B&N rebrands PubIt! as Nook Press, and adds new features to make self-publishing easier

Barnes & Noble (s BKS) has rebranded its digital self-publishing platform, PubIt!, as Nook Press, and has added some new features that aim to make self-publishing an ebook faster and easier. The company aims to compete with Amazon’s KDP (s AMZN) and other self-publishing tools.

B&N Nook MediaNook Media’s primary new feature, developed in partnership with FastPencil, is a tool that allows authors to write, format and edit, and preview ebooks directly in a web-based platform (see image at left). “It’s an end-to-end solution, from content creation to reaching the customer,” Nook Media’s VP of digital content Theresa Horner told me. “What we are trying to do here is make self-publishing simple. You can come to the product, write, edit and publish into EPUB without ever knowing any bit of technology.” Authors who already have their title as a Microsoft (s MSFT) Word file upload it, preview it as an EPUB and can sell it right away.

Barnes & Noble has also added a “quick start” option that lets authors test the product without entering all their vendor information at the start. And authors can “safely and quickly invite their network of friends and editors to read and comment on any NOOK Press project in a secure environment.”

Royalties haven’t changed: Ebooks can be priced between $0.99 and $199.99. Those priced between $2.99 and $9.99 get a 65 percent royalty, while those priced under $2.99 or above $9.99 receive a 40 percent royalty. By contrast, Amazon’s KDP pays a 70 percent royalty on most ebooks between $2.99 and $9.99 and a 35 percent royalty on those under $2.99 or over $9.99.

Nook Press is currently only available to authors in the U.S., though they can opt to sell their titles in the U.K., the only other country where Nook operates.

Barnes & Noble says that self-published titles now represent 25 percent of Nook ebook sales every month, and thirty percent of Nook customers purchase self-published content each month. The company wouldn’t share exact user numbers, but said “tens of thousands” of authors and publishers use PubIt!, publishing “hundreds of thousands of books.”