In all the clatter about eBook publishing, one large installed reader base goes almost unnoticed. We hear about the latest iPad and wonder if the latest foray from the Amazon Kindle line will give it competition, but in the background, under all the noise, is the Barnes and Noble Nook.
This reliable tablet lineup has grown up with the big boys and now offers many compelling features. It starts with the E-Ink Nook Simple Touch at $79 and expands up to the Full Color Nook HD+ at $269. While these have a ways to go to compete with the iPad and its installed base, the new Nooks offer everything from a lightweight e-reader to a full featured Hi Res media machine.
In October 2012, Microsoft took interest in the Nook lineup and has aligned with them in a Nook Media partnership that includes streaming media and a huge push for college bookstores. This makes this lineup even more compelling for content creators.
So… if you are a writer and want to tap this expanding market, how do you get your book into a format that is compatible with them and how do you sell it through their marketplace?
How To Publish An eBook On the Nook
1. Format. The Nook lineup uses the ePub format which is a publishing industry standard. Many different programs such as Apple’s Pages, Scrivener, and Calibre will output directly in this format. After using all three, I would recommend looking at Scrivener. This full featured writing program offers an amazing array of output features and opens up a huge array of publishing options. If you don’t have one of these programs, the B&N Nook uploader will accept files in other formats such as MS Word, RTF, and PDF.
2. Uploading. To get your content into the Nook marketplace you can use a third party company such as Smashwords, or you can upload directly to the B&N marketplace. I have used Smashwords in the past, and they offer a one-stop shop for uploading to B&N Nook, Apple iPad, Sony Reader, Kobo, and other popular eBook formats. Unfortunately, Smashwords does not allow you to directly upload in the ePub format and you may lose a few formatting features that are available with the format. The Nook PubIt uploader will take ePub docs which give you a lot more control over what your book looks like on the reader.
3. Marketplace. The B&N PubIt marketplace offers the following royalties…
- For books priced between $2.99 and $9.99 they offer a 65% commission
- For books priced from $0.99 to $2.98 they offer a 40% commission
- For books priced over $9.99 they offer a 40% commission (huh?)
4. Helpful Tools. To help get you started publishing on the Nook here are some helpful guides.
- PubIt ePub Formatting Guide
- Nook for PC Reader for test viewing your files
- Epub Check to check for formatting errors
- Smashwords Publishing Information
- PubIt Mini Tutorial by Joel Friedlander
- PubIt Tutorial by Sarra Cannon
- Comparison of eBook Formats
- Nook eBook Formats FAQ
Overall: Some things to consider when publishing to the PubIt marketplace. Before publishing with B&N you’ll want to check out the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program from Amazon. Many new authors find this a great way to get the word out about their e-books. Unfortunately the KDP select program has a three month lock on your book. You will not be able to offer it for sale anywhere else including the PubIt marketplace during this time. Many authors who use KDP expand their reach in other markets after 90 days.
If KDP Select isn’t for you, you might want to go with Smashwords. Their program will output in many compatible formats and you’ll be able to cover both the Nook and the iPad with one solution. As far as writing your book goes, I’m a big fan of Scrivener. It has a learning curve, but its eBook options are great. You can output your formatted document in seconds in multiple formats and check them out on your eReader before publication. I wrote a few posts a while back that may be helpful for creating and publishing your eBook. Check them out here.
When considering eBook options, don’t forget the Nook. With millions in the marketplace this might be a profitable niche for you. It certainly was for Barbara Freethy!
Question: Have you published in Nook eBook format before?