The dawn of ebooks and self-publishing platforms has rapidly revolutionized the publishing industry. They are increasing in popularity at the break of day as more indie authors switch from the traditional publishing system to self-publishing, thanks to smartphones, e-readers, and online subscriptions.
In this post, I highlight Barnes and Noble, one of the most reputable self-publishing platforms you can use. I'll take you through their publishing process step by step, giving you tips on how you can publish bestsellers. I'll also highlight the sell points as well as the shortcomings of using Barnes and Noble.
Shall we begin?
Steps to Self-Publishing a Book with Barnes and Noble
Step 1: Sign Up
For Barnes and Noble publishing submissions, you'll need to head over to their website, create an account and fill in the registration details. If you already have an account, just sign in then proceed to the main page. Click on the "Create New Book" button under "My Projects".
You'll then be asked whether you intend to publish an ebook or a print book. Choose appropriately then click on "next".
Still on signing up, if you plan to sell your books on this platform, you'll need to register as a vendor. This entails submitting your banking and taxation details. But if you don't intend to publish for sale, you can skip this part.
Step 2: Create a Title
You'll write the title exactly the way you'll want it to appear in your book. Remember, the title is one of the factors that influence the purchasing power of a book. Therefore, create a title that would make readers want to buy.
You can use the following tips.
3 Characteristics of a Bestselling Title
- Evokes curiosity in the reader. For instance, in the book " The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari". Ever heard of a monk leading a rich lifestyle?
- It's searchable. Use a keyword generator to come up with a title that is search engine friendly. Using keywords improves the discoverability of your book.
- Is easily remembered. Create a title that is unique, simple and easy to pronounce. Make it easy for readers to remember when they are at the bookstores.
After you've put a title, you'll proceed to the next page.
If you chose to print a book, it's here that you'll indicate whether to sell or keep it personal. Also, you can choose whether to set it up for pre-order or not, then click "Next" to proceed to step 3.
Step 3: Book Type and Size
Here, you will need to decide what your print book will look like. You'll choose the;
- Page size and paper color
- Interior print type and font
- Cover format and finish
When you enter these specifications, you'll be shown the printing cost on the lower right side of your screen. You won't pay for this cost, by the way, the buyer will.
If you had previously chosen to publish an ebook, you'll not be provided with this step. Instead, you'll go directly to uploading the interior file.
Step 4: Upload Interior File
Here, you'll either upload your manuscript from your computer file or drag the file into the box at the center of the screen.
Formatting your file with BN is quite easy since it provides guidelines for all its formatting styles. You can choose to format in Microsoft Word, HTML, TXT or ePub.
If you choose to format in any of these styles besides ePub, BN will automatically convert the file to ePub upon uploading. This is because NOOK, BN's e-reader, uses the ePub format for all its books.
Step 5: Cover Image
The cover image file that you choose should adhere to these guidelines.
- Must be a .jpg or .png file
- The size must not exceed 2MB or be less than 5KB
- Should be at least 1400 pixels
Remember to put a cover image that compels a reader to buy. Like the title, this is a marketing strategy. Here are 3 tips to help you design the perfect cover image.
Tips to Creating The Perfect Cover Image
- Window shop on stock photo websites. They have plenty of images that you can draw inspiration from. Simply type in words that match with your story in the search bar and see what comes up. Who knows, you might find the perfect image here. It's free after all.
- If you have a phone or camera with high-resolution power, you might as well create your own image. Learn some basic photo editing skills and you'll be good to go. Using your photos offers originality and some personal touch to the book unlike using a stock photo.
- Hire a professional designer to help put your concepts together to create the perfect cover image. This will save you the time, energy, and stress that comes with the project.
Step 6: Book Details
Once you've uploaded the interior file and cover image, you'll be required to register the details of your book. We shall go over each subsection one by one.
Subsection 1: Information About the Book
Here you'll enter information including;
- Name of publisher or author: If you run a publishing company then enter its name, otherwise, put your name as the author.
- Date of Publication: You'll enter the date on which you intend to publish your book.
- Edition Number and Description: Indicate whether your book is first, second, third…edition, and a short description.
- Book Description: You'll tell the readers what your book is about. This is also an extremely crucial part because a good description promotes as well as determines your book's discoverability. Make sure to make it interesting.
Here's how you can hook readers with a book description.
How to Write a Good Book Description
- Capture the reader's attention with the first sentence.
- Keep it short, simple, straightforward and easy to understand what the book is about.
- Use short paragraphs and elements like bold, italics and bullet points to make the text interesting to read.
- Talk about the book, not yourself. Write in 3rd person, that is, talk as if it is someone else's book, not yours.
- Avoid spoilers. Don't give away everything when describing your book. Leave your readers in suspense, wanting to know more.
Subsection 2: Authors and Contributors.
As the author, you'll tell the readers about yourself but from a 3rd-person point of view. Keep it short and clear. Include location, your experience as an author, important themes in your work, and your achievements.
You'll also list if any, the names of all the people who contributed to the writing of the book.
Subsection 3: Categories
Under "Categories" you'll be required to enter;
- The genre of your book. You'll select up to 5 categories from the drop-down menu.
- Keywords in up to 100 characters. These are for SEO purposes. They help readers find your book in search engines. Therefore choose the keywords that fit your book.
- The appropriate audience for the book. You'll choose from the menu provided.
- The language in which your book is written.
After you are done entering these details, click the "Save and Next" button and proceed to the next subsection.
Subsection 4: How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Book with Barnes and Noble?
You'll enter the amount you'll sell your book for here. It can be anything between $0.99 to $199.99.
Now, settling on a price can be challenging especially for a new author. If you haven't decided on a price yet, maybe this can help.
Ways to Determine the Price of Your Book
- The Book's Length
A lot of time and energy is invested into writing a book, even more for a longer one. The page count is also directly proportional to the printing cost, that is, the higher the page count the higher the printing cost.
Factoring in the labor and printing expenses should help you determine the price of your book. Also, compare prices with books that are about the same length as yours, this should also give you a hint.
- The Genre
Books in a specific genre tend to have the same range of prices. Therefore, do some research and compare notes. Note how other titles in your genre have been priced (and their lengths too), then determine yours.
- Price Experimentation
Another way to determine your book's price is by experimenting with different prices. Change the price of the book occasionally to see how it affects sales, then settle on one that brings more sales
If you have an established audience for your books, then you can set the prices within their buying power. Study the trends and composition of your audience to help you set a price.
And if you are looking to grow an audience, lowering the price can work. Sell on discounts to create impulse purchases.
Subsection 5: Rights and Information
Here, you'll be asked whether your book is in the public domain and if you have an existing version available. Answer no if you are certain that you are not replicating.
Subsection 6: Editorial Reviews
In this subsection, you'll enter up to 5 editorial reviews that you have. Even though it's optional, it's important in promoting the book.
You can include reviews from blogs, authors, articles, or any other sources as long as you've been granted permission.
You'll also need to enter the names of the reviewers, sources of reviews, and excerpts in up to 500 characters each.
Subsection 7: ISBN
Here, you'll indicate if you have an ISBN for the book. It's okay if you don't have one. Simply click "No".
Step 7: Preview and Publish
Once you've completed registering all the details, you'll be shown a summary to preview, you'll then proceed to publish your book by clicking on the "Put on Sale" button.
It will take about 3 days to have your book live on BN.com and all its NOOK devices.
Here's a video that summarizes all these steps.
How Barnes and Noble Compensates Authors
Unlike many companies who make money by publishing for writers, BN offers its services free of charge. No setup or publishing fees.
But since it's a business, they'll need profits to run. BN earns through commissions. They take 30% commission on each ebook sale regardless of the price and 45% on print book sales minus printing cost.
This means you'll be compensated 70% and 55% royalties respectively.
You will receive these payments 30 days after the end of the month that you hit a $10 threshold. That is to say, if you attain $10 in sales on 1st March, you’ll start receiving payments from the 30th of April.
How Barnes and Noble Helps in Marketing Your Book
Upon hitting publish your book will be made available to millions of consumers worldwide. It will be put live on their website and every NOOK device and reading app.
Your book can also be marketed by the booksellers at any of their 640 book stores in the US.
They also help create awareness by featuring them on online promotions, monthly themed collections and email listings.
Additionally, they offer marketing tips and tools on BN.com to help you promote your books.
Pros and Cons of Using Barnes and Noble
Why should you publish with Barnes and Noble?
BN is among the top three digital retailers in the world, serving millions of users every day. With them, you'll enjoy a wider audience for your books.
Fast and Easy Publishing Process
Uploading your book on BN is quite fast and simple. They also make the process easy for you by providing guidelines and tips you might need to make the process even smoother.
3. Offers Print Book Services
Many self-publishing platforms do not offer the option of printing hardcover books. Unlike them, Barnes and Noble allows you to print on demand (POD). Their printing services are top-notch too. They not only create high-quality hardcopies but also deliver them for you.
4. Book Promotions
As a way to help market your books, BN offers promotional opportunities by featuring your work in multiple avenues. Be it emails, BN press, or other programs.
5. No exclusivity
Unlike Amazon's KDP, you can have the published books on any other platform. BN doesn't require exclusivity. They provide a chance to maximize your profits by partnering with them.
You Can't Publish With Amazon
Amazon is the largest and most popular retailer in the world, and as long as it holds its exclusivity terms, you can't publish with them when in partnership with any other retailer, including BN.
In contrast, with Amazon, you can distribute your books to BN but you'll earn less than when you publish directly with BN. So it's upon you to weigh and pick a side. You can't have them all, unfortunately.
As much as you can print on demand with BN, you can only sell the print books within the US. They do not offer international shipping services.
There you go, everything you need to know about publishing with Barnes and Noble. If you are looking to start self-publishing or want to diversify your options, consider BN. They can help you without breaking the bank. I hope you find this post helpful.
Barnes & Nobles Publishing FAQs
Does Barnes and Noble accept self-published books?
Yes. As described above, you can use Barnes And Noble to submit and self-publish your book.
How do I get my book published at Barnes and Noble?
By following the step-by-step guidelines on this page, you can get your book published at Barnes And Noble
What percentage does Barnes and Noble take?
Barnes & Noble take 30% of the sale price from eBook royalties, and, 45% + the book printing fee for paperback books.
Is Barnes And Noble Good For Self-Published Books?
It depends what your goals are. The biggest downside to publishing with BN is you can only sell the print books within the US. That aside, it is one of the largest digital retailers in the world.