Making Digital Books: Formatting Your Novel (or Story) for the Nook

Making Digital Books: Add your ebook to the top of the stack!

Have you walked into an actual Barnes & Noble store lately? You may have noticed that they’re devoting more and more space to their spiffy new ereader, the Nook, in its color and eInk (black and white) versions.

The Nook is newer than the Kindle, and it’s a less-expensive alternative to the iPad. When it first came out in fall of 2009, the Nook had some functionality built into it — like a small touchscreen window at the bottom — that the Kindle lacked at the time.

And the Nook has access to all the books in the Barnes & Noble system. It also set up lending ebooks with libraries across America. Smart moves.

As a result, as soon as I could, I learned all about their self-publishing system for the Nook, which they call Pub-It.

Why the Nook as well as Amazon and Smashwords?

I’m mainly uploading novels and story collections at Pub-It, plus all the issues of our graphic novel. Not stories, because it’s too much for me to keep up with, and in any case, Smashwords distributes to B&N as well. So I have stories at Amazon’s KDP and Smashwords only, not Pub-It.

You may want to upload stories and all your other ebooks to the Pub-It system as well. It’s up to you and your plans for distribution. Find a system that works best for you. I’ll talk more about this when I discuss distribution strategies.

Also, Pub-It’s royalty rates are 65% for ebooks priced $2.99 to $9.99 , and 40% for books under $2.99 and over $10, up to $199. Very nice.

Steps for Formatting for B&N’s Pub-It

  1. Copy the Word document you formatted for Smashwords, but give the file a new name, such as “XYZ_Nook.doc.”
  2. Using the new Word document for Nook, repeat steps 1-15 for the Formatting your Word document for Smashwords process covered in the Smashwords blog entry.
  3. Next, update the front matter text by removing any references to Smashwords, which includes deleting the entire Smashwords Edition License Notes paragraph.
  4. Replace any links to Smashwords with relevant links to Barnes & Noble web pages, such as any links to other works you may be excerpting in this ebook.
  5. Save the Word document. You’re ready to upload. (Yes, it’s even easier than prepping files for the Kindle!)

Uploading to Pub-It

After you’ve gotten your Word document ready, it’s almost time to upload it to Pub-It. Just like with Smashwords, you’ll need a cover and some brief descriptive text about your ebook. If you’ve already created these for Smashwords, you can re-use them here.

Once again, you can do a quick look around at the Nook Book Store and see how other writers do their covers and descriptions. Or take a look at My Barnes & Noble pages to for some ideas.

To upload your Word file to Pub-It:

  1. If you haven’t done so already, register with Pub-It. Just like Amazon’s KDP, this login is the same as  the one you’d use when buying something at the Barnes & Noble online store.
  2. After you’re logged in at Pub-It, click the Add a Title button.
  3. Add your ebook’s name, price, series information (if needed), and other info.
  4. Add your Nook Word document file from the previous process.
  5. After the Word document is uploaded and converted, click the Upload & Preview button to see how your ebook looks in the Nook simulator.
  6. Add your cover as a .jpg that’s no bigger than 2 MB in size. The sides must be between 750 pixels and 2000 pixels in length.
  7. Add the ISBN you got from Smashwords, if you like. The ISBN is free, so I use that for all my ebooks. It lists the publisher as Smashwords in the Bowker database, so if it’s important to you to have the publisher listed as you or your publishing company, you can buy your own ISBN, but they’re not cheap. Personally, I don’t think ISBNs are all that important in the digital world.
  8. Add categories, keywords, and your ebook’s description. I usually use my Smashwords Long Description here.
  9. Click the last check box on the page, confirming that you have all rights necessary for this ebook
  10. Click Put on Sale. After about a day or so, your ebook will be live at Barnes & Noble, so let people know about it!

And that’s it for Nook formatting. As always, I hope you found it useful.

If you have any tips or questions, feel free to share in the comments or via Facebook or Twitter! And thanks for reading.

Back to the Making Digital Books Table of Contents.

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