Dear Barnes and Noble,
NOW is the time to help indie authors.
It’s no secret that Amazon and the Kindle is flourishing and other booksellers, including Barnes and Noble, are floundering. I recently saw an article that 100 B&N stores are closing this year. My own, hometown store is among them. There are no other bookstores in my town, but when my local B&N’s lease ended last month, they made the choice to close instead of move.
Last year indie authors made Amazon.com millions of dollars by publishing on the Kindle. Some even enrolled in the KDP select program, taking countless dollars from competitors like B&N. Now, Amazon is going to every effort to destroy the indie authors who flocked to them. They are working to sabotage indie authors and small publishers at every turn. First they started deleting reviews at random. Then they started saying that authors can’t review each other!
Last week a review on an Anchor Group book was deleted for being “too pushy.” The review was called “An Epic Read” and just said that the book was a fantastic conclusion to a great series. That’s it. That same week, Amazon left a one star review on another AG book that said “I didn’t read this book, I only bought it to figure out how to delete books from my Kindle.” The author was sent an email that said the review would remain because it “doesn’t violate any Amazon policies.” Explain that one to me. How can any person look at a review that says “I didn’t read the book” and think it should be allowed to remain?
And let’s not forget Amazon’s new affiliate rules that are preventing groups who post cheap and free Kindle reads from getting royalties if too many people pick up free books through their link. What’s next Amazon?
I could go on, but anyone in indie author circles knows what Amazon is doing to us.
And so, I say again, Barnes and Noble now is the time to help indie authors.
My fellow Anchor Group authors and I have been trying to get book signings at B&N. Sometimes we are successful, more often than not we get the runaround. We are told our books aren’t returnable (when they are). We are told “We’re busy, call back next month”. Just today I was told that ‘this’ store doesn’t do book signings, but you could sit by the door and talk to people. When I said, hey, I’ll take that. She started giving me numbers to other stores and moved right on by the subject. They should be doing everything they can to accommodate indie authors.
Now is the time when Barnes and Noble should start coming up with ways to attract indie authors to the Nook. They need to make it appealing to us. They need to draw people who are frustrated with Amazon. More importantly, they need to not alienate us once we bite, the way Amazon has.
B&N has already taken a great step by being affiliated with Smashwords. I have sold more Nook books through there than any other platform (excluding Amazon). I want to see them take it a step further.
There are so many other things they can do.
As far as I know, there is no easy way for an indie author to get on the Nook, aside from using Smashwords. Why hasn’t B&N set up a way for indies to publish directly to them yet? Edit: I see that there is Pubit. But I have never heard of it and I searched their main site before posting this. That might need a little more publicity!
They could hold author events for indie authors who only have ebooks. Why not? I’d love to go talk to a bunch of local indie authors giving out bookmarks. It wouldn’t cost B&N anything to have a table with an indie author sitting there once in a while.
I fully believe that indie authors have the power to bring B&N back to life. B&N just has to realize that we’re here. We’re looking for our chance to shine. We’re looking for someone who won’t turn on us like Amazon. We’re here, Barnes and Noble. We’re sick of Amazon and we want a better alternative. It can be you.