Real quick, on the tour front: Today I’m hanging out with Larissa Ione talking about the big idea behind my Mirus series. Also, don’t forget about the blog contest and the free review copies of Forsaken By Shadow.
Evidently Barnes and Noble is planning on following in Amazon’s footsteps. Just as authors can currently self-pub directly on Amazon through the Digital Text Platform, by end of summer they’ll be able to do the same with Barnes and Noble’s PubIt!
Currently, authors are able to get into Barnes and Noble via Smashwords, which has a distribution contract with them. We’re told that we’ll be able to eventually follow our sales from other distribution channels on Smashwords, but that feature isn’t yet available. There is currently an 8 week lag between when a book is shipped from Smashwords to Barnes and Noble. Forsaken By Shadow, which shipped the first week of April, only just showed up about a week ago. I have to wonder if the lag time was because BN had this in the works and would rather deal with authors directly.
Certainly as a total stats addict, I would prefer to be able to monitor my sales on Barnes and Noble directly. They are not anywhere near as big as Amazon in terms of the e-market, but I think potential is there, as they’ll be putting books out in EPUB, a much more device friendly format than Kindle (as in can be read on more than one device). And naturally, being able to cut out the middle man will, theoretically, mean a greater cut of the royalties pie, though I have not yet seen any information on what percentage BN will be offering authors who use PubIt!. According to this press release they will be offering a “competitive royalty model” but they’re not announcing specifics right now.
The only thing that makes me a little squicky is this “will feature what the company calls the “best-in-class digital rights management technology.” I don’t believe in DRM. I think it’s punishing legitimate consumers for the actions of pirates who are going to find a way to strip it and distribute anyway. So I’m hoping that PubIt! will allow authors to opt out of DRM like Amazon does.
It will be very interesting to see how this shakes out.