DRM is optional for B&N Pubit!

I've gone through the FAQ and ToS a coulpe times now and there's nothing all that unusual in them.

  • Fees - I can't find a mention of a fee to submit ebooks (neither by title or annual)
  • Format options - Pubit accepts a number of doc formats as well as Epub; from what I can tell the Epub file doesn't have to pass EpubCheck
  • Format options, 2 - the ebook can't be more than 20MB in size
  • royalties - if you price your ebook between $2.99 and $9.99, B&N will pay 65%; otherwise the royalty is 40%
  • participation - you need a credit card and bank account from a US bank as well as a US tax ID
  • pricing - royalties are paid based on list price, but B&N reserve the right to put your ebook on sale (you will still get the same royalty as if it weren't on sale)
  • pricing, 2 - you can't sell your ebook for less than $.99

Liz Castro was somewhat bothered by the pricing clause. I don't get it. Retailers can put a paper book on sale without having to get the permission of the publisher; why should anyone care that B&N want to do the same for ebooks? You're getting the same amount of money either way.

I'm not so sure that the royalty terms are such a good idea. I like the fact that they're trying keep ebook prices from going to high, but what about nonfiction? I've been quite happy to pay as much as $30 for some titles; now that publisher will be pressured to lower the price.

About Nate Hoffelder (11591 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

8 Comments on DRM is optional for B&N Pubit!

  1. >>>I’ve been quite happy to pay as much as $30 for some titles

    GAH! Which titles? There’s NF I really want, but I’ll be damned if I really want to pay more than $12.99 for it, tops. One exception, and it’s not for eInk anyway, is A New Kind of Science by Wolfram, which has a new shiny iPad version.

  2. > Retailers can put a paper book on sale without having to get the permission of the publisher; why should anyone care that B&N want to do the same for ebooks?

    Because Amazon then will drop the price too, and *will* lower the royalty.

  3. So far it all looks good to me. B&N had to start somewhere, and this looks like a smart middle-of-the-road approach that will satisfy the vast majority of ebook authors.

  4. “Liz Castro was somewhat bothered by the pricing clause.”

    One reason you want to have some control over the pricing of your book and not have it put on sale without permission is having your book undervalued. Say you are trying to keep all your books selling well at the 9.99 price on all platforms including Amazon. But B&N keeps putting it on sale at 5.99. Your other sites might want to lower the price of your book to 5.99 to compete. Then you come out with your next book and no one will sell it for 9.99 because they know you as the 5.99 Author.

    It is something that business constantly faces especially today in these tough Economic times. I know because I am in a business that is like this right now.

    Take a look at ereaders right now. No one is going to be able to put out one that will sell well above $200 irregardless of the price it costs to manufacture or make. This is because the Kobo was coming out at $150. They forced the Kindle and Nook to reduce their prices dramatically.

    The Kobo has undervalued the ereader market and companies can not get as much for their ereaders as they would have liked to.

    • >>>The Kobo has undervalued the ereader market and companies can not get as much for their ereaders as they would have liked to.

      Oh please, stop. Do you know that the original IBM Personal Computer cost over TWO GRAND — and storage was TAPE CASSETTE? Would you have everyone still paying several grand for desktop computers? Kobo undervalued nothing and “forced” no one. How do you know they weren’t the first company to price an eInk device *reasonably*?

      And if a $139 device worries you, what about when they’re $99? Then **$49?** Still think publishers can get away with their price-fixed $9.99-and up eBooks then?

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