Sunday, July 5, 2015

An Open Letter to Nook Press

I'm in an unhealthy relationship, and I don't know what to do about it.

No, it's not what you think.

Let me set the stage. Flashback to Valentine's Day, about five years ago. Maybe it was six. Either way, my husband got me a Nook. It was a relatively new movement, and I was a little on the skeptical side. I wasn't sure I could give up physical books. But once I downloaded my first books onto my Nook, I was in love. My Nook went with me where ever I went. It has hundreds of books on it. I've spent hundreds of dollars, including on a Nook Simple Touch when my Nook (First Generation) started crapping out.

I felt betrayed when my husband bought a Kindle Fire. We are not an Amazon house, we are Nook people.

When it came time to publish my first book, I sought out Nook Press, the Nook self-publishing platform. As an afterthought, I also put the book up through Kindle Direct Publishing. But, I'm a Nook person.

Two years later, I realize that this is unhealthy. Many of my author friends are exclusive to Amazon. I don't believe in this business model. Plus, I think of those people like me, who are loyal to their Nook (or iBooks, or Kobo, or Smashwords). I don't want to deny anyone the chance to read my books, should they want to.

But now, I have to ask, Nook Press (and Barnes & Noble, your parent company), why do you have to make this so hard?

Why can you not get on board with what the other platforms are doing?

Why can I upload my book to your site FIRST, and two days later, it is STILL not available? It was available on Amazon in about 2 hours and Kobo in less than an hour.

Why won't you let me do pre-sale?

Why won't you let me price a book free?

Why do your representatives on the service chat NEVER have an answer, and ALWAYS have to kick it to management, who SELDOM follow up?

And most importantly, why are my books not coming up when I search for them? They (all 5) are available through Nook Press. Yet, when I search, only one comes up. No wonder my sales are pitiful through Nook Press. You can't find my books even when you're searching for them.

I can live with your formatting pains when you upload a manuscript. Sure, you put random chapter breaks in, but I can deal with that.

I can deal with the 65% royalty versus Amazon's 75% royalty.

I can even handle that you have NO CUSTOMER SERVICE, including for price changes on the weekend. (Actually, that is truly terrible. No excuse really).

And we're not even going to mention the paperback printing service that has no option for distribution. WTH?

What I cannot deal with is that you will not sell my books. Are you trying to run yourself out of business? I mean, the rumors circulating about Nook are not favorable. Yet, here I am, trying to support you. Trying to make a difference.

And yet you will not bend one inch to meet me. I am paying you 35% of every sale for what? You're not even doing the job you promised to me.

I still want to love you Nook, but you are making it very hard.

My books on Kobo

My Nook Books Available

My books on Barnes & Noble


ADDENDUM:  I went in, and re-published my books on Nook Press, making sure my name was listed as "Kathryn R. Biel." For some reason (because I distinctly remember typing the R. in on Killing Me Softly), it had been left out. Hopefully you can now buy my books on Barnes & Noble and through Nook. But again, this is something I had to figure out, as there is no customer support on the weekends. Also, I sort of feel like a search engine should be able to differentiate this.

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