Chris A. Baird | July 29, 2020
self publishing on Barnes and Noble

So, you are very much ready to start your self-publishing journey but what troubles you now is where exactly you should take your first step onto. Find out if self publishing on Barnes and Noble would be the best place, to begin with.

Today's question has three answers and the third answer is a secret that will make you a lot more money than perhaps you would otherwise make if you stick with Barnes and Noble.

But we'll get into that a little bit later so you are going to want to stick around. The question that was asked today was, should you start self publishing on Barnes & Noble?

Well, this is an excellent question. It's completely understandable since there are so many different platforms that you can publish on. Which one is right for you?

It depends a little bit upon which one's going to make you more money. Which one maybe is more reputable? Which stores out there that your books are going to end up in?

Is it going to be just one store or is it a massive distribution? There is a lot of questions that you are going to want to be able to get the answer to.

But before we get into the answers, check out my free Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist. It will help you get started or help you make sure you aren't skipping any important steps with the books that you are self-publishing.

Because here at, self-publishing doesn't have to be so hard. And that's where it's all about. So, should you start self publishing on Barnes and Noble?

Let's get into my story. When I first started publishing, I began with Amazon. That was the only one I knew that was even a possibility.

It may have been, I know Barnes and Noble did not have the service available at the time for me. There were several other options but Amazon seemed to be the right choice.

So I went from there and later on, I discovered that I could branch out. I put my book on other sites. I used Smashwords to get my book published across some other platforms.

My ebook version is not just there since I already had the Kindle version. I took it off Select just to test it out. I put it on a Fiverr and sold there directly.

There is a whole series of different options and I'm testing them out to see which ones were working best for me. I also tried running ads against them.

I tried doing free promotions on Amazon. I put my books onto Lulu, also Create Space, Audible ACX, and then finally Ingram Spark. So there's a wide variety of places that I found I could put my ebooks.

To try to make money off of them. Trying to figure out, testing, and checking with different courses. I had taken videos and Facebook groups.

All sorts of feedback Youtube videos that were discussing this issue of where are you going to make your best profit. Where are you going to get the highest distribution?

What should you do with your books? It was a little bit confusing but I tried all of them. And I came to several key conclusions.

Go Where You Get Higher Royalties

So, should you start self publishing on Barnes and Noble? Well, the easy answer to this one is no, you should not do that. There are some reasons why one of them is lower distribution and lower royalties.

If you do go with Barnes and Noble or on Amazon, you're going to be making 70% royalties. Also, there is another issue here.

It is that the number of readers, the people who are visiting the site daily is a massively larger number of people at Amazon. I mean even Barnes and Noble continually the question, are they going to go bankrupt?

Do they need to be bought up by somebody? There are all sorts of questions regarding Barnes and Noble and it's not clear if their feature is actually safe.

That also comes back to the fact of how many customers exactly are they driving to their website who would be wanting to buy your books.

Besides, if you do publish each book on Barnes and Noble, you will need to do a lot more work. Only to get the slayer higher royalties. Whereas, one option which I would recommend is going for aggregators.

That brings us to our secret answer of the day. Which is for ebooks going with Smashwords the best way is to go with Kobo and you can go with a lot of other options.

But with Smashwords, you're going to be able to get your ebooks out to a larger group of people than you would if you try to do it just an individual website one at a time.

That was what I found to get the maximum distribution, the highest royalties. Also getting them paid off regularly whereas, I think Barnes and Noble with 60 days in Amazon go every 30 days.

So, you're going to be able to see the money flowing in a lot faster for the ebook versions now, for your paper and print versions. Then this is also an interesting one because you can still get it into a lot of these stores.

But instead of going with each individual store, you want to use an aggregator. So that when you make changes, it will roll them out to all of the stores.

That was for the ebooks, I would suggest of course with Smashwords, not Draft2Digital or these other ones. Smashwords is the best if you are just to get on the ebooks.

Check out this related article: What Are The Best Self Publishing Platforms?

If you really want to maximize profit, at least at the current moment, it's running ads on Amazon for your Kindle books. Making sure that you're on Amazon Select, KDP Select so that you can't sell your Kindle books on other platforms.

But at least you have the ability to run those ads. The ads bring in an insane amount of profit. So you're definitely going to want to do that, check that out.

If you can't figure out this ad issue on Amazon or are not making profits, some people have complained that the profits have gone down and they were correct.

There are still tricks and things that will get those ads to convert for you. Then I definitely would do Smashwords now on the paperback format.

A Lot Of Options Outside Amazon

The correct solution there is going to be first, we start with Amazon Print. It doesn't cost you anything to put it out there. They'll review it for free.

They'll help you go back and forth until you figure out the pattern of how exactly to get those print books out. They will use their own ISBN so you don't have to pay $150 for that ISBN.

However, their large distribution isn't as large as it can be if you go with Ingram Spark. But there, you are going to pay for your print books too.

You're going to pay $50 for them to review it unless you have a code that they regularly have. You need to have an ISBN and if you are in Canada or Norway like I am, you're able to get those ISBNs for free.

Well, it depends, there are some constraints on there. But if you are in the US, again, you're back to $150 for your first ISBN. The price goes down if you buy ten it may be a thousand dollars or something.

Check out this related article: How Much Does Self Publishing On Amazon Cost?

Then, it gets cheaper as you go. You want to but 10,000 ISBNs but I don't know how many books you have. I have 170 and that can be a little bit pricey if you go this particular route. I get my ISBNs for free so I don't have to do it.

But there's less competition in Ingram Spark because of this exact reason. The other thing to remember with Ingram Spark is that you have even extended distribution and money is coming in.

I find my sales in Ingram Spark to be equal or maybe greater than I'm even getting on Amazon. I'm not limited to Print editions on Amazon. I am not even running ads and I'm still getting sales that are equal or greater than I'm getting on Amazon.

So it's definitely something you're not going to want to pass up. Then finally, for your hardback books, Lulu is usually the correct choice. It's the cheapest and you also don't need to have an ISBN.

But you do need to have a proof copy that will be sent to you. So, that's going to hit you $20-$25 to get that copy. Now, you have a print version, and all of these end up back on Amazon anyways.

But if Amazon ever freezes your account or questions anything you're doing which I have seen happen, you still will continue to have money flowing through these other revenue sources.

You are not limited to just Amazon. And this is something you're not going to want to forget about. Because that will come right at the bottom line.

You never want to have all of your eggs in one basket. And having everything on Amazon would not be very strategic. But at the same time, you may not want to go and publish your book individually on all of the thousands of sites that actually have ebooks.

So you are going to want to aggregate it. But Barnes and Noble from everything I have read and everything I see is not the correct choice for self-publishing now.

I could be wrong, so should you start self publishing on Barnes and Noble? What have you found? Maybe you found something I haven't considered.

It would be really interesting if you let me know below in the comments. And check out my other blogs and videos to see other answers to your self-publishing questions.

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