It’s the second largest book retailer after Amazon depending on who you ask. There’s no doubt the past few years has been rough for Barnes and Noble with plummeting Nook sales, store closings, as well as many layoffs. But in spite of all that, B&N has begun to gain some steady footing by reorganizing their company and hiring a new CEO. So despite the rumors of Barnes & Noble’s demise, they’re not going anywhere, anytime soon.
Why not go Exclusive with Amazon?
Not long ago, I had a friend ask about my print book and when I told her it was available on Amazon, she ordered it through B&N which, I thought was a bit extreme. You see, there are many people who believe Amazon is the evil empire (generally those within the publishing community) and are actively boycotting the site. However, with the recent investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after the death of two employees and multiple worker complaints, even I can’t ignore Amazon’s declining reputation. If they insist on going the Walmart route, many of us will have to question whether to bother publishing with them at all.
Also there is the fact that once Amazon becomes a monopoly, (and it seems like that’s inevitable) they’ll change their royalties so instead of 70%, that could be lowered to 50% or even 20%. Sorry, but that’s what usually happens in a monopoly.
The Difference between Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Barnes and Noble was a company founded in 1886 and began as a simple book shop in New York. To this day, it’s said that B&N still sells more print books than Amazon.com. However, Amazon dominates the digital market (eBooks). Amazon also sells a plethora of products on its site such as air conditioners and clothing, while B&N just sells books and entertainment items on theirs. The only real advantage they have over Amazon, are their brick and mortar book stores. B&N is offline as well as online and can offer things to authors like book signings and even bookfairs in their stores. All one has to do is call up one of their many book stores using their store locator and speak with one of their managers directly.
In the Beginning there was the eBook…
When eBooks first hit the market, readers had two choices, Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and believe it or not, many book lovers preferred the Nook over the Kindle for a short time. That alone is why it’s a good idea for indie authors to get their books uploaded to the Nook. Also, B&N is launching a new device in May of 2015 and who knows, it could rival the Kindle once again. Don’t snicker, it could happen!
The Site Formally Known as Pubit
For those of you who don’t know, Nook Press (formally known as Pubit) is the only way indie authors can upload their ebooks to the Barnes & Noble site directly. For those of you on a shoestring budget, it would be wise to upload your ebooks directly to as many sites as possible so you can cut out the middle men like Smashwords or BookBaby. You really don’t need to give 20% of every book sale to an aggregator when there’s software like Calibre and OnlineConvert.com that’ll convert your MS Word docs for free.
Wait a Minute, You’re not Done Yet!
Like Goodreads, Barnes & Noble has a newsletter called B&N Review where they interview authors and review books. It would be wise if you sent them a proof or review copy of your print book to their address:
The Barnes & Noble Review
Barnes & Noble.com
76 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
I like Barnes and Noble but I spend most of my money online at Amazon because they have so much more to offer and let’s face it, it’s convenient. Also there’s the issue with the Barnes and Noble search engine, it’s nowhere near as good as Amazon’s.
However, Barnes & Noble has a physical store that offers people experiences like author signings and workshops. Some stores even have a cafe with cupcakes to die for!
But needless to say, if B&N doesn’t change their operating model soon and rely less on entertainment products like DVDs and CDs they will go into extinction like their competitor Borders.
So there you go another promotional hack for your book launch. Next week, I’ll be discussing the art of the pre-launch so stick around.