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Author Earnings Takes a Look at the Nook Store, Finds a Lot of Best Selling Indie Titles

Hugh Howey logo-ae[1]overturned the publishing world’s apple cart with his first Author Earning report a couple weeks ago and he’s back again today with more unsettling revelations.

That first report looked strictly at the Kindle Store and the top 7,000 best sellers from a number of best seller lists, and today’s report turns a similar focus on the Nook Store.

Barnes & Noble hasn’t shown nearly the same interest in their Nook Press self-pub platform as Amazon has shown in KDP, so this blogger was deeply curious to learn whether self-published titles would prove as successful in the Nook Store as they did in Amazon’s ebook store.

Sure, last year Barnes & Noble reported that 25% of the Nook Store was made up of self-published works, but it was never clear exactly what that meant. And given how much has happened in 11 months since that detail was released, there was no way to tell how the situation may have changed.

It turns out self-published authors have an even stronger presence in the Nook Store than in the Kindle Store. Well over half of the titles on the fiction best seller lists  were self-published:


That’s fantastic news, IMO. Now if only the estimated sales were equally as one-sided. The report goes on to crunch some numbers and reveal that the Big 5 are selling the most number of copies.


The report goes on to show that the the Big 5 are also generating the most revenue, which probably comes as no surprise. As a rule, indie titles tend to have a lower average selling price and less promotion than titles from the big 5, and that naturally results in a smaller stream of revenue.

But that’s okay, because the amount of money that ends up in  indie authors pockets isn’t that much smaller than the amount paid to authors who signed with the Big 5.


Indie authors aren’t getting quite as large of a piece of the pie for their titles in the Nook Store as in the Kindle Store, but they still represent a significant part of the market. And that’s all money that is going direct to the authors in a monthly basis rather than the twice a year if you’re lucky schedule maintained by the major publishers.

I call that win, now matter how you slice it.

Author Earnings

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fjtorres February 25, 2014 um 6:13 pm

It is worth remembering that B&N, like Kobo and Apple skews their promotion efforts towards BPH titles. Indie titles are not competing on a level promotion field, like at Amazon.

Nate Hoffelder February 25, 2014 um 6:36 pm

Are you sure that Kobo is also skewing their suggestions?

fjtorres February 25, 2014 um 6:52 pm

The way I’ve heard it, they weigh BPH titles higher than indie titles in their rankings.
Here’s one (secondhand) account:

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