this.

  3. I’m pretty sure the only reason Barnes and Noble is taking the step with Nook Press is to make the Nook division look better so someone will buy it – either as part of a whole B&N deal or as a way to drop a flagging division that they never really functionalized properly. This is a last ditch effort to look hep and appealing for them.

    I get the feeling within a year, maybe two at the very most, the Nook will either be deep-sixed or a product of a different company. And I don’t think B&N have considered the possible ramifcations of dropping an e-book product line for a major retailer. The backlash will be enormous.

    1. I’ve read similar speculation elsewhere, Rich. B&N already has other people’s money in play in their Nook division — Microsoft and Pearson, if I recall correctly. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sold off the division, but I can’t imagine they would be so dumb as to quit selling Nooks in their stores. But hey, I’ve been wrong before…

  4. Thanks for giving it a test-drive, Lynne! I was less than impressed with the changes, and would not be surprised if they are dusting up their curb appeal for a sale. The Manuscript editor doesn’t sound like a tool I’d use. But the concept is interesting.

    1. You’re welcome, Laurie. I think if you were *only* planning to publish on B&N, using the Manuscript Editor would make more sense. But what indie is going to do *that*? 😉

  5. I wouldn’t object to trying out the Manuscript thingee (a technical term I use) but I write on my laptop which I keep pristine and untouched by the internet, thus no viruses, etc. Oh, well! I guess it’s up to good old Word and me to get it right. I’ve loved using PubIt and, with one exception of a book that they simply cannot seem to get out on the UK site, have had no problems. I love the idea that I can get LIVE chat help! Come on, Amazon…give a girl a break!

  6. So far, the Nook transition went fine. I usually publish to BN and Smashwords, so I don’t really have need of the manuscript editor. Haven’t uploaded anything recent, so I’m wondering how that will go.

  7. Hmm, am I halucinating? I’ve never had a problem contacting Amazon and having them get back to me within 24 hours about Kindle related questions. Unless I’m misunderstanding you Yvonne.

    1. Grace, I’ve never had a problem getting an answer out of Amazon, either. But I think some people would rather talk to a real person, which allows for getting clarification right away, instead of sending multiple e-mails back and forth.

  8. As usual, you are an incredible source of information, as are several commentators that I’m beginning to encounter here, there, and everywhere. With so much to read it’s amazing we still have time to write! Thank you all!
    I’ve never heard of Git. I’m interested to know why no one here is mentioning KDP Select, and whether it’s now out of favor because of the new changes.

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