A few weeks ago, Barnes & Noble launched its “PubIt!” (publish it) program, an “easy and lucrative” way to distribute eBooks through Barnes & Noble.com and the Barnes & Noble eBookstore “with distribution, visibility and protection that only Barnes & Noble can offer.” Authors can reach readers using hundreds of devices including Nook, PC, Mac, iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone, BlackBerry and others.
PubIt! distributes books in the popular ePub format. If your books aren’t available in ePub, PubIt! has a free tool to convert Microsoft Word, HTML, RTF, and TXT files into ePub. It also enables you to preview your titles on a Nook emulator before submitting them. ISBNs are not required.
The program is open to authors and publishers worldwide and books can be in any language. There are no start-up fees or annual fees (and apparently no per-book fees). List price must be between $0.99 and $199.99. The publisher (maybe you) gets a royalty of 65% on eBooks priced from $2.99 to $9.99, or 40% on eBooks priced at or below $2.98, or at or more than $10. (It’s simpler than that sounds.)
To keep up, bookstore rival Borders has just launched "Borders—Get Published" to enable authors to publish and sell eBooks through the Borders eBook store and other eBook retailers.
Users can produce books of any length, set prices ($2.99 to $9.99), and publish via “BookBrewer”software. Authors add content by typing or pasting into an online form, or feeding content from a website or blog. As with B&N’s PubIt!, books are published in the ePub format for reading on many devices.
The $89.99 “basic” package includes an ISBN, and availability to major eBook retailers. Royalties are paid quarterly and will be 40-45% of the selling price. With the $199.99 “advanced” package, authors own the full version of their ePub file, which they may share, or submit to other eBook stores.
Borders is bragging that their ISBN is worth $125, but I'm not sure why anyone would want to use Borders instead of B&N, which doesn't require an ISBN.
Both companies must compete with Smashwords, which began ePublishing in 2008. It supplies eBooks to many booksellers, including the B&N eBookstore, which carries about 11,000 Smashwords titles, according to Publishers Weekly.