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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Is NookPress Right for You?


When I entered a Barnes and Noble store at Union Square in New York City, recently, greeting me at the door was a table stand with literature about NookPress and its self-publishing service. I first thought, “Good idea. Market yourself and expand your sales offering.” But by the time I finished reading the literature, I felt disappointed. The fees, mainly for printing, were quite high.

To print a book, such as a 300-page novel, it would cost around $16 or $17 per copy. If one were to print say 2000 copies of a 300 page book with a printer, they may pay $3.50 or less per copy. The NookPress rate meant if one prints 400 copies, they would spend the same as others would to print 2000. Not a very good deal!

Now, to be fair, print on demand via NookPress is different than doing large volume printing. Other print on demand publishers such as Create Space or iUniverse also charge higher fees to print books, though not as much as NookPress.

NookPress does offer help at various points of quality -- when it comes to cover design, interior layout, and editorial services -- for a fee of course. Authors could easily be in the hole for $10,000 after printing just a few books. But the self-publishing revolution is about risk and reward.

People can complain about traditional book publishers all they want -- and some arguments certainly have merit -- but people should see that self-publishing requires effort and cost and is not without risk or investment of resources.

On the positive side, self-publishing means nobody says “no.” Authors decide what gets published, when and how. They also keep larger chunks of the profits when they self-publish.  Such freedom and reward tantalizes today’s writers.

When a quality book is published and presented well, the next two steps are finding a distributor and executing a book marketing and publicity campaign. Having your book published with NookPress gives you greater access to Barnes and Noble’s sales outlets, but even so, if so, it is up to the author to generate sales. This holds as true, to a degree, even when writers are published by major houses.

Before you run off to NookPress or the self-publishing machines, think about how to make your book a marketable and promotable product. Make it look like a book Random House would publish and be prepared to pump time, money and resources into marketing and promoting it.

You are a modern day author. It means freedom and potential riches -- but it also means expenses, risks and responsibility.


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

3 comments:

  1. "You are a modern day author. It means freedom and potential riches -- but it also means expenses, risks and responsibility." Oh, god, this should be tattooed on the forearm of our writing hand!

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  2. As much as I love Barnes & Noble, even ebooks sales are down at their website to the point where I'm pulling even those from NookPress in favor of an aggregator. There's still something missing from their equation, or they're not keeping up with the market.

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  3. There is a great difference between vanity publishing and self-publishing. If you wish to self-publish, do it all yourself. Set up your book in the format you want in a program such as Pages, then put it in PDF, send it to a local printer who will give you a good price for digital printing or a printer like Bookmasters . Put out 300 copies to see how it goes, then put out another 300 if required, etc. You can get your own list of ISBNs, register your company, take the tax deduction, and distribute them yourself, with an awareness of who would read it—target marketing. You control everything and it's much much cheaper than Vanity publishing. Don't forget to print copyright, the year and your name on the verso of the title page!

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