Barnes & Noble Introduces PubIt! Self-Publish System To Rival Amazon - HotHardware
Barnes & Noble Introduces PubIt! Self-Publish System To Rival Amazon

Barnes & Noble Introduces PubIt! Self-Publish System To Rival Amazon

The e-reader market is a questionable one right now. Some say that it's fine, and that true bookworms will continue to support E-Ink based devices. But some say that tablets and multi-use devices such as the iPad pose a great threat to e-readers, which are generally limited in what all they can do. One thing that is very clear, though, is that the Barnes & Noble Nook is just about the only e-reader in America to seriously rival the Kindle, and while other options are out there, few are as well thought-out, well-connected and well-designed as the two of these.

Amazon has been letting blossoming authors self-publish titles onto the Kindle e-Bookstore for months, and while B&N is a bit behind with the Nook, the company is finally coming forward with a similar alternative. The new "PubIt!" service is designed to create a way for independent publishers and self-publishing writers to distribute their works digitally through Barnes & Noble.com and the Barnes & Noble eBookstore. It's a fairly simple process: just write, upload, price, and sell. Hard to argue with that, particularly from anyone who has attempted to have anything published the "old fashioned" way.

B&N has yet to really spell out the details behind the royalty model, with those expected to be announced soon. The service itself has yet to go live for outsiders, with the splash screen only giving interested consumers a chance to sign up and know more when the information becomes available. Will writers begin to shift their Amazon uploads to B&N? Will the royalty model cause a price war between the two? Either way, this is probably excellent news for consumers.

The announcement marks Barnes & Noble’s latest move to continue to build one of the world’s largest digital catalogs, spanning eBooks, journals, periodicals and other types of reading material. PubIt! titles will be distributed through BN.COM and Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore, which currently offers more than one million digital titles to millions of dedicated customers in-store and online.

Independent publishers and writers will appreciate PubIt!’s simple and competitive royalty model and compensation process, the details of which will be available in the coming weeks. Content owners’ intellectual property will be well-protected with Barnes & Noble’s best-in-class digital rights management technology and offered in the industry standard ePub format that allows publishers’ works to be enjoyed by millions of Barnes & Noble customers on hundreds of the most popular computing, mobile and eBook reading devices.

“As a company that has achieved much of its success by building mutually beneficial relationships with publishers and authors, Barnes & Noble’s new PubIt! service represents an exciting evolution and significant opportunity in the digital content arena,” said Theresa Horner, director, Digital Products, Barnes & Noble. “Barnes & Noble is uniquely positioned to support writers and publishers and bring their exciting digital works to the broadest audience of readers anywhere.”

Whether online or on-the-go, Barnes & Noble customers will have access to PubIt! titles with the opportunity to browse, sample, buy and download the digital content in seconds to their devices with free BN reader software. Using Barnes & Noble’s breakthrough Read In Store™ technology, NOOK™ customers can also browse the complete contents of PubIt! titles while in Barnes & Noble stores.

PubIt! is a convenient one-stop-shop, allowing publishers to get their content in front of consumers for purchase and reading on the most widely adopted mobile devices and software platforms. By following simple steps to upload their content in an industry standard format for electronic titles, content creators can reach consumers on hundreds of devices including: NOOK by Barnes & Noble, PC, Mac®, iPad™, iPhone®, BlackBerry® and others. For more information on free BN eReader software and apps, please visit www.bn.com/ebooks/download-reader.asp.

More information on PubIt!, which will be available this summer, and the benefits of joining Barnes & Noble’s expansive and trusted digital content catalog can be found at www.bn.com/pubit.

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I would NOT say that the Nook rivals the Kindle, having owned both. The Nook is DEEPLY flawed. The touchscreen, while cute, is clumsy and unresponsive. If you belong to a credit union, you can't purchase books without a ridiculous workaround. The built-in dictionary only works with root words; it can't find words that have been pluralized or otherwise suffixed (I'd say my hit rate was about 1 in 20 for the dictionary). I'm quite happy with my Kindle. The keypad is waaaay easier to use than the Nook's virtual keypad, it always finds the word in the dictionary no matter how it is modified, and it is slightly more sleek. Amazon's CEO's politics are repulsive to me, but I assuage my conscience by thinking of all the bleeding heart liberals working there.

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I have to jump in and defend Nook a little. When I chose a digital reader, it was a *very* close race between Amazon and B&N. Kindle is a fine product (several friends have them), but I prefer the Nook, especially since their latest update, which added a bunch of new features. I did not find Nook's virtual keyboard hard to use, and I really, really like the fact that Nook uses 802.11 wireless networking, unlike the Kindle which relies on 3G. (I live in an area where 3G coverage is spotty at best).

When I do make it to a city, I love going to the bookstore and I didn't want my purchase of an expensive e-reader to guilt me into no longer going book-shopping. Nook, very cleverly, actually encourages users to go into the brick-and-mortar stores by using that aforementioned 802.11 networking to activate special features that are only available on the Nook when you're in the store (including the ability to browse *any* book, in its entirety).

Nook is also Android based, so as features get added to that operating system, I expect that more features will come my way with subsequent updates.

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