Julie at Nook took time to talk with me today. Which was very nice of her.
This is long, but it has LOTS of great info.
Here we go…
HOW CAN I GET PROMO AT NOOK?
This is the question everyone has, and the one I asked first. Basically, Nook has a problem – lots of authors and only one Julie. She doesn’t want to post her contact info on the interwebs because she’ll just get flooded. I used to hand out the contact info through my FB group, but I stopped doing that because I don’t want to have to serve as gatekeeper anymore. You can email Nook and ask to be put in contact with Julie and see if that works. Or make contact at a conference. Or find someone you know who is running Nook Promo and ask them to put you in contact (ie not me: I’ve already sent a ton of indie authors Julie’s way).
ETA: Looks like you need to publish direct through Nook Press. If you’re an international author who can’t, I would suggest asking if they’ll make an exception for you.
WHAT KIND OF PROMO IS AVAILABLE AT NOOK?
Several different kinds. Nook First is for newly released stuff (doesn’t have to be exclusive to Nook). The Under $2.99 and Under $5 lists are promos for backlist. They can promote pre-orders as well. Most of this needs advanced notice (see below). NOTE: applying is not the same as *getting* – they won’t be able to promote everyone all the time, so you just have to ask and see.
This promo is for your launch day. It runs M-Tu, W-Th, F-Sa-Sun, meaning they start the promo on the first of those days, but then the book has visibility on the following days (until the next promo). The further out you can let them know you’d like Nook First, the more likely you are to get it. Generally 4-6 weeks is necessary.
DO I NEED A BOOKBUB?
At first, I thought you might need a Bookbub to convince Nook to promo your stuff, but Julie says no. They recognize that BB gives you a boost already, so scheduling maybe a week *after* a Bookbub or separately altogether is fine.
Generally, Nook sees people doing 99cent pre-orders for many weeks then release at full price (or a few days after release). Nook doesn’t seem concerned about how you price – that’s up to you. They do seem to encourage pre-orders (up to 180 days at Nook), and they can promote pre-orders with a “coming soon” promo, but that’s very competitive, so the further out you tell them, the better.
They definitely have done this in the past and seemed to like the idea of authors coming to them with a package all set up. This requires advanced planning, though – 2-3 months ahead of time. They’re looking at 10-15 authors, about 20 books in the promo, where the first book is free and the second discounted (or the first book 99cents and the second full price) – these are examples they gave. They want it organized around a theme.
No luck on getting categories to make any more sense – you just have to email Nook to get the ones you want.
They didn’t have much here either – basically, I think we know more than they do about what works.
I talked to them a bit about how to make this better. They seemed very open to that and said they were working on several things behind the scenes. I mentioned having the ebook (not paperback) come up in searches first, and they’re working on that. I also asked for full series displays and rankings in subcategories, and they offered that they’re working on those too. Plus they’re working on more opportunities for authors to get more (different) kinds of merchandising.
OVERALL, they were very friendly and author-supportive. I think they’re afraid of the tsunami of authors because they’re short-staffed but in general, they recognize the need to help authors sell books (and are trying to make that happen).