Self-publishing company FastPencil is offering some of its authors who pay for its service a better chance to get their books into Barnes & Noble (s BKS) retail stores and featured on Nook merchandising platforms. FastPencil hopes that the offering will help set it apart from free self-publishing platforms like Amazon’s (s AMZN) KDP.
“Barnes & Noble is excited to partner with FastPencil to bring quality, independently published books to our readers,” B&N VP digital content Theresa Horner said in a statement.
Starting today, authors who use FastPencil’s Premiere and Wavecrest programs will have “full access to online and in-store placement through Barnes & Noble as well as NOOK bookshelf merchandising.” Premiere is aimed at bestselling authors who have written “elite general interest titles” — some clients include Mercer Mayer and Steven Pressfield — and Wavecrest is for “thought leaders with existing communities,” like psychologist Albert Gaulden and celebrity chef Bryan Au.
That isn’t a guarantee that self-published titles will end up on shelves. Rather, FastPencil is promising that it will pitch all Premiere and “most” Wavecrest titles to a Barnes & Noble buyer at quarterly meetings. “The authors who excel on the self-publishing front will also be brought to the table,” FastPencil cofounder and CEO Steve Wilson told me. FastPencil “vets the content to be sure it’s up to par with the kind of books and content Barnes & Noble will want to see.”
“No other self- or e-publisher can offer this to the authors coming in,” Wilson said. But, he acknowledged, “this isn’t an add-on service where someone can just select ‘put on Barnes & Noble table’ for $X.”