In my last post, I shared two exciting new offerings from the field of e-books: Amazon.com’s new Kindle Singles, aimed at works too long for magazines or too short for a traditional novel, but perfect for the e-marketplace (where size doesn’t matter), and Barnes & Noble’s new NOOKColor e-reader, which offers a tremendous variety of magazines and newspapers for its users. In this post, I’ll explain how perspective authors and businesses can get their content onto these new formats and devices.
First, it’s important to remember that Kindle and NOOK are both pieces of hardware, as well as cross-platform apps that can run on a variety of hardware, ranging from PCs to smartphones. When you publish a document for the NOOK or Kindle, it will be available for owners of the Kindle and NOOK hardware as well as anyone who downloads the free app to access Kindle and NOOK content for their device of choice.
Kindle hasn’t yet released specific guidelines for publishing a Kindle Single, but one might assume the process would be similar to Amazon’s system for publishing traditional Kindle books, the Digital Text Platform (DTP). DTP allows authors to upload their content for publishing on Kindle, while setting their own price, determining their royalty amount (35 or 70 percent; restrictions and conditions apply) and choosing whether or not they want to use digital rights management (DRM). Content can be created using Microsoft Word, saved as an HTML file, and uploaded to Amazon for conversion into the mobipocket format that Amazon uses. A similar process is available for blog authors who wish to have their blog published on the Kindle, as well as newspaper and periodical publishers.
Barnes & Noble’s answer to rival Amazon’s DTP is PubIt! As you might expect, PubIt! does some things better than DTP, and some things not as well. On the plus side, PubIt! allows authors to publish in the EPUB format, which is the open digital standard used by most libraries that offer e-books through the OverDrive system. Of course, if you don’t plan on having your book available through public libraries, this won’t matter to you. However, the EPUB format can also be read by e-readers manufactured by Sony and a few others, so even if the library isn’t a venue for you, EPUB does offer a little wider hardware base. You can also read PubIt! e-books inside Barnes & Nobles many brick and mortar stores with your NOOK or NOOKColor, something Amazon.com can’t offer.
On the negative side, PubIt! e-books can’t be sold outside of the US, and the NOOK is not as popular as the ubiquitous Kindle. Also, it’s not as easy to create an EPUB file with PubIt! as authors must convert their Word (or other word processor) files to EPUB via one of several third-party sites before submitting. It also appears that you can’t publish blogs, newspapers or periodicals via PubIt!, so magazine and newspaper article authors’ access to the NOOK maybe limited to those large publications available through the NOOK.
Like DTP, PubIt! offers a variable royalty scheme (65 or 40 percent depending on price).
As you can tell, either system is a little confusing. Fortunately, Trade Press Services can walk you through the process for either publishing portal, and help you make certain that your work is timely, informative and well-written. If you’d like to learn more about how TPS can get your book, magazine or periodical into the e-book universe, contact me.