SmackdownRecently, Barnes & Noble decided to get into the act and announced that Nook Press would also let you create a POD book that would then be for sale on the Barnes & Noble online store. I decided to try it. I uploaded virtually the same files for King of Trees that I had used on CreateSpace (I did have change to make the cover file a teensy bit smaller) and was able to publish using Barnes & Noble's Nook Press Print.
|CreateSpace copy on left. B&N on right.|
|Amazon left; B & N right|
Some differences I observed:
- On both platforms, the vendor sets a minimum price you can charge for the book, based on size, but interestingly, it was almost $1.50 lower on Barnes & Noble than on Amazon. Of course, the royalty per book is lower, too, by almost the same amount. And, because of shipping costs, a customer might well pay more on B&N, as Amazon make CreateSpace books eligible for free shipping for Prime members.
- Both vendors let you do bulk orders at a lower price, but B&N sets a 125 copy minimum. Possibly, they use a different press for those orders, and not the Espresso. CreateSpace lets you "bulk" order as few copies as you like, but the shipping costs make it cheaper than retail only if you get at least 8 or 10.
- CreateSpace will distribute to Amazon in some other countries, and to other vendors, including B&N. Note that you make a teeny-tiny royalty for non-Amazon sales. Nook Press only goes to B&N online.
- CreateSpace lets you order an actual print proof copy before you put the book up for sale on Amazon. If Nook Press does that, I could not find out how to do it. The only preview I could see was online.
- Amazon is better at tweaking the PDF files for you if there is a minor problem. Nook Press just states the problem and tells you to fix it.
- I would give the Create-Space interface the edge over Nook Press, partly because I could not figure out a way to bulk order; there is a tab for Orders in the Nook dashboard, but all that happens when you click it is you get an empty screen that says "No orders yet." Because of that, I cannot compare the bulk order prices. Not that I would actually order 125 copies, but I would have liked to initiate the process to at least find out the per copy price. Update: I found the Order link! It was right near the Edit link. In spite of what the FAQ said (as I understood it), you can in fact oder just one copy; 125 is the maximum number, not the minimum. The bulk order price for KoT on B&N Nook is $6.92, versus $5.00 on Kindle.
- On the other hand, Nook Press does let you link the print book to an existing ebook during the publishing process, which CreateSpace doesn't do. Amazon does link the two copies up after a few days, but it's annoying that you have to wait and hope it happens.
- Nook Press was very slow to actually put my book on sale; it spent about a week in pending status. On the other hand, replacing the front cover of the Nook ebook (I got a new cover when I decided to do print) was really quick, but Amazon took several days to disseminate the new cover for the Kindle version after I had changed it in KDP. That's not really a print book issue, but it's only fair to mention it.
- I did not see any indication that B&N offers anything like Kindle Matchbook, which lets you give away (or sell really cheaply) the Kindle version of the book to anyone who buys the paperback.
From the help screens, it looks like if a Nook Press Print book sells enough copies, you can ask B&N to carry it in stores, but it doesn't say how many copies that is.
If you want to check King of Trees out online, here's the link for B&N, and for Amazon.