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In a move to pick up more self-publishing clients, Barnes & Noble has launched Nook Press Print, a new print-on-demand service for independent authors looking to take their manuscripts into the physical world.

Users can pick from a variety of materials and formats, including hardcover and softcover books, in a number of different sizes. Authors can get their texts published in full color or black and white, and select different paper materials.

nookpress_pod_LP-02-step1The tools provided by Press Print integrate with the existing services Barnes & Noble offers through the Nook Press program, including editing and formatting. Pricing for those services starts at $999, and this move to offer print-on-demand publishing could help draw authors to those up-sell services as well.

It’s a move to attract people to Barnes & Noble’s publishing platforms at a time when the bookstore chain is feeling increasingly challenged by Amazon. The company plans to break off the Nook division into a separate company, and is now outsourcing the production of its latest tablet to Samsung.

Amazon already offers print-on-demand services through two of its subsidiaries: Booksurge and CreateSpace, which offer similar options to those offered by Nook Press Print. The Seattle-based retailer’s existing ecosystem of self-published authors is a lucrative business for the company: there have been a number of hit books which started as self-published titles on Amazon, like “The Martian,” which exploded in popularity and was recently got picked up for a film deal.

Barnes & Noble’s announcement comes at a fortuitous time. Hundreds of thousands of writers are taking part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short), and have committed to writing a 50,000 word first draft in 30 days. Those manuscripts have to go somewhere, and in some cases, authors choose to use print-on-demand services to commemorate the occasion and share their work with family, friends, and the rest of the world.

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