Tuesday, March 19, 2019

KDP Print versus Nook Press

One of my most popular blog posts is from 2016, when I compared using Amazon's CreateSpace to using Barnes & Noble's Nook Press Print. CreateSpace is gone now, replaced by KDP Print, but I recently published Tribes as a paperback on both KDP Print and on Nook Press, so below is a comparison of print publishing via Amazon and Barnes and Noble using the versions of those platforms in use today.

Both platforms have fully integrated print and ebook publication. Each title appears once in the author's list of Projects (B&N) or on the Bookshelf  (KDP), with the ability to add it in a second format and neither one makes you create the ebook first.. Basically, most of the features/options below apply to both ebook and print formats.


Nook Press offered the choice of putting the book on sale now or using pre-order but it didn't give me a chance to say when it would be available. After processing finished, I saw this message on my projects page.

  • Your pre-order print book Tribes has a publication date of March 26, 2019. You must upload your final files by March 11, 2019. If you’re unable to do so, you must push your publication date or your book will go off sale.

And that was that! So pre-ordering was available on B&N but without a lot of options.

With KDP, pre-ordering is an option only for Kindle books. It does let you set the date, though. In fact, the pre-order option is the only way you can launch the book with the X-Ray feature enabled from the start. 


KDP only allows two categories but it was very easy to add both.

Nook says it allows 5 categories but after I added the first, I could not figure out how to add more.  Also, selecting a category required me to specify three levels: category, subcategory, and sub-subcategory.


Both KDP Print and Nook Press provide free ISBNs for print books, but if you use their ISBN, it cannot be used anywhere else. I always buy my own ISBNs and register them to my imprint, Cracked Mirror Press. I want the paperback to have one single ISBN.

In the past, B&N has rejected the ISBN I used on Amazon KDP, but this time  I had not yet clicked publish on Amazon when I set up the Nook version. Also, I didn't select "expanded distribution" on KDP, which causes Amazon to make the book available on other online bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, Consequently, I was able to use my own ISBN for the Nook Press version.


Both platforms offer paperback, but Nook Press can also do hardback. I have no idea of the requirements because I have never used that option, but it is there.

One advantage B&N has is the "Buy online, pick up in store" option that shows up on the product page. It's only really an advantage if a reader lives near a store with an Espresso Book Machine to print the book, but it's there.


Amazon stated my cost to print (which is the cost of author copies) as $4.44 and B&N estimated it as $5.00. This does not cover shipping, of course.

Proof copies:

Both platforms allow you to order a proof copy; the one from KDP had a "Not for resale" stripe on the front cover, but the Nook one did not.

Linking the print and ebook versions:

Both platforms allow you to create a new version of an existing title in a new format just by clicking a button on the entry for the existing format. I had, in fact, pulled the Nook Press version of Tribes from sale before I published the Nook press paperback, but it was still in the system (it was, in fact, still for sale, because before I published it to B&N directly, I made it available to B&N via Smashwords; this was years ago, well before I published it directly on Nook Press, I had quite a time getting that version pulled from sale). .Anyway, B&N automatically added the Nook book description and other details about the ebook when I clicked the link to create the print book .On the B&N product page, it showed one entry for Tribes but with two formats. So, linking product pages was no problem on the Nook end.

On Amazon, for some reason even though I created the paperback by clicking the "Create paperback" button on the Kindle version's entry, it did not link the product pages. If you searched Amazon for the title and author without specifying Kindle, it showed both formats but with two entries, like this:

If you limited the search to the Kindle store, you would see only the Kindle version, with no indication a paperback exists. Likewise, clicking one entry brings up that product page with no link to the other version. Amazon claims linking will happen automatically within 72 hours, but I have always had to ask them to link the books, which is what I had to do for Tribes. It didn't take them long and now it looks like this:


In terms of ease of use, the two platforms are actually pretty similar. Also of note is that the PDFs for the interior and the cover worked fine on both platforms. Of course, in both cases, I had selected white paper instead of cream, which I suspect is why the covers worked for both.

No comments:

Post a Comment