B&N Press : https://press.barnesandnoble.com/
First and foremost, for eBook and print-on-demand paperbacks and hardcover books you can self-publish directly through B&N Press and your books will be listed on the Barnes & Noble website. This platform is relatively new. I have been able to get my books onto the website through other aggregators that I’ve been using for years. So when B&N announced this platform I didn’t jump on it, I didn’t want duplicate listings and I’ve heard there are some customer service issues to be worked out. But if you are just starting your self-publishing journey now, this is a great option to literally get your eBook and print books on the Barnes & Noble website.
I get my eBooks on their site through Smashwords and my print books through IngramSpark. Other aggregators like Draft2Digital and Lulu can get your books there as well. Now you’ll notice so far I haven’t discussed audiobooks. Well the main way to get your audiobook onto the Nook Audio website is through an audiobook aggregator like Findaway Voices.
You can self-publish your book directly through B&N Press or through any number of self-publishing aggregators.
Digital – B&N Press, Aggregators like Smashwords, Draft2Digital, Lulu
Print – B&N Press, Aggregators like IngramSpark, Lulu
Audio – Findaway Voices
Your retail strategy: I’ve talked about getting my own books into local indie bookstores before but the main elements apply here. You have to think about what the bookstore wants. Money.
You need to make it easy for them to make money off of your book or cut their losses if it doesn’t sell. That means you need to offer a competitive wholesale discount and allow the store to return any excess books that aren’t moving. Enter IngramSpark. You can both set your wholesale discount to 55% and allow returns on your book through this platform. You’ll also want to make sure you have a promotional marketing plan and get creative suggesting ways you can drive more traffic to the book store.
For your local Barnes & Noble, I would suggest going in and talking to someone. Explain that you are a local author, your book is on Barnes & Noble.com and could the store also stock the book? Ask about ways you can help drive people to the store like a reading or signing event. Remember, Barnes & Noble really wants people in their stores. They’ve been struggling and have had to shut down branches over the years. 2020 was not kind to them. If you want to be in their store, you need to show that you can solve this huge problem for them.
When the clerk at your local store looks up the ISBN they will see it in the Ingram database and that it has a discount they want and is returnable. Check! This makes the conversation easier. If they are busy or the person who approves these items isn’t in the store at the moment, they may direct you to an email address.
With the success of selling at your local Barnes & Noble and sales data on your previous books or this current book you are looking to sell, you’re ready to apply to Barnes & Noble corporate to see if they will pick up your book. They have a set application process and it has changed in the past 2 years.
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