Nook opens up in UK and Europe for self-publishers

Nook Press is now finally available outside the US, so self-publishers in the UK and throughout Europe can publish their ebooks directly on the Barnes & Noble-owned site.

The deal applies to authors/self-publishers in UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

In the UK, the terms are:

Book price: £0.75-£1.49 – Author’s royalty: 40%

Book price:£1.50-£7.99 – Author’s royalty: 65%

Book price: £8-£120 – Author’s royalty 40%

The terms for France, Italy, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, and Belgium (the euro is the currency in all these countries):

€0.99-€ 2.49 – 40%

€2.50-€9.49 – 65%

€ 9.50-€199.99 –  40%

These compare with the established payment split in the US:

$0.99-$2.98 – 40%

$2.99-$9.99 – 65%

$10-$199.99 – 40%

No delivery charges

There are no added fees and particularly welcome is the absence of the hated delivery fees which Kindle charges authors (10p per megabyte in the UK), which makes it very difficult to publish illustrated ebooks economically, although Nook Press does set an overall limit of 20Mb per ebook.

UK and European authors have previously had to use a distributor such as Smashwords or Draft2digital to get their ebooks on Nook. Both are great services but authors have still lost out, with another slice of commission going to the distributor.

Slick interface

Nook Press has a slick interface, probably faster and smoother than the Kindle Direct Publishing platform and more consistently reliable than the Kobo interface. It has lots of useful help and features, including a Manuscript Editor where authors can write and upload their work. It’s quick to publish on the platform and ebooks generally appear within 24 hours.

It’s a welcome move for self-publishers. Barnes & Noble has had a difficult time in the ebook market after setting up Pubit in 2010 which struggled along for three years before closing down last year after Nook Press was established.

The generally held view of Barnes & Noble has been one of a company in decline, losing out under pressure from the online might of Amazon, but there are factors that could see that situation shift in some measure at least.

The market share of ebooks in the total book reading market appears to have steadied at somewhere between 30% and 40%, depending on whose figures you believe, while print books still have 60%-70% of the market.

This keeps B&N, with its extensive chain of stores, in a relatively strong position, while Amazon has been coming under pressure recently as its sales growth has started to flatten out.

Amazon is in a unique position in that it is not a profitable company and never has been to any real extent, considering its huge turnover. It has received big injections of capital from hedge funds over the years in return for stock and expectation of eventual massive profitability.

Barnes & Noble has been suffering with falling sales and a managed decline in numbers of its stores but it returned to profitability at the end of last year and it still has around 15% of the ebook market in the US. It also has the advantage of focus, being only in one main market – books – while Amazon is spread out every niche sector it can think of.

With this move, Nook Press will surely gain some ground in Europe and it could prove to be a useful step to diversity for self-publishers.