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B&N Now Pitching "Nook First Look" Promo Service to Indie Authors

Speaking of copying old ideas, Barnes & Noble is ending out emails to indie authors, asking them to participate in a new marketing service called Nook First Look.

Authors on KBoards report that they’ve received emails from B&N which said:

The NOOK First Look program highlights new releases from independent authors and publishers making these titles available to Barnes & Noble readers two weeks before wide release. NOOK First Look titles must be available through the NOOK Press platform and must be new releases in order to be considered.

To submit your eBook for consideration in the NOOK First Look program, please fill out this form with the following information. Please be advised that we can only accommodate one title per author approximately every 4-6 months so please choose your best title to nominate. As well, your title will be considered for the NOOK First Look program at the sole discretion of the NOOK Press team. We will contact you via email within a month if your title has been selected.

**When submitting this form, please note that your title must be no less than 8 weeks out from publication and all final files must be available 2 weeks before the wide release of the title. Final files must also be loaded to your portal no less than 72 hours before publication.

According to the authors who got the email, it links to a form on Google Docs.

Several authors have expressed disbelief that this is real, however a few minutes of Googling uncovered the Nook First Look page on the B&N website. The page promotes two books, with one offered at a discount.

This is an interesting idea, but there are a couple huge problems that are going to keep it from amounting to much.

The first problem is that B&N doesn’t sell a whole lot of ebooks anymore.  Their Nook revenues in the last fiscal year totaled $192 million (in comparison, Amazon paid out more to authors whose books are in Kindle Unlimited).

The second problem is that Barnes & Noble has yet to tell their customers about Nook First Look. I only heard because I know an author who got the email (thanks, Bill!); I did not read about it in the marketing emails I receive as a B&N customer.

And that is why like most B&N ideas, this one is DOA.

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Allen F August 16, 2017 um 1:27 pm

Another 'little' problem is that before they’d only take ebooks that had 'made it' sales-wise elsewhere. Doesn’t look like that’s changed.

And you yourself reported this:

Looks to me more like they’re trying to 'pump up' the supposed value of the nook before trying to sell it off.

BDR August 16, 2017 um 3:05 pm

This presumes that B&N has something to sell off. They done and We know this because it would’ve been sold off by now if there were. Clearly, they don’t want to be in their on-line business but they can’t afford to exit. They are stuck, riding on-line down to the bitter end.

Nope. This is just more of their incompetence and lack of market understanding. Not that I’m complaining. After ending a 5 month short position in their stock in May, I’m short again and their incompetence has earned me enough for tens of lifetime supplies of Kobo ereaders.

Thanks, B&N

John August 17, 2017 um 2:19 pm

My first thought was "Does anyone still use Nook?" The article has proven my suspicions correct.

Hardly anyone goes to B&Ns site anymore, at least not for books. It’s poorly run and numerous other entities are eating their lunch.

Nate Hoffelder August 17, 2017 um 2:49 pm

This almost feels like the project someone put together so they could add it to their resume and get a better job elsewhere, doesn’t it?

I mean, it’s a neat idea but it has absolutely no chance of success at B&N.

Maria (BearMountainBooks) August 18, 2017 um 10:27 am

I got it too. The thing is, B&N can make quite a bit of money off authors before authors figure out that no one is finding the page. This is a pretty typical publishing trick–when you can’t sell enough you start taking money from the authors. It never ends well.

Authors are on forums and cross-promo groups these days. It won’t take too many failed promotions before even the authors won’t participate. But it will take a while and meanwhile, B&N will make some money. Their first foray into making money off authors was their print business. They charged too much for too little and couldn’t even be bothered to compete with Amazon pricing. Hopefully their ability to earn money from these schemes will be limited.

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