B&N Announces First Author to Sell a Million eBooks via PubIt

Remember how Amazon used to make a big deal about the Kindle Millions Club, a group of self-published authors who have each sold more than a million Kindle ebooks? They have not announced any in a while (I guess the novelty wore off), but the idea must still seem fresh and new to B&N.

Barnes & Noble sent out a press release today touting Barbara Freethy as being the first self-published author to sell a million copies of her ebooks via PubIt. Freethy is the author of 31 novels, including the 17 titles from her backlist as well as 3 new works which she has uploaded to sell in the B&N Nook ebookstore.

According to her blog, this milestone comes a few short months after a similar one in the Kindle Store, making this author the first to proclaim achieving the one million mark in both major ebookstores.

Note, though, that Amazon hasn’t announced her induction into the Kindle Millions Club. I guess Amazon lost interest after the first score of authors.

Still, congratulations are in order. Barbara has achieved a goal that many other authors would trade their souls for. Well Done!

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Mike Cane18 October, 2012

    That’s very interesting. Several writers have told me their PubIt sales are crap and they’ve dumped B&N for Amazon. I’ve heard her name before so she either has a large following or good marketing.

    1. flyingtoastr18 October, 2012

      Given that it’s free to post stuff to either store, anyone who “dumps” one for the other is an idiot and doesn’t deserve to be listened to.

      1. Nate Hoffelder18 October, 2012

        It’s only free if you do not count the time involved.

        1. flyingtoastr18 October, 2012

          Voluntarily cutting yourself off of 25%+ of the US market because you can’t take the ten minutes to convert a MOBI to an EPUB still makes you an idiot.

      2. Fbone18 October, 2012

        The authors are forced to “dump” B&N if they want their titles in the KDP Select group. Authors potentially may earn significant revenue having their books available for Prime lending. This requires exclusivity with Amazon.

        1. fjtorres18 October, 2012

          And the extra reveue and visibility of being in the KDP Select pool might just offset any lost sales from other retailers. Whether this *might* becomes *does* depends on the author, the genre of the book, and the price off the book.
          Different authors report different results.
          None appears to be an idiot.

  2. carmen webster buxton18 October, 2012

    My Pub-It sales were certainly nothing to write home about. I even switched to using Smashwords to push the books to B&N, to see if their store was somehow hiding Pub-It books. It didn’t seem to make any difference except that with Smashwords, I could make a book free and B&N would price match it. I could not make a book free on Pub-It. That has helped my Nook sales a bit (not for the free book but for its sequel) but even then, still not close to Amazon.

    1. fjtorres18 October, 2012

      It is a touchy subject and one nobody has addressed rigorously but there is a definite difference in the Nook and Kindle customer bases.
      The aggregate purchasing behavior of B&N customers is not the same as the aggregate behavior of Kindle customers; there have been several discussions over at Mobileread on that subject with a lot of annecdotal reports but no conclusive evidence beyond the four obvious facts that:
      – Kindle launched two years earlier than Nook, at a higher initial price, and thus has more afluent early adopters
      – Nook launched with library ebook support from day one and relied heavily on this so it attracted more library ebook users early on
      – Nook buyers are more format-conscious and more concerned with file transportability and lock-in issues
      – At least some buyers favor Nook out of brand loyalty to the B&N storefronts

      Add it up and it should be no surprise that the two communities should behave differently, despite the likelihood that a significant fraction of one should also be members of the other.

      The problem is that neither company is open enough about their sales to allow attach rate calculations, much less more detailed analytics that could help authors make better decisions on marketting. It may be that one platform has more users interested in SF and the other more users interested in legal thrillers but that information is just not available to authors.

  3. […] schon lange kein Update aus dem Kindle Million Club mehr zu hören, nachdem die Top 10 voll war. Nate von The Digital Reader vermutet, dass Amazon nach den ersten Erfolgsmeldungen das Interesse verloren haben könnte. Kann ich mir […]

  4. Alexander Inglis18 October, 2012

    It’s a bit of a stretch to say not having a book at B&N Nook “cuts you off from 25% of US sales”. I would think a very large percentage of Nook customers ALSO have an Amazon Kindle account. These are overlapping, not mutully excliusive, groups.

  5. […] schon lange kein Update aus dem Kindle Million Club mehr zu hören, nachdem die Top 10 voll war. Nate von The Digital Reader vermutet, dass Amazon nach den ersten Erfolgsmeldungen das Interesse verloren haben könnte. Kann ich mir […]


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