Via Publisher’s Weekly:
Barnes & Noble is entering the self-publishing business with the summer launch of PubIt! by Barnes & Noble that will allow independent publishers and self-publishing writers to distribute their works digitally through Barnes & Noble.com and the Barnes & Noble eBookstore. Publication and distribution will be limited to digital works with no sales through the B&N stores. The company said it will release details of the royalty model and compensation process at a later date.
To distinguish itself from other companies offering digital self-publishing services, B&N is highlighting access through the Nook and other devices compatible with the ePub format. “As a company that has achieved much of its success by building mutually beneficial relationships with publishers and authors, Barnes & Noble’s new PubIt! service represents an exciting evolution and significant opportunity in the digital content arena,” said Theresa Horner, director, Digital Products, Barnes & Noble. “Barnes & Noble is uniquely positioned to support writers and publishers and bring their exciting digital works to the broadest audience of readers anywhere.”
Here’s the Barnes and Noble Pubit! site. Basically, it is a kind of meatgrinder for ePub along the lines of Smashwords conversion tool – which makes it, ironically, a competitor for Smashwords, even though Smashwords distributes to B&N. Royalty rates are forthcoming so it will be interesting to see how the rate compares to selling to B&N through Smashwords, but Smashwords has something of a leg up because it distributes to other outlets as well, like Kobo.
Update: some skepticism from Mike Cane.