Friday, December 10, 2010

Amazon vs Barnes & Noble

No, I'm not talking about two 800 lb guys in a ring with broken noses and mouth guards in, getting psyched up to beat the crap out of each other. I'm just comparing their respective self-publishing services and the results I'm seeing as an author of a very narrow niche subject-matter book.

Application Maturity

I expected Amazon's DTP web application to be the bomb-diggity.  I mean, after all, they have the reputation for being technologically adept with things like S3, ECC, and their various API's.  But I have to score this round in favor of Barnes & Noble's Pubit! web site.  It's just way better in terms of UI/UX design, navigation, layout, and the process of uploading and publishing a new e-book.  However, the Pubit! login system is lame.  Amazon's is also handicapped by being buried in their site.  Once you find either one of these, you really have to bookmark them or you'll suffer a million clicks trying to find your way back in from their home pages.

Revenue Model

I score this round for both of them as being equal.  They both offer about the same terms of royalties, fees, and sales management.  Although, I haven't sold a single copy of my book on BN yet, so I can't really compare the sales reports, which brings me to the next round.

Sales Results / Effectiveness

I published my e-book first on Amazon and sold two copies the first day.  I've now sold just about a dozen copies in less than a week of being published.  I published on Barnes & Noble only a few days after I posted it on Amazon, and I've yet to see a single sale rung up there.  If this continues to be the pattern, I will only publish on Amazon.  Time will tell.

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