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B&N Press Pays a 65% Royalty on All eBooks Priced Over $2.99

As I reported yesterday, B&N has rebranded its publishing portal and is now calling it Barnes & Noble Press (because apparently Titanic was already taken).

This is really more of a relaunch on a new platform (see the note later in this post). The new and updated features of the platform include:

  • Additional trim size options for POD books
  • 65% royalties on ebooks priced up to $200 (two hundred dollars, the max price allowed)

Also: "Barnes and Noble Press also continues to give qualified authors the opportunity to apply for signings and events at Barnes & Noble bookstores, as well as giving select authors the opportunity to sell their books in stores."

Given that B&N doesn’t sell a lot of books any more, it’s not clear what value authors can derive from that other than as an ego boost.

In any case, I checked the new site’s portal and noted the following warning:

Starting 1/23 we will begin migrating accounts to the new platform. There will be a staggered rollout over the next 3 days, so you may not see all of your projects on the new platform until the migration is complete. Users who login to the current NOOK Press site will be automatically redirected to the new B&N Press website once their account and projects have been fully migrated. Books available for sale on and NOOK will not be affected, and will remain on sale throughout the process.

If you do have book projects in progress in Nook Press, it might be best to let them sit for a few days so that the dust can settle.

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Angela Korra’ti January 24, 2018 um 4:46 pm

Yeah, I got that heads up in my own email box. I have been hard pressed to muster any giveadamn, given that I stopped deploying my work directly to B&N ages ago. I’m up there now only via Draft2Digital.

Andrei Kelner January 25, 2018 um 8:53 am

Why this dismissive, sarcastic, occasionally irritated tone everybody use when talking B&N?
They should be encourages and cherished in whatever struggle for survival they try to engage.
I appreciate your newsletter but sometimes it just looks like an Amazon propaganda tool, frankly.

Nate Hoffelder January 25, 2018 um 9:07 am

Because this launch combines two of the worst trends of B&N.

B&n has a pattern of launching services that are either worthless or about 4 years too late to have any impact. Today B&N launched a POD service that isn’t worth using, and announced a royalty that could have been disruptive had B&N announced it 5 years ago.

This relaunch is just an example of shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Maria (BearMountainBooks) January 25, 2018 um 9:42 am

The higher royalty on books over 9.99 is helpful for non-fiction works. Many authors who publish in non-fiction areas (or who regain the digital rights) still publish over 10 because price degradation hasn’t been as fast for non-fiction works. That’s not to say it isn’t "late" in the game, but B&N has tried to cater some to academic works for a while. It remains to be seen if anyone will care enough to exit an Amazon exclusive deal (such as KU) just to try for the higher commissions. I think it’s a good thing–and would be even better if Amazon allowed at least non-fiction works to earn a higher percentage for a higher price. That won’t happen though. THere is simply no competitive pressure from B&N.

Andrei Kelner January 25, 2018 um 9:58 am

There is a slim chance for a competitive pressure on Amazon to expand their PoD offer, for ex. from the B&N new trim size and paper quality initiative.
The non-fiction ebook pricing angle, made by Maria, is also a good point.

Carmen Webster Buxton January 27, 2018 um 11:29 am

I don’t have a lot of confidence in B&N’s systems. I can no longer log on wit my old logon info and when I clicked the forgot my password link, they sent me n email with a link that did not work. I’m trying to care.

Celeste January 29, 2018 um 5:36 pm

The new website is a pain in the butt, and now that kobo runs them, the riske stuff I was selling under a pen name ($1k a month in sales) has been banned.

My more mainstream stuff I sell exclusively on Amazon (another pen name) and as I’m making 6 figures a quarter there, I see no reason to move to B&N, which offers zero customer support to indies.
Now, if B&N were to start selling POD books in their bookstores, I’d put copies of my print books up there (as that doesn’t interfere with my Amazon exclusive deal). But when I test marketed two well selling books with B&N’s POD a year ago, not a single copy sold there.
Versus 10K copies on Amazon.

So really, WHAT is the point of doing business with them? Especially when Amazon is making me rich?

So yeah, I’m done with B&N, it’s pointless doing business with them, when they’re hell bent on going out of it. Smashwords isn’t really doing much better, and they haven’t upgraded their website since they built it.

If you want to compete with Amazon, the first thing you have to do is act professionally. Make people think that you take it seriously, and that you expect to be in business five years from now. B&N pissed away a golden opportunity to have a large share of the market because they kept hiring idiots. IT’s only a matter of time now until they’re gone.

Nate Hoffelder January 29, 2018 um 6:46 pm

Kobo runs B&N Press? Where did you see this interesting detail?

Celeste January 30, 2018 um 2:13 am

I forget where I read it, but B&N announced it about 6 or 8 months ago, that they were turning the running of their Nook business over to Kobo. That’s why all of the kinkier and more lascivious erotica was banned. Kobo is probably the most strait-laced book seller out there, since the big erotica 'scandal' in England back around 2014.

I knew the moment it was announced I’d eventually get caught in the sweep as they went through all of the titles and banned anything they considered 'too dirty'. They were pretty vicious about it too. Didn’t tell me why, so I republished. Then they told me if I did -that- again they’d nuke my account. As they were sitting on a fair bit of my money, I decided to wait until I got paid before doing anything else.

Angela Korra’ti January 30, 2018 um 10:11 am

I’ve seen a lot of opinion that B&N should hand off its Nook business to Kobo, including right here on this very blog. But I can’t find any actual news item about any such handoff. And an under the hood partnership wouldn’t make much sense for Kobo–not when they’re running their own self-pub system over on their own site and have no incentive to get their fingers into B&N’s. Nor is the B&N site directing customers over to Kobo to buy ebooks.

I agree that B&N _should_ just hand off its customer base for the Nook to Kobo, but I haven’t seen any actual sign that they’re going to do any such thing yet.

Nate Hoffelder January 30, 2018 um 10:23 am

I think Celeste is thinking of a story I wrote last year where I screwed up and said it was a done deal.

BDR January 31, 2018 um 11:58 am

B&N might *wish* that they could find someone — anyone — to take all or any part of their business but … no. Not so far. Or (most likely) ever.

Meanwhile, their stock price has finally given it up below $5 and it doesn’t seem likely to move above. That’s important because 5 is the magic number below which Big Money is no longer interested in owning the stock and it’s an indicator of a company’s long-term viability.

Since just the beginning of the year, their stock price has lost about 30% of its value. IMHO, Barnes&Noble has another (maybe) 18 months of life.

Andrei Kelner January 30, 2018 um 9:00 am

Hey, Celeste, this is getting intriguing…can you post a link to your Amazon listings? To have a better chance to rate Kobo’s judgment:-)

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