I got an email last week announcing Barnes & Noble’s new hardback self-publishing feature. You can now have your books printed in hard cover and even with a dust jacket.
When I read this I was so excited. How cool to have hardback copies of my works on my own bookshelves and available for readers to buy. My first four books are currently on the shelves of my local library in paperback and I thought I might donate hard copies, once I have them all formatted, etc.
My enthusiasm dimmed when I read a post from a fellow independent author criticizing the quality of the hardback books and making me aware that any books I have printed through this service will not be available from resellers.
I double-checked this information on the B&N site and this is what they say when asked:
No. The NOOK Press print platform program is for you to print books for your personal use, and does not include selling those books through Barnes & Noble stores or BN.com. You may sell the books you print on your own, however.
So, my fellow author is correct. This facet of the Nook self-publishing service is merely a vanity press.
I may still print single hardbacks of my books for personal display and as gifts, but my enthusiasm has been replaced with disappointment.
This incident illustrates one of the many benefits of joining Internet groups of fellow Independent Authors. It was a member of the Sweet Cozy Mystery Writers’ Support Group, a closed group on Facebook, who alerted me to the limitations of this Nook service.
While it may be overwhelming to see just how many other independent authors are writing in your own genre, the blessings of shared experience and the support we give each other more than outweigh possible feelings of competition or discouragement.