Starting your own publishing company

If you’re looking to self-publish your book, and only print a few copies to have for family and friends or at local book clubs, you don’t need to keep reading. This is going to be a short introduction to starting your own publishing company with the intent to self-publish your book and make a profit. Little disclaimer here: I can’t guarantee that people will buy your book and you will make money. And, as usual, I highly suggest you do your own research on this topic. There’s a lot of information out there. Ok, ready?

When looking to start your own publishing company, a name is always important. I heard at one conference to choose a name that is not yours, i.e. Orrison Publications would not be a good idea. The reason is that you don’t want to look like a self-published author, but rather an author who has been picked up by a small publisher. It’s easy enough for anyone to do some digging and find out that you own the publishing company, but sometimes that first glance is all you need for someone to purchase a copy off the shelf. Once you have your business name picked out, do a search in the local business registry to makes sure it’s not taken.

The next step is to choose what type of business you’re going to be and get registered with the proper entities. Here in Idaho, I would need to register as a new business, file for any required permits, and set up tax accounts. During that process, I would need to choose a business type. The choices are Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation. I’m not an attorney or a tax accountant (trust me, this is a good thing!) but if I was setting up my own publishing company I would probably choose to register as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). From my limited understanding, an LLC affords all the flexibility of a Sole Proprietorship with the protection of a Corporation. So if my publishing business tanks out, my personal responsibility to the company will be limited. Confusing? Definitely. This is where your own research comes in.

Alright, so we have our name and business type, and we’ve registered with the state and have all the required paperwork completed. What’s next? Do you have a publish-ready book? If not, then you’re in the writing, editing, and crying stage. If you do, congratulations! Your book needs to be copyrighted and get an ISBN, you know, that little barcode on the back. Bowker Identifier Services is a good place to start. They are fairly affordable as a single ISBN is $125 (one book in one format) and you can get 10 for $295. Copyrights start at $79.95 plus filing fees. They also have other resources useful for a self-publishing author.

  • Business name
  • Business license, permits, and tax account set up
  • Publish-ready book (it’s been edited, proofread, and triple checked)
  • Copyright
  • ISBN

You are ready to publish! You will need some additional things like getting a book cover designed and printing your book. Lulu is a fairly inexpensive book printer and, just like Bowker, they have additional services and information. There are a lot of resources out there for the aspiring self-publish author, you just need to take a little time to research them and find out what will best fit your needs.

Want to publish a second or third book? Your publishing company is all ready to serve you and all you need to do is write, edit, copyright, obtain ISBN, and print. Rinse and repeat.

Note: I am not affiliated with either Bowker or Lulu and will not receive any compensation for any clickthroughs or purchases on their sites. The information contained in this post is not to be considered as legal or tax advice.

 

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Pronoun No Longer an Option

In March of last year, I posted about Pronoun, a self-publishing help site. Sadly they have decided to shut down. Since the company was a part of Macmillian Publishers, I have hopes that they will re-evaluate their platform and strategy in order to find a way to continue to help authors self-publish their books. In the meantime, if you are interested in getting your work self-published, there are ways to do it. Some options include Amazon, iBooks Author, and creating your own publishing company.

What?! Impossible!

I know, it sounds scary and crazy, but it’s actually easy and doesn’t take a lot of money. Next week I’ll discuss the how-to’s and don’t-do’s of starting a publishing company in order to get your book published.

Stay tuned!

Book Review – Amber Magic

It took me a while to read Amber Magic by B.V. Larson, partially because I was in my final term of school and partially because the book was slow-paced and did not really hold my interest for more than a few pages at a time. I didn’t want to give up on it, though! I hate giving bad reviews, I really do. I don’t want people to read my work and give me a bad review. What I really want to do is edit this book for Mr. Larson. I can see the potential it has, and can feel how it is so close to being amazing. Mr. Larson did an excellent job of leaving the reader with questions (something I neglected to mention in my review), but because of the lack of connection between the reader and characters, there isn’t a desire to find out the answer to those questions.

Truly, Mr. Larson, I believe this book – and probably the series – has a future as one of the greatest fantasy adventures of our time. And I am willing to negotiate a deal to help you get it there.

My full review as posted on Goodreads:

Amber Magic (Haven, #1)Amber Magic by B.V. Larson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I love fantasy stories. I enjoy getting sucked into other worlds and having adventures. Unfortunately, this book did not do that for me. The storyline needs some developing and streamlining; it’s choppy and inconsistent. I didn’t care about the characters very much and they mostly seemed to have the same personality. I found myself actually hoping the goblins would kill off one of the main characters just so there would be some real excitement. There is no reader to character connection. Some of the phrases the characters used seemed inconsistent, as well. In one part a teenage boy sounded like someone from the Middle Ages when he never sounded like that before or again. There are lots of grammar errors and while I can overlook some of them, it is obvious this book was not edited very well. I would love to see this book edited and revised, as it has a lot of potential to become an epic fantasy adventure. As it is right now, I have no interest in reading the next book in the series. I don’t care how the story ends.

View all my reviews

Vocabulary Variances

As an avid reader, I come across a lot of new and self-published authors. I actually prefer to read books from new authors, as I am one of them. In fact, I am on the last of a trilogy that has a great storyline, interesting and relatable characters, and fantastic descriptions. I’ve read all three books in the last week, and each of these books has the problem we’re going to discuss today. I’ve only kept reading them because everything else is so well done.

Something that I’ve noticed that newer authors have in common is their lack of imagination when it comes to vocabulary. A favorite facial expression is “smirked.” I don’t want to get into which books I’ve been reading lately (but you can find out on Goodreads), and I’m not here to bash the authors. The goal here is to help other writers be aware of what their word choices do to their writing. The book I’m currently reading is 699 pages, and the words “smirk” or “smirked” appears 32 times. I’m not a mathematician, but just typing that makes it seem a low occurrence over the course of the book. However, it has appeared enough to spur this blog post. It’s noticeable, sometimes irritating, but mostly boring. Why can’t the characters snigger, leer, simper, grin, look coy, giggle, chortle, titter, laugh, snicker, or beam?

Scientists claim there are 21 different facial expressions, although I think there’s more. Those 21 facial expressions can be described in a myriad of ways. Use them all. Make your characters relatable and real by employing a variety of emotions, expressions, gestures, and habits. Make your story interesting and engaging by showing off your power over words.

Some steps to ensure you are maximizing your vocabulary usage:

  1. Know your audience. Really, this is the first step for any writing. But don’t use jargon specific to Italy if your audience is from Africa, at least not without explaining it first. Don’t use respiration instead of breathe if your audience is 5-7 year olds. Choose your words wisely.
  2. Read through your story a few times, and make note of any words that appear frequently. Make a list or highlight them. Do not rely on your memory.
  3. Use the find feature on your program and search for those words. It will usually give you a number indicating how many instances appear in the document.
  4. Determine if the word should be changed for definition or just frequency. As we all know, some words have multiple meanings, so a dog barked up a tree, the commander barked an order, and I barked my shins on the table. Too many barked in the story? Maybe.
  5. Use your judgement to determine if the word needs to be changed. If you notice that your character only grins and never scowls or looks bored, make some adjustments.
  6. Ask a friend or editor (like me) to read it through just for recurring words/phrases that might get tedious.
  7. Invest in a good thesaurus. Yes, the online ones are useful but sometimes having an actual book in your hands is easier as you don’t have to go from your writing program to the internet and potentially get sidetracked from the job at hand.

My last piece of advice is more for the readers. If you read a book that could use some more creative phrasing, leave a helpful review on Amazon or Goodreads. Most authors or their agents read the reviews from time to time. Try to keep it constructive, and include some positive aspects as well as the negative. If you feel particularly strongly about the book, you can even reach out to the author through their webpage, Amazon, or Goodreads via the contact form.

Above all, keep working and writing!

Pronoun

I heard about Pronoun at the writer’s conference last fall, but did not actually investigate what it was all about until recently. It seems to be a fabulous way to get your work into the self-publishing game. You can publish through Pronoun and they will submit your book to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play and iBooks. It’s free, but they do take a portion of your royalties when your book is purchased. They also provide a free author page for you to use to advertise your works. And Pronoun can track how well your book is doing across the various e-publishing platforms.

Not a bad deal, in my opinion. Check it out! What do you think?

President’s List

I have to say that I’m pretty proud of myself. I am a wife, mother, business owner, and student. I work part-time. I’m involved in various interest groups that support my dreams. I’m one of those people who say I’m busy all the time, and it’s true. I have kept a 4.0 GPA since enrolling at Southern New Hampshire University online, but this is the first time I’ve been on the President’s List. (Not afraid to toot my own horn!)

presidents-list-at-snhu-snhu