Chris A. Baird | May 26, 2023
Barnes and Noble Self Publishing - Read This Before Using It

Are you planning to try Barnes and Noble for your books? Here’s what you need to read before using it.

We've discussed a lot of different ways to publish your book and locations to publish it. But what about Barnes & Noble? Is that something you should consider? Will it stick around? Because that's what we're going to talk about today. So, what are we talking about? Barnes & Noble self-publishing. You're going to want to read, listen, or view this before using it.

Overview of the Program

So let's get straight into it. Barnes & Noble self-publishing, right? Overview of the program. Let's take a close look. In terms of the program they have, they offer a whole bunch of different options where you can both get your book formatted and recover in these things, as well as sell your books on there.

This usually deals with just the paperback and ebook versions, but they'll do all sorts of stuff. They'll be able to help with the writing process, editing, formatting, pricing, distribution, marketing, and lots of different aspects. They're able to do this for both established and aspiring writers who want to enhance their writing skills and get their books out onto the market.

Payment and Royalties

But what about payments and royalties? Well, with Barnes & Noble self-publishing, they pay their authors between 40% and 65% of the list price. Which is not that bad. That's a pretty good price based on the sales that you're going to be expecting on the platform compared to other platforms.

And one thing they can do that I like is that when you're getting paid, you can choose direct deposit or PayPal. This is something that some sites don't offer. For example, Amazon does not offer the ability to send the money straight to PayPal; they're going to want to send it to a bank account of some sort. Does that make sense?

But it is still important as an author who's going on to Barnes & Noble and putting your book on there to make sure that you check the terms and conditions, as well as their pricing strategy, to see if this is going to work for you and that you're okay with the earnings you're going to receive based on the way they have things set up.

Features of Self-Publishing With Barnes and Noble

Features of self-publishing with Barnes & Noble: If you go with the self-publishing side of things with them, you're going to get distribution through its online stores and its partnership with Ingram. That helps get these things out to different retailers for distribution, as well as libraries.

They have competitive royalties because you're going to be able to get 65% on ebooks and even up to 70% on print books, which is fantastic. When you compare with Amazon, I know in many of my books I'm getting like, I think, 40-50% or something like that with the print books, not with the ebooks, and you can get up to 70%.

So, it depends on where you see your sales coming in and which platform is right for you. But maybe you want to go wide, so you have a little better distribution, and that's exactly where Barnes & Noble will fit into the picture for your books.

Check out this related article: Increase Sales by Changing Your Mindset in Self-Publishing

Now, self-published authors use this particular platform, and what do they get? What type of services are they able to get? They get support services, including marketing tools, formatting assistance, and promotional opportunities. So, there are a lot of different services that are offered there. Keep in mind, many of these are also offered on Amazon.

How does Barnes and Noble Press work?

So, how does Barnes & Noble Press work? Well, the platform allows authors to upload their book files and create their book covers and set their book prices to make sure they have it on there. Then, you can expect to see those earnings that I was talking about when you're coming from the books, based on whether it's the paperback or the ebook version.

And in terms of the services, you don't have to use all of the services they have, and they're going to be charging for them. So, you have to decide if you need editing or design, or if you wish to find those editors, designers, and these sorts of things yourself. Where you don't have to be completely dependent upon them to do that. 

How long does Barnes and Noble Press review take?

So, how long does Barnes & Noble Press review take? Well, it depends a little bit on the type of book that you're dealing with. If you're dealing with something, a reasonable amount of time is 24 to 72 hours. Now, your paperbacks are going to take more time than your ebooks, but the whole process will also be slower during busy periods like the holiday season and such.

Then, it's going to be much more difficult to get your book out in such a short period. And so, it can be affected by all of these things when you're dealing with the complexity of the book file and the metadata, and then the volume of submissions that they're receiving on the platform, which goes back to the seasonal issue. 

Which countries are eligible for Barnes and Noble Press?

Which countries are eligible for Barnes & Noble Press? Well, you can do it anywhere in the world. So, they don't have a restriction that says, but you have to keep in mind that when it comes to taxes and such, they're not going to be as helpful in some areas in making sure the taxes are going to be coming through exactly right for all the countries on Earth.

The other thing is they're targeting authors in the United States. So, that's their main market. They are looking to push and sell the books inside the United States market. So, what if your books would have sold to these other markets? That's something you need to be a little bit careful about.

Check out this related article: Exercises for Improving Your Self-Publishing

When going with this, even though they do have global distribution, the majority of their work is just targeted to the United States, and it may not be available in some of the countries you'd like to see your book get published in or at least be sent through those different countries.

How do I get paid from Barnes and Noble Press?

How do I get paid from Barnes & Noble? As we were discussing, you can either have your U.S. bank account for a direct transfer, or you can choose a PayPal account. Either one of these can be a good option for you, but you have to keep in mind that if it's a direct payment, they have a payment threshold of ten dollars.

So, you have to earn at least ten dollars in the month; otherwise, it just rolls over to the next month on the direct payment. Now, on PayPal, it's 25 dollars. But keep in mind, PayPal is a lot easier to use anywhere on the earth you are, but PayPal takes higher fees. That's also something to consider. I prefer direct payment when we're dealing with where exactly we want the money to go.

Amazon, though, on the other hand, is very flexible on virtually all of these different issues. As I go through my coaching clients regularly, I take a look and see which route works best for you when it comes to publishing your book. 

How to Self-Publish on Barnes and Noble Press

So, how to self-publish on Barnes & Noble Press? There are a couple of things to consider. 

#1 – Pick your book format

You're going to need to know the first thing: you're going to pick your book format. Now, they can do different formats, but you have to keep in mind they only offer paperback and ebook formats. So, they're not going to be covering your audiobook and other formats.

It also depends on the format that you're choosing. I personally highly recommend doing it in all the different formats. But if you have to choose, look at your audience and see which formats they prefer. Does that make sense? 

#2 – Upload all your files

The next thing you need to do is upload all your files. You need to make sure your files are ready, including the manuscript, the cover, the design, and any other supporting or supplementary materials that need to be included.

You should format your files to meet the platform's formatting and technical requirements. They will have those listed, and you will be able to see exactly what they expect. When it comes to the ebook, you can use an EPUB version for your ebook, which is the same version you can use on Amazon.

I like to do the formatting in Jutoh, which I find to be an incredibly easy tool to use. You can check out my affiliate link for Jutoh or my course on self-publishing formatting Made Easy for self-publishers below, where we go through the exact process.

The other thing is, you're going to want to double-check your files for any errors or inconsistencies before uploading to avoid any issues with the books later on. So, that's something else you should be careful and think about when uploading the book to ensure that the formatting is correct.

#3 – Publish

The third point is that you should publish. You're just going to take the books you have and hit the publish button. You still need to fill out the metadata, such as the title, description, keywords, and categories you'll be using.

Then, you need to choose the pricing and royalty options that work best for you. After that, you simply click the "Publish" option and wait for the book to go live. 

Check out this related article: Success Stories: The Power of Self-Publishing

How it compares to other self-publishing options

So, how does it compare to other self-publishing platforms? Well, first of all, Barnes & Noble has a really strong distribution channel. It is a well-established bookseller in the United States and has a decent market share in the US market.

They offer competitive royalties when compared to other sites like Amazon. They offer 65% on ebooks and, as we mentioned before, up to 70% on paperback books. Additionally, the platform itself is easy to use and intuitive, which is something you should consider if an intuitive platform is important to you.

Should You Upload Your Book to Barnes and Noble?

So, should you upload your book to Barnes & Noble? Well, it depends on your target audience. They have a strong presence in the US, so if your book is in Spanish, for example, it may not be as relevant. Similarly, if it's in French or another language.

You're going to want to target the French market, but then how are you going to do that since they're not investing that much money to increase visibility in other countries? However, as we mentioned before, the royalties appear to be very marketable, so that's a plus.

Another aspect to consider is the distribution channels. Barnes & Noble offers distribution through online stores and their retail stores, which means your books can end up on the bookshelves in Barnes & Noble if you publish them on their platform.

Pros of using Barnes and Noble self-publishing

Now, let's discuss the pros of using Barnes & Noble self-publishing. First, they provide wide distribution, especially with the help of Ingram, allowing you to reach a large audience and distribute your books as widely as possible. They also offer competitive royalties, as we saw earlier, compared to other sites like Amazon.

It's not like you'll make significantly more money per sale on Amazon or elsewhere. Additionally, the platform itself is easy to use, making it simple to get started, understand how it works, and upload your files. 

Cons of using Barnes and Noble self-publishing

Moving on to the cons of using Barnes & Noble self-publishing, the first one is the limited market. They mainly focus on the US market, so if you're aiming to make money outside of the US, it could be challenging.

Furthermore, they have limited format options, only offering print and ebook formats. This means that if you're interested in creating audiobooks or other multimedia projects in different formats, it could be problematic for you. Lastly, their marketing support is limited. Although they offer some services, they may not be as comprehensive as you might hope for.

As much as other platforms, that puts them a little behind on that front. So if you're not able or ready to do it yourself, then maybe this platform shouldn't be your first choice. I do recommend starting with Amazon as your primary platform, but Barnes & Noble can be a viable option as a secondary location or if you have a strong dislike for Amazon.

Is Barnes and Noble Press free?

Well, the fantastic news is that they don't charge anything for publishing your book. However, they do take a certain percentage of the royalties, ranging from 30% to 65% for ebooks and 20% to 55% for print books.

So, they do take their share, and you need to keep that in mind. They also offer various author services, such as editing, designing, and marketing support, but those come with charges. They won't provide them for free.


In conclusion, Barnes & Noble has a lot to offer. They provide many services, their pricing is reasonable, and they are willing to give authors a decent share of the profits, which is fantastic. However, their primary focus is mostly in the United States, and if broader distribution channels and availability in other countries are crucial to you, that might be a dealbreaker.

When evaluating whether to choose Barnes & Noble or another platform like Amazon, consider your distribution needs and preferences. Now, my question for you today is: Have you tried publishing with Barnes & Noble Press? If you have, please write "Yes" below in the comments. If you haven't, write "No" in the comments, as I need to know where you're coming from. 

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