Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Barnes and Noble to Carry (Some) Indie Books

One of the disadvantages of being an indie author is difficulty getting your paper books distributed by physical bookstores. It can be done, but it might require printing your books through a different service and paying for returns. Barnes and Noble announced yesterday plans to carry select indie books in their stores (you can currently order indie paper books on their website). Here's the original article posted on GoodeReader; you can read commentary from other indie authors on The Passive Voice

While this sounds like a great deal for indie authors, it's necessary to consider the details. To qualify, the eBook versions must be published through Nook Press (which means I'd have to cease using Draft2Digital to distribute to B&N--and I can't set a book to permafree unless I use the distributor) and sell at least 1000 books a year. Most of my sales are on Amazon; I have very few on Kobo, Apple or B&N. I still distribute my books there partly to give my readers as much access as possible and partly because I don't want to be 100% reliant on Amazon. Even if a book does qualify, there's no word yet about terms, such as number of books per store, how long they will be displayed, and what the return policy for unsold books will be. While I see this as a step forward for indie authors, I also have my doubts about the long-term health of Barnes & Noble. If they manage to avoid going the way of Borders, they may be forced to do that by reducing their shelf space even further and selling things other than books.

Let's take a quick poll: If you buy paper books, where do you buy them from? Please feel free to comment below.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

From what I've read, sounds more like placing your books on a sinking ship. And we know what water does to books.
Sorry, ever since I got my first iPad, I've been an eBook convert. I think I've purchased a whole two or three print books in the past five years, and they were purchased from Amazon.

Maria Zannini said...

I still buy nonfiction in paper since I'll probably read them more than once and I still like having a book in my hands.

Except for once when someone gave me a gift certificate to B&N I almost always buy paper books at Amazon.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Alex, great metaphor!

Maria, paper books are especially useful for cookbooks or other books with lots of graphics.

While I will buy books from B&N if I need them right away (for a present, for example), when I do buy paper books, I mostly buy them through Amazon. I did buy two paper books at WisCon from other Broad Universe members.

PT Dilloway said...

I don't think I've sold even 500 books total on Nook. 99% of my sales are on Amazon.

Crystal Collier said...

When I buy paper books (which is super rare), I buy them online, or at a library clearance. Yup, I'm cheap.

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