Barnes & Nobel has just opened up its own self-publishing ebook platform, PubIt! This is similar to Amazon’s Digital Text Platform and Smashword.com
The process is relatively simple and similar to other e-publishing services. You upload your doc/txt/rtf/html file, BN will convert the file to epub, and within a matter of days your book will be available to purchase on the Nook or any of the BN e-reader apps.
Now there are some distinct differences in this service. The biggest of which is the royalty split. If your book is priced between $2.99 and $9.99 you will get a 65% cut of the sales. If you book falls outside of that margin, your royalty falls to 40%. By comparison, Amazon’s DTP offers a 70% cut if your book is priced at $2.99 or higher. If it’s lower than that you only get 35%. (Amazon also has other restrictions and don’t offer a conversion tool) Apple and other platforms also use the standard 70/30 split when doling out royalties. It’s kind of an odd move for B&N; they almost seem to be marketing this at indie authors who want to charge less for their ebooks to get them to the masses, while penalizing bigger names who want to charge premiums on their books. Are they trying to foster self-publishing indies or stifle their growth by capping their royalties based on their list price?
Then, for comparison’s sake, there’s Smashwords.com They offer a third, very compelling option if you’re looking to self-publish your ebook. There, you upload your doc file and it will be converted into every e-book format imaginable plus, if you meet their formatting guidelines (clearly laid out in a pdf manual) your book will be distributed to Amazon kindle, BN e-bookstore, Sony’s e-bookstore, Apple ibooks, Kobo, Stanza, Diesel ebooks, etc. This is a great all-in-one e-publishing option that offers competitive royalty splits (differing for each retail outlet) and is currently the only way (that I’m currently aware of) to self-publish your books on Apple iBooks.
So which platform are you most interested in? Does the strange royalty split turn you off? Or do you prefer Amazon’s larger user base and global distribution. Sound off in the comments. I use both DTP and Smashwords for more granular control over my book and might also try out PubIt! and see what they’re about.
image via google images.