A Quick Guide To Barnes and Noble Self Publishing

Posted on Nov 14, 2022

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Written by Jackie Pearce

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If you want to or are already an author, you’ve probably come across the Barnes and Noble self publishing option.

For authors, self publishing makes a lot of sense. You’re in full control of the whole process and there are so many options of places to publish your book.

You might be wondering how the Barnes and Noble self publishing option is different than other options out there. As an author, you want to get the most out of a platform and want to make sure you’re publishing on the right platforms that can give you the most in return.

Let’s take a look at how it works, what you need to know, and go over if it’s a good option for you. I’ve given my overall rating in the box below, then you can click into the parts that are of most interest to you.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Barnes and Noble Self Publishing

When it’s time to self publish your book, you might come across the Barnes and Noble self publishing platform.

It’s a good option for authors to use, and it’s not a complicated platform to upload your book.

If you choose to self-publish with them, your book will be available on their website and through their Nook ereaders.

Overall, it’s a good program and worth publishing on for authors to be able to offer their book to more people. However, if you want the specifics of the program, you’ve come to the right place.

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Overview of the Program

In 2018, Barnes and Noble launched their self-publishing option called the Barnes & Noble Press. It’s become popular quickly as an alternative to Amazon’s self-publishing program.

There’s no doubt that Amazon is still the biggest option out there, but if you’re looking to get the word out about your book, you will often want to look for alternative options.

Although you might already know this, you should still know that just because you use the Barnes and Noble self-publishing option doesn’t mean your book will now be available in their stores.

You can, however, choose to sell your books either through a paperback or ebook option, depending on what you want to offer.

One great feature is that it’s free to upload your book onto Barnes and Noble Press. Even if you decide to do a physical book, the cost is in the purchase from your readers instead of you having to pay anything up front.

Payment and Royalties

A top concern might be how much you make in royalties from each book sale.

As of publishing this article, it’s 55% royalties for paperback and up to 70% royalties for ebooks.

If you don’t know, this is on the higher end, especially compared to sites like Amazon which offers a starting rate of 35% for books sold through their Kindle program.

It’s free to upload books to the site, so you don’t need to spend any money to make it available. You will need to buy an ISBN number if you don’t already have one, though.

You will get paid every 30 days, depending on how much you made that month. On top of that, you receive detailed financial reports so you can have the essential information at your fingertips.

Pros of using Barnes and Noble self publishing

There are a few pros to using this program:

  • They don’t require exclusivity so you can still publish on other self-publishing platforms
  • Free and easy uploading
  • Printing costs are inexpensive
  • Good print quality if you do choose to use a paperback
  • Access to all shoppers on their website and Nook ereaders 
  • Barnes and Nobles has a huge platform
  • If your book is selling well, they may invite you to promotional offers
  • Can set up pre-orders (both for digital and physical copies)
  • People can find your book organically through their online store
  • Sales reports
  • Tools and tips to market your book
  • Various print types
  • Various paper types

Cons of using Barnes and Noble self publishing

Of course, there are also some drawbacks:

  • This doesn’t get you a spot on their shelves
  • Your book will only be on their website
  • They don’t do any marketing for you by default
  • Little to no direct customer support 
  • Your book is only distributed in the United States
  • No audiobook publishing

Other Benefits and Features of Self-Publishing With Barnes and Noble

There are a few other benefits that come along with using this platform that were mentioned above, so let’s explain them more in detail.

Sales reports – You can log in and see all the stats on your recent orders, where customers came from, and more in their easy-to-understand sales reports

Various print options – You can choose between the different print types (paperback, hard cover, dust jacket) and paper types (cream, white paper – regular, white paper – extra thick). This way, you can offer exactly what you want to customers.

Tips for marketing – While they don’t directly help you market your book (unless your book starts to sell well), they do have resources for you to market on your own. You might be invited to be featured in their emails or in other places if you do well, which can be a huge perk.

How to Self-Publish on Barnes and Noble Press

So, you’ve decided to use this platform to self-publish your book. Great!

If you’ve self-published on other platforms, you most likely already know the general steps.

#1 – Pick your book format

First, you’ll need to pick your formats. Do you want to offer digital or paperback options?

Keep in mind, once your book is in their system you can quickly offer various versions later on.

So, you could choose to offer an ebook first but then later on you can quickly change and offer a paperback, too.

#2 – Upload all your files

Once you’ve picked your format, you’ll need to gather all of your files together to upload.

You’ll need:

  • Your whole book
  • Book cover
  • Book description
  • Decided book price
  • Keywords and tags for your book

#3 – Publish

Once you’ve done all the above, you’re ready to publish and start promoting your book.

There is a slight delay in approval, so you need to wait until they approve your book, but some people report it’s not too long of a wait.

How it compares to other self-publishing options

Amazon self-publishing is one of the biggest alternatives to this program. As you already know, Amazon is the biggest book seller across the world so having your book there can provide a ton of benefits.

(Although, it should be mentioned that Barnes and Noble in NYC is the biggest physical book store in the world.)

Currently, Amazon offers distribution through Barnes and Noble (some restrictions apply) so that might be possible to offer it on both through one platform, but the details on that offering are still being worked out.

From hunting around, one publishing difference is that it appears Amazon does not offer self-published hardcover books with a sleeve as an option.

The problem with publishing on Amazon is that they have their proprietary Kindle format. If your readers have an ereader through anywhere else (such as the Nook), it won’t work

Barnes and Noble uses the EPUB file format which allows it to be read anywhere.

One of the best things you can do is simply choose to upload it to both platforms so your readers can access it how they choose.

Should You Upload Your Book to Barnes and Noble?

If you’re an author who has chosen to self-publish, there are not too many drawbacks of using this platform.

It is easy to use and it’s easy to sell your book once it’s on there. Overall, it’s recommended as a platform. The only reason you wouldn’t is if you have to exclusively publish on a single platform.

What To Do Next?

If you’re trying to decide which publishing path to take, take our free assessment below:

Find The Best Publishing Path For Your Needs!  Take This 2-Minute Assessment To Learn Which Of Our Publishing Paths Will Be  The Best For You And Your Unique Needs As An Aspiring Author. Answers Delivered  Immediately!  Take The Assessment!

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