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As a PubIt! author, I received a lovely invitation email today to check out Nook Press, Nook’s new publishing platform. So what was the first thing I did when I had a moment to look at the email? I clicked on the link to check it out. And got a “Page Not Found” error.

Not a good sign.

I finally got to the site by a work around. I went PubIt, and it redirected me to Nook Press. Lucky for them I was willing to take a few extra steps.

I was greeted by a screen that invited me to start by syncing my PubIt! account with Nook Press. That actually went smoothly, although it would have been nice if they had synced my account on the back end and let me log in with my existing account information. However, it worked, so no real issue.

The new dashboard is actually very nice. I can see my sales and royalty reports for up to a year ago in one graph. I’m completely embarrassed by my sales figures, but because I like you guys so much, I’ll share a screenshot, so you can see what it looks like.

Amazon could take lessons from this. I’d love to see a report like this on my KDP sales. The old PubIt! report made you select each month at a time, as does Amazon.

The Projects screen, where you can see the status of all your books, has a similar look and feel to the reports screen. Nothing exciting, but it’s functional.

The big news was the ability to upload a Microsoft Word document, and have Nook Press produce a basic .epub file. Does it deliver?

Not quite.

I uploaded the draft of my current book, just to see how it handled it. I didn’t actually take the time to adhere to their formatting suggestions, so the results were mixed.

As you can see, it doesn’t look bad. According to the formatting instructions, I could have produced indented paragraphs if I had used Word’s Paragraph tool. That would be an easy fix.

The bigger problem was chapter breaks. The conversion process didn’t recognize any of mine and created three apparently random break points. (Random as in, middle of scene breaks.) Back to the instructions, which said the conversion process ignored Page Breaks. Nor were there any instructions on how to format chapters.

That killed it for me. Unless, of course, their instructions on using Section Breaks to start a new page were intended to address that. Even if that were the case (and I didn’t take the time to test it), there were also no instructions for how to set chapter titles. The conversion did create a sort of Table of Contents, but it used my document name as the chapter title.

Kudos for trying to make it easier on authors, but the implementation is lacking. You’ll still want to create your own .epub file manually to be certain you’ve got basic features like chapter titles and a functional Table of Contents. Maybe in the next version?

As a dashboard to track your sales, I like it a lot. As a publishing tool, it’s no worse than PubIt!, but it’s no better either.

Anyone else play around with it and want to share your impressions?

 
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