Barnes & Noble (BKS) unveiled its new self-publishing service PubIt on Wednesday, following in the footsteps of its competitors to take advantage of explosive growth in digital publishing.
“Barnes & Noble sees an opportunity to grow its traditional customer base with customers who think they have something worth publishing,” says Kelly Gallagher, Bowker’s vice president of publishing services. “It’s one way to stay connected to their customer base.”
Barnes & Noble, which expects to launch PubIt this summer, is the latest company to enter into the self-publishing market. Five years ago, its online rival Amazon.com (AMZN) purchased CreateSpace, moving the e-commerce giant beyond books, and with its later release of the Kindle e-reading device, the bookseller completed its expansion into the full life-cycle of e-publishing. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple (AAPL) or other tablet makers follow suit, given that by adding self-publishing to to their menus, they too could further leverage their portable reading devices, much like Barnes & Noble will be able to do with its Nook and Amazon has with its Kindle. Apple currently is relying on Lulu.com to offer self-publishing services for its iPad.