As self-publishing continues to grow, the book-selling and publishing industry must keep up with the newest trends to survive. Recently Barnes & Noble, one of the top bookstores in the nation, acknowledged this by announcing changes to their own internal publishing outlet. Known as Barnes & Noble Press (B&N Press), this new method of self-publishing allows an author to experience all of the perks of self-publishing with the knowledge that their work is being sold by a reputable brand.
One of the things that B&N Press establishes is that self-publishing through their website is free to use and is widely available to all types of readers (Barnes&Noble). Whether a reader prefers e-books or print, B&N Press will make the book available to readers in both formats. As well as this, whether the book is sold electronically or in print, “authors will receive a flat 70% royalty rate for eBook sales, up from a range of 40% to 65%” (Pilkington). Authors will receive their royalties in 30 days, a quicker turnaround time than the previous 60-day rate (Pilkington). This is a huge advantage for small independent authors who are looking to publish their work and profit from it quickly.
Barnes & Noble also claims that they will make an effort to advertise independently published books better (Pilkington). If Barnes & Noble follows through with this, independent authors will have more support than they used to in traditional self-publishing routes. If they do not, authors looking to self-publish should already know the risk of publishing independently. However, B&N Press includes a section on their website that links other websites geared towards helping authors market their books, edit their content, and make design decisions professionally. This is a huge jump from the previous way that companies treated self-published authors. Barnes & Noble almost minimizes the risk of publishing independently, especially because they have a section dedicated to work by self-published authors.
As for the industry of publishing, Barnes & Noble’s steps to support self-publishing authors could prompt other booksellers to match their perks, and this could even prompt more authors to abandon traditional publishing for self-publishing. Some other publishing companies have been cited as being skimpy with their royalties, especially those who were some of the first to announce a joint publishing and bookselling platform (Pilkington). However, these companies do not provide the same sources for help that Barnes & Noble Press does. This is yet another perk of publishing work with Barnes & Noble that some self-publishing outlets may have to adapt to keep up with the bookselling giant. Though many self-published works do not sell, B&N Press, at least from their website, seems committed to helping authors in whatever way they can to keep their attention, unlike some other self-publishing outlets.
Because of B&N Press, independent authors might be able to receive the much-needed help that self-publishing methods in the past ignored. This could lead to an even steeper rise in self-publishing than before, perhaps threatening the Big 5 publishing houses, but in turn making authors feel more secure.
Barnes&Noble. “Self-Publishing for Books & EBooks: B&N Press.” Self-Publishing for EBooks & Print Books, press.barnesandnoble.com/.
Pilkington, Mercy. “B&N Press Just Sweetened Its Deal for Indie Authors.” Reader, Good e-Reader, 1 Feb. 2021, goodereader.com/blog/digital-publishing/bn-press-just-sweetened-its-deal-for-indie-authors.