Posted On May 13, 2011 by Print This Post

How to publish your book through PubIt!—and market it, too!

Julia Coblentz, Senior Marketing Manager of PubIt!, Barnes & Noble’s self-publishing platform, joins us today with suggestions for making the most of PubIt!’s product details page, plus some marketing tips they’ve heard from successful PubIt! authors.

How to Publish Your Book through PubIt!—and Market It, Too!

It’s an exciting time to be a writer, and whether you’re already published or working on your first book, you’ve probably been wondering about all the buzz around self-publishing and what PubIt!™ could mean for you.

Here’s what some of your fellow authors have to say about publishing with PubIt!:

“Publishing through PubIt! has been a terrific experience. It’s easy, fast, and I love being able to make changes. The reporting feature provides daily and cumulative numbers giving a clear picture of how the books are selling. I love seeing the sales in real-time!”
–Barbara Freethy, USA Today Bestseller and author of Daniel’s Gift and One True Love

“Within two months, my writing income was triple what it had been at my former publisher. Reader reviews, emails and comments came flooding in like never before. The positive response was overwhelming!”
–Gemma Halliday, author of Killer in High Heels and Spying in High Heels

“I have accumulated a niche of very loyal and wonderful readers and PubIt! has opened a whole new venue of readers I otherwise would not have had access to.”
–H.P. Mallory, self-published bestseller and author of Toil and Trouble and To Kill a Warlock

How PubIt! Works

Barnes & Noble offers authors and independent writers an easy, fast, and free way to convert their works to eBooks via PubIt! In the 6 months since PubIt! launched more than 14,000 publishers and authors are finding success selling their works through PubIt! and with hundreds of titles added daily .

It’s so simple to publish your work. With PubIt!, you create an account and upload your writing as a Word, HTML, .txt, or .rtf file that PubIt! automatically converts to ePub, the standard eReader format. (Note: If your work is already converted, ePub files can also be easily uploaded!)

And, of course, the next step for authors is marketing. Authors upload a cover, add their own book description, author bio, quotes, keywords, and editorial reviews. From file to NOOK Book™, a PubIt! title can go on sale to the millions of customers at within 72 hours. Barnes & Noble customers can browse, sample, purchase and read NOOK Books on NOOK™ and NOOK™ Color devices and the free NOOK™ app for iPhone™, iPad™, PC, and others. It’s just that fast and easy.

The Most Important Marketing Tool

One of the most important things you can do when you decide to publish is to pay attention to the packaging. Even though NOOK Books™ live in a digital library, readers still browse and choose titles based on great covers and engaging descriptions—just as they do with print books. Here’s what some of the bestselling PubIt! authors have to say about the importance of covers:

“I would encourage PubIt! publishers to focus on producing a good cover as well as a good book. The cover will entice the readers to buy and the quality of the writing will make them eager to buy another book.”
— Barbara Freethy, USA Today bestselling author of Daniel’s Gift

“I think the best thing you can do for your book is to give it a really eye-catching cover. The truth is readers really do judge a book by its cover, which is especially important in a digital medium where they’re likely only seeing small thumbnails. But the really great thing about self-publishing is that the authors have complete control over their over cover art! So that’s one place I’d definitely suggest investing time, money, and a lot of thought.“
— Gemma Halliday, author of the In High Heels mystery/romance series

Some important factors to keep in mind when developing a cover are:

• How the image will look in a thumbnail size

• The size of the title (should be large enough to read at any size)

• Including achievements such as “bestseller” or award nominations on the cover

• A professional design: hire a professional if you don’t have design experience.

Other key steps in creating effective packaging include:

• Developing a good headline for the description: Draw readers in with a strong “hook” that speaks to the genre and tone of the book.

• Adding quotes: Published authors may have great review quotes, but what about a new author? Consider asking a fellow writer in the same genre or a critique partner to offer a blurb—a quote that describes why a reader will love your book.

• Writing an author bio: Here is your opportunity to shine a light on related accomplishments and affiliations. Be sure to include writing awards as well as nominations and memberships in genre-specific organizations.

• And don’t forget keywords! These help the search engine drive customers to your title.

What’s next? The possibilities are endless with PubIt!


Are you considering self-publishing? If you are already self-pubbed, do you have questions about marketing your book?

Join us on Monday, May 16 for a Q&A with the fabulous Heidi Betts!



Julia Coblentz is the Senior Marketing Manager for PubIt! by Barnes & Noble and has over ten years of marketing experience in trade publishing working at Random House, Inc. and Abrams.

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25 Responses to “How to publish your book through PubIt!—and market it, too!”

  1. Hi Julia,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge on B&N’s PubIt! program. I think it’s wonderful that writers have options to publishing their work.

    A great cover is definitely a must. Sometimes I scan the thumbnails until a cover catches my eye, and then I look for the author’s name. I NEVER pay attention to the book’s title. It’s just something I don’t need to know, nor do I remember, even if it’s placed on my keeper shelf.

    Thanks again,

    Posted by TraceyDevlyn | May 13, 2011, 4:22 am
    • Hi, Tracey:

      Thanks so much for the warm welcome and the great feedback!

      Author names that are easily read are certainly important, too, especially for authors who have published before and have a following.


      Posted by Julia | May 13, 2011, 7:49 am
  2. Hi Julia. Thank you for being here today. I’m amazed at how the indie pubbing market has exploded. I think it’s a wonderful time to be a writer!

    Can you tell us a bit about the Pubit royalty structure? Do the royalties come monthly, quarterly?


    Posted by AdrienneGiordano | May 13, 2011, 5:57 am
    • Hi, Adrienne!

      Sorry for the delay and thanks for your question!

      Publishers are paid a royalty off the List Price according to the following terms: for eBooks with a List Price at or between $2.99 and $9.99 the publisher receives 65% of the List Price; for eBooks with a List Price at or below $2.98 or at or greater than $10.00 (but not more than $199.99 and not less than $0.99), the publisher receives 40% of the List Price.

      Payments are made 60 days after the close of the calendar month in which the sale occurs and once the payment is at $10 or greater.

      We have a great FAQ page that you should definitely check out, too, for more detail:


      Posted by Julia | May 13, 2011, 9:09 am
  3. Hi Julia – Thanks for joining us today. If someone is considering using PubIt! to self-publish, what is the first thing they need to do?

    As a matter of interest, I noticed this on Publisher’s Lunch earlier this week:

    “Barnes & Noble says PubIt, launched in October, features 14,500 authors and 90,000 titles (some of which come from Smashwords and others like them).”

    Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | May 13, 2011, 7:12 am
    • Hi, Becke:

      Thanks so much for having me at RU! I’m so glad to be here!

      The first thing is to have a work you want to publish! In all seriousness, I think having a manuscript that you feel is ready to go out to readers and a great cover design are the first steps. Next, set up an account at The site guides writers to upload and add marketing details such as book description, bio and quotes.


      Posted by Julia | May 13, 2011, 8:01 am
  4. Morning Julia!

    Great article and certainly timely. I too am amazed at how self-publishing has taken off…bam! I’m glad it’s getting easier to publish your book electronically too. Only 72 hours? Suh-weet. =)

    Thanks for posting with us today!


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | May 13, 2011, 7:30 am
  5. Good morning, Julia –

    Thanks so much for visiting RU today!

    Does B&N find that many people download the PubIt! platform for devices other than the Nook?

    As a reader without a dedicated e-reader, I have several e-reading softwares on my Mac and iPhone, and I have a hard time remembering which software holds which books!

    I agree that the cover is critical. Amateur-looking cover makes the reader worry it encases amateur writing, which is likely not the case. But perception is everything.

    Last question: are you finding that authors who are also traditionally published (like Barbara and Gemma) are selling much better than writers who are only self-pubbed?

    Thanks so much!

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | May 13, 2011, 7:54 am
  6. Hi Julia,

    Is Pubit concerned about content? Is there a screening process? I know publishers list topics they don’t allow in their books.

    Self publishing sounds like hard work. I’m too needy and have to have a hand to hold.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | May 13, 2011, 8:15 am
  7. Hi, Julia.
    Let me just say that as an indie author who has recently published with Pub It!, I think it’s great. It was easy, fun, and I love watching the sales come in.

    My biggest problem has been deciding price point. I don’t want to devalue my work, but as a debut author, I also don’t want to price myself out of the market.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    L. j. Charles

    Posted by Lucie J. Charles | May 13, 2011, 8:44 am
  8. Hi Julia, thanks for taking our questions, and thanks Becke for hosting this visit.
    I moderate the General Fiction club at B&N Julia and in fact I’m celebrating Pubit next month on the forum by featuring a Pubit novel and having the author visit through out the month to talk to the members and answer questions, give suggestions etc.. while we read the novel as a group.
    The e-publishing community is really growing and it seems that recently a lot of the brick and mortar houses have added a department for e-pubbing. How does it feel to be the leader in the field and how does B&N rate with the other options out there. I also noticed that a lot of authors use several different e-publishers, is this tactic okay with B&N, I know that e-readers like it because of B&N and others being proprietary so the more options available to readers the better for them.
    Thanks again, great article and very informative.

    Posted by Debbie Haupt | May 13, 2011, 9:54 am
  9. Hi, Debbie:

    First let me say what great news to hear that your group is reading a PubIt! title together!

    It is an exciting time for self-publishing. To answer your question, we don’t require exclusivity.

    And another excellent feature to remember for your group members is the NOOK reading app so readers can read on a variety of devices.

    Thanks so much for your enthusiasm!

    Posted by Julia | May 13, 2011, 1:56 pm
  10. Julia – Thank you so much for joining us today and answering our questions about PubIt!

    Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | May 13, 2011, 6:44 pm
  11. Julia,

    I’m late as usual but thank you for presenting PubIt to us today and for providing the links. I’ve forwarded them to some writers I know who are interested in self-publishing.

    I’m still shaking my head at the 72 hour turnaround. Amazing.

    Thanks again!

    Posted by jennifer tanner | May 13, 2011, 8:10 pm
    • Hi, Jen:

      Thanks so much for the kind message! I checked back to make sure I hadn’t missed anyone and was thrilled to hear that you’ve passed along links to PubIt! I hope your fellow writers give it a try!


      Posted by Julia | May 16, 2011, 3:02 pm
  12. Thank you for the great information, expertise and additional resources. It all helps create additional opportunities of high level achievement.

    Posted by JAWAR | May 25, 2011, 8:00 pm

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