"Limps?" That's closer.
"Lamely attempts to worm its way into print." Ah, Perfect!
There is a lot of buzz out there with Barnes and Noble's announcement that they are expanding Nook's services into the print on demand arena. In my opinion, and a lot of other publishing experts too, they have never really gotten ebooks right yet, so I'm not sure this will be all that useful. Unconfirmed rumors are that Nook has employed the services of Author Solutions to provide these services, but no formal announcement by either party admits their involvement. The packages and language used by the new Nook site do resemble that of many of the Author Solutions companies.
The services outlined on their new site come down to printing services. Yes, there are illustration services at $275 to $360 each. Editorial services are offered with a required $399 Editorial Assessment, and then from 3.7 cents a word up to 8.1 cents per word. (Is that # of words in or out? Dunno.) Way above current market prices I find. Oh, and yes, there are hardcover options for printing -- but again, way above market prices elsewhere.
There is no distribution offered, The books will not be in the Barnes and Noble stores, nor any other store for that matter. From their own FAQ:
The NOOK Press print platform program is for you to print books for your personal use, and does not include selling those books through Barnes & Noble stores or BN.com. You may sell the books you print on your own, however.And printing prices? Through the roof. While the simplicity of the site is appealing, and the instructions offered for book layout are very comprehensive, the costs of printing are some of the most expensive I have ever seen. I ran six sets of specs that we currently publish, and only four were even offered. Those four were from 20% to 70% higher than my current prices elsewhere! Orders can be placed for only 125 books at a time -- and Nook isn't sharing the shipping costs where I can find them, so who knows where that will put you.
Will Nook's new services be a hit? I don't see that happening. They are not competition for the likes of CreateSpace or Lightning Source's Ingram Spark because there is no option for any help with distribution. This whole thing is set up as a bad contender against maybe Blurb -- but Blurb is certainly my choice if I need a few high quality print books for personal use. At least they have paper choices. If Nook is using the same output services as Author Solutions, no thanks -- while the prices compare to Blurb, there is no way the quality will.
I certainly hope that the simplicity of their site doesn't fool newbie authors into spending thousands of dollars on this toe in the water attempt by Nook to expand into print. It's simple for a reason -- it doesn't offer much.