Looking to keep pace with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and the fast growing self-publishing market in general, Barnes & Noble is phasing out its PubIt! self-publishing service and relaunching it as Nook Press, an upgraded e-book self-publishing platform offering an array of new services to authors and publishers. B&N is partnering with the self-publishing platform Fast Pencil to supply Nook Press with its proprietary online authoring technology, while also offering Fast Pencil authors access to a variety of marketing opportunities via B&N’s Nook platform.

While B&N is encouraging PubIt! authors to synch their accounts to new Nook Press accounts, B&N is also planning to phase out new PubIt! accounts and transition new self-publishers to the Nook Press platform, which essentially builds on PubIt! by adding new services. Indeed, sales of self-published e-books continue to grow on the Nook Platform and the company said they represent about 25% of all e-book sales on Nook devices. According to B&N, PubIt! titles grow by about 20% each quarter and general self-published titles offering through the Nook are growing by 24% each quarter.

Much like PubIt!, Nook Press will pay authors up to 65% of the e-book list price based on how much an author wants to charge for a book. The Nook Press platform is nonexclusive (authors and publishers can sell the e-book where they want) and, like PubIt!, Nook Press is free of charge and B&N takes a percentage of the list price when the books sell.

Now, using Fast Pencil’s authoring technology, Nook Press members can upload, write, edit and publish directly into the Nook Press format—writers can also preview the authoring tools before they commit to the service or ask questions about the service via a new Live Chat service—as well as invite readers or editors to read and comment on their work. The new service is also offering what B&N is calling “enhanced sales reports,” said by B&N to provide more detailed sales and usage data on their books. In addition, B&N is launching a Nook Press channel on its Nook HD tablet devices that will highlight Nook Press content and look for works to feature in B&N social media campaigns, newsletters and other marketing vehicles.

Nook Press titles can be priced as low as 99 cents. Nook Press titles priced between $2.99 and $9.99 will receive 65% of the list price. Titles priced at less than $2.98 or more than $10, will receive 40% of the list price and according to B&N, there are no extra charges to pay and no fees based on the size of the file an author uploads.

Theresa Horner, v-p digital content at Nook Media, said, “We’re thrilled to bring all the new and exciting features of Nook Press to existing PubIt! authors and new writers looking for a quick, effective and free one-stop self-publishing platform that delivers high-quality eBooks to millions of book-loving Nook customers.”