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Barnes and Noble Launches Pubit! to Broaden E-Book Content

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October 04, 2010

Barnes and Noble Launches Pubit! to Broaden E-Book Content

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Barnes and Noble is not to be outdone by The company has announced the launch of its independent e-book publishing platform, known as Pubit!, according to a Beta News report. The purpose of this new platform is to attract independent and do-it-yourself publishers to the Nook e-reader. 

Any books released through this platform may be priced as low as 99 cents and as high as $199.99. The sweet spot for publishers to list their e-books is in between $2.99 and $9.99. In this range, publishers will be able to take 65 percent of the money collected. Those titles listed below $2.98 and above $10 earn 40 percent of the list price for the publisher. 

Publishers may find this sweet spot looks much like Amazon’s DTP self-publishing platform. Both companies use this spot to encourage publishers to release books in that range so they can be competitive. Amazon sweetened the deal in June when it bumped royalties to 70 percent. 

Overall royalties paid by Amazon are determined not just by price of the book, but also be its file size and whether or not a paper version of the same book exists. If a paper version is available, the difference between the e-book and the paper version will be taken into consideration. 

While Barnes and Nobile is paying 5 percent less in royalties, the company touts that Pubit! is free of “hidden fees” related to file size and print publishing disparities outlined in Amazon’s strategy above.

One competitive advantage for the Nook platform is the fact that it is designed with peer sharing and causal content browsing in mind. A “Read in Store” feature also allows users to browse an e-book in its entirety as long as the reader is physically in a Barnes and Nobile store. 

The “LendMe” feature allows for the loan of an e-book out to a friend for up to 14 days. The idea behind the Pubit! launch is to offer self-publishing tools to independent and DIY publishers in an effort to broaden content within the e-book stores. 

"The launch of our PubIt! platform further reinforces our long-standing commitment to authors and writers, and offers a significant opportunity to provide an even greater selection of reading material to our millions of customers," Theresa Horner, director of digital products for Barnes & Noble, said on Monday.

Will we see changes in the Amazon royalty platform with this launch? It may all depend on the level of threat Pubit! actually presents in the overall market.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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