I dithered about whether or not to make Nook Press my topic today. There are other exciting things happening in the world of writing in the digital age (speaking of which, my second audiobook, The Next Best Bride released today). And all I’ve done, besides read the teeth-gritting TOS, and the FAQ, is migrate my PubIt account to Nook Press (something that was very easy for me).
But then I decided that Barnes & Noble has done something that may very well be a game-changer, or the biggest-thing-no-one-really-wants since electric socks. So I am going to make this a two part post.
Part the first (today’s subject matter): the interesting responses to Barnes and Noble announcing Nook Press.
First, a snippet or two from the press release:
NOOK Press builds on the success of PubIt!™, Barnes & Noble’s original self-publishing platform. In just two and a half years since its launch, PubIt! has propelled many writers to become national bestselling authors, and the program continues to achieve incredible growth:
Hmmm. National bestselling authors. That’s probably pushing it, because to do that, an author needs to sell well on B&N and Amazon. But they have definitely given authors their chance at those lists, because combined B&N and Amazon sales made NY sit up and take notice, so I’ll give them half credit for that.
Leveraging technology from partner FastPencil, and designed with input from PubIt! authors, NOOK Press now offers unique collaboration, content creation and publishing tools in an elegant and intuitive interface. With NOOK Press, Barnes & Noble continues its long tradition of connecting authors with great stories to millions of readers.
This. This is the interesting part. No other etailer offers collaboration tools (that I know of, please feel free to enlighten me in the comments section if you know of one). I have a Wattpad account, which allows collaborations, but no sales. B&N has staked a lot on the notion that writers and readers are looking for this kind of collaborative effort. Because I’m up for anything, I’m going to try it.
I nosed around a little, but I am unclear how to add beta readers (I don’t want collaborators per se, but only readers who can give me some insight into what readers are looking for, which is what we call beta readers). I’m also unclear if B&N has the same definition for beta readers as I do, since you appear to have to have a Nook Press account to be invited to beta read. I’ll be finding out more in the next two weeks, and I’ll share.
Apparently, among author communities, this collaboration tool is not enough to win high marks. Some snippets of what has been said around the blog block:
Holly Lisle takes issue with the terms (which I don’t find to be different from Amazon, Kobo, etc., but there was a linking glitch that made the contract in the entirety, royalty payment clause included, unreadable from within the portion that you had to accept).
Harry J. Connolly is not happy with the lending agreement that allows readers in B&N physical stores to read 100% of any given novel while in the store.
Passive Guy thinks B&N was a little tone-deaf to the changes authors using the PubIt program really wanted to see.
Overall, though, I’m hearing that authors are reacting with a wait-and-see attitude. I suspect some of us are tired of having to learn new interfaces every few months (the unavoidable side effect of rapid changes). However, I was already planning to try out the beta reader method that many successful authors have been using (get beta readers to help you pre-edit the manuscript to make it the best it can be for your core readers — not copy editing, but story editing like “I really wanted to see her reaction to him when he did that; etc.). The little things that readers need that authors…at least authors like me…sometimes forget to put on the page in enough detail and with enough impact). So, I’m going to try it with Shop and Let Die.
Wish me luck!
Part the second (coming in two weeks), my experience putting my soon-to-be-released Shop and Let Die through the Nook Press collaboration tool process.
So: boon or boondoggle? Time will tell.
Kelly McClymer is the author of the Once Upon a Wedding historical romance series (two out in audiobook just this month!); the Salem Witch teen trilogy, and three standalone novels, Blood Angel (YA fantasy), The Ex Files (chicklit), and Getting to Third Date (YA romcom). For fun, she is launching a new cozy noir genre with her upcoming Shop and Let Die. Oh, and as a new granny, she will be dipping her toe into writing for children, with Caleb Meets the World (pictures coming soon).