Ultimate Guide: Barnes and Noble Self Publishing

Barnes and Noble self publishing

If you’re thinking about selling books online, Barnes and Noble self-publishing is definitely one to consider. As the main competitor to Amazon KDP, Barnes and Noble is an awesome choice for indies who want to reach millions of readers. This guide goes over everything you need to know including different routes like publishing directly versus using an aggregator such as PublishDrive.

This guide goes over:

  • What Barnes & Noble Press Offers
  • What Barnes & Noble Press Misses
  • How to Self-Publish Directly on Barnes & Noble
  • Why You Should Go Wide And Global
  • How to Self-Publish Wide on Aggregator PublishDrive

P.S. If you have your manuscript and cover files handy, it’s free to upload them to PublishDrive and start selling on Barnes & Noble plus Amazon KDP, Apple Books, Google Play Books, and thousands of other book stores.

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What Barnes & Noble Press Offers

Barnes and Noble is the third-largest self-publishing platform, reaching millions of readers on its website and e-reader NOOK. Amazon KDP offers distribution to Barnes and Noble thanks to something called expanded distribution under Ingram Group. But publishing directly on Barnes and Noble Press can get you a bit more royalties as well as other services not offered by KDP.

Barnes & Noble Press boasts:

An easy way to upload a book on its online platform.

A 70% royalty rate for ebook sales; 55% royalty rate for print sales, minus printing costs.

Payments in 30 days based on the month in which the sale was made.

Financial reports and order tracking.

Promotional opportunities like featuring in B&N press emails and other marketing programs.

Professional, high-quality hardcover and paperback books.

A partnership that doesn’t require exclusivity, unlike Amazon KDP.

Millions of readers on and NOOK devices.

If you’re interested in selling print books, Barnes and Noble has one of the best services when it comes to the quality and printing options available. The Self-Publishing with Dale Podcast talked all about it and other pointers in this 20-minute video:

What Barnes & Noble Press Misses

Everything has its limits and Barnes and Noble is no exception. Here’s what B&N Press authors have said about their experience:

What Barnes & Noble authors said about their experience

Aside from the not-so-spectacular publishing time and customer support, limited reach is the biggest thing Barnes and Noble misses. Being limited to means your book gets distributed in the United States region only. If you’re looking to sell books internationally (which every indie should do in today’s market), Barnes and Noble is not it.

Barnes and Noble also lacks audiobook publishing – granted, so does Amazon KDP. But here’s the thing: audio is the fastest growing online segment in publishing where one in five people listen to audiobooks in the U.S. The most successful indies distribute audiobook along with ebook and print formats. That’s called multi-format publishing. I talk more about this further down.

If you’re okay with what’s been mentioned and want to continue with self-publishing directly on Barnes and Noble, here’s what to know –

How to Self-Publish Directly on Barnes & Noble

It’s fairly simple to self-publish using Barnes and Noble’s platform. First off, it’s entirely free to create an account and get started (like most top self-publishing companies).

Just head over to After you sign up, it takes three main steps to get your book up:


Pick your format: ebook or print book

(Maximize your business by distributing all book formats)


Prepare and upload your files: manuscript and cover file

(Accepted ebook file types: doc, docx, txt, html, epub. Accepted print file types: doc, docx, pdf)


Hit publish to send your book through the review process

(When approved, your book goes live on and NOOK devices)

For more details, see this write-up on self-publishing with Barnes and Noble.

What else to know:

  • You can set up pre-orders for ebook and print. (Amazon KDP doesn’t provide print pre-orders.) Pro tip: a pre-order strategy is crucial for your book marketing.
  • There are three print types: paperback, hardcover with print case (color printing on the outside), and hardcover with dust jacket (canvas style book with the cover design on the jacket).
  • There are three paper types: cream, white paper on 50 lb, white paper on 70 lb (thicker and more durable, perfect for publishing a children’s book or coloring book).
  • When everything is set up for print, Barnes and Noble shares how much the base cost will be for the customer. (You don’t pay for print costs, the customer does.)
  • If you need help with preparing your manuscript for ebook conversion, check out this ebook formatting guide.
  • When you’re ready for conversion, use this free ebook converter.

Why You Should Go Wide and Global

If you’re interested in the benefits you can’t get by selling directly on Barnes and Noble, there is a way to have it all

Using an aggregator company like PublishDrive gets your book in thousands of other channels worldwide, while still reaching Barnes and Noble’s audience. That’s what “publishing wide” means. You want to sell your book beyond a single place (like B&N or Amazon) and go everywhere.

Publish wide means to sell your book everywhere you can

Going wide is about maximizing your reach, expanding your revenue streams, and collecting as many royalties as you can to sustain your gig as an indie.

Plus, the global demand for digital books is at an all-time high. In 2020, indies on PublishDrive made 85% more book sales by selling in markets around the globe (despite the pandemic):

Book market growth in 2020

There’s been a drastic shift to digital modes since the outbreak of the pandemic. While traditional publishing struggled, digital bookstores like, formats like ebooks, subscription platforms like Dreame, and online libraries like Odilo surged. Indies who publish and promote in these spaces are winning like never before.

Keep Up With The Latest Trends & Publish Your Best

Grab the free report on global book trends.

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How to Self-Publish Wide on Aggregator PublishDrive

Now you know the significance of maximizing your reach by going wide. PublishDrive helped tens of thousands of indies do just that since 2015:

PublishDrive distribution is trusted by indies worldwide

Self-publishing wide on PublishDrive is easy as pie –

First, create your free account and go through the book upload process. It takes four main steps to publish everywhere and start collecting royalties:


Prepare Your Book

Upload your files for ebook, audiobook, or print-on-demand. An AI editor helps put everything together from formatting to metadata.


Publish Your Book

Simply switch on the stores you want to sell in. After hitting submit, it takes a few business days for PublishDrive to review your book. When approved, your book gets sent out immediately.


Promote Your Book

Choose from a suite of book marketing tools and perks. Run promos on book prices, get featured in newsletters, collect reviews, and more.


Track Your Book

Keep up with reviews, ratings, and real-time sales for numerous stores on one dashboard. Get automatic royalty reports, pre-made charts, and never miss a payment.

If you’re already selling on Barnes and Noble, easily transition to PublishDrive by transferring books in bulk while keeping your reviews and ratings.

Sell in Barnes and Noble + Thousands of Other Stores

Sell books globally with PublishDrive

✔️ One dashboard is all you need to publish worldwide in no time.

✔️ PublishDrive takes 0 commission on book sales, meaning you get 100% royalties.

✔️ Join published authors who made 85% more revenue in 2020.

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