Barnes and Noble is not content to merely open up a new digital bookstore in new markets, but are obsessed with quality. The largest bookseller in the USA has just announced that they are bringing their Nook Press self-publishing platform to the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. All of these books will be available in their host countries primary language.
The Bookseller is reporting that “Authors will receive royalties in local currency, whether sterling or euros, at rates “competitive” with Amazon and Kobo programs. Authors who choose to price books in the sweet spot between £1.50-£7.99 will receive 65% of the list price for sold content. For books priced below or above (as low as 75p, as high as £120.00), the royalty drops to 40%. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing authors receive 70% royalty if their books are priced between £1.49 and £7.81 but e-books priced outside this range will only yield 35% royalty rate. Kobo pays a 70% royalty on e-books priced between $1.99 and $12.99, and a 45% royalty on e-books below $1.99 or above $12.99.” There will be a 60 day payment cycle for authors who earn money with the platform.
“We understood the priority of getting launched outside the US and recognized the number of wonderful independent voices not being served whom we could offer to the reading customer,” Horner said. But the process of getting there was “complicated,” requiring a “company-wide” effort. “We had to figure out how to pay in local currency, deal with tax and other financial details, different languages, etc.” All told, development took “six to nine months.”
Barnes and Noble is going to make publishing on their platform as painless as possible. They are offering live chat for authors to call if they have trouble navigating the website or submitting a book.
Nook e-Readers will not be available for sale in any of these new countries, other than the UK. Instead, users will have to use the Nook app to read books. If you use an iPhone or iPad, you won’t be able to buy self-published titles via, Nook. Instead, you will have to use the Safari web-browser to buy the books and then sync them to the app. Android is a bit easier for the average user because you can buy and read books directly in the app.
Nook Press originally launched last year and has been a US based exclusive. This is the first time Nook is opening up their self-publishing system and it will be interesting to see if the company will offer localized titles in their stores that are not self-published. The company has not alluded to this at all, but it makes sense to open up a new market with indie titles and add trade ones later.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.