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!

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?

Changing the Publishing Industry

In my Context of Writing course this term, we have been asked to write an analytical paper that looks at how notable individuals have changed or shaped the writing and publishing industry. This first week, we were to brainstorm some topics – that is, get some ideas about who we’re going to write on and why they were influential. As I was researching some possible candidates, the information I found was intriguing. So naturally, I want to share it with you.


Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon. He watched when the internet was born and then skyrocketed from 16 million users to 36 million in a single year (Wasserman). He decided to capitalize on this knowledge and sell books online. Originally, Amazon delivered books from warehouses to customers via the postal service or other commercial shippers. Now, Amazon delivers books in moments via digital downloads, and thousands of other products still from warehouse to the customer by post. They also have drone delivery service in some areas where you can get your purchase in a matter of hours. I think Amazon and Jeff Bezos would be interesting to research because I love Amazon for purchasing books, household items, craft supplies, and more. I find it fascinating that Jeff saw the trend the internet was taking and found a way to become extremely successful within a matter of a few years. Jeff has transformed publishing and allowed more authors to get their work into the public.

Stephen King is a well-known author of thriller books who has been getting published by traditional publishers since 1967 (King). He has been published by Doubleday & Co., Anchor, and Viking, and several other companies. In 2013, Stephen King digitally published a Kindle Single, therefore cutting out the publishing company (Hughes). Since then, Stephen has incorporated digital publishing into his business. Lately, the majority of his books have been published by Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, and are available in traditional print, digital audio, and e-book (Belfiglio). While I’m not a huge fan of Stephen King, I have read some of his books and watched the movie versions. I think his career would be interesting to evaluate because he was present before the digital age of publishing and is still writing and publishing even now. As an author, one must adapt to changing technologies and Stephen has done that very well.

Jason Epstein started his career as an editor at Anchor and moved on to be the editorial director for Random House, one of the Big Six publication companies. He remained the editorial director for 40 years (Cross). When Jeff Bezos first started Amazon’s e-books, he consulted Jason Epstein. Jason told Jeff that people will still want to hold a book in their hands and turn the pages. Jason’s vision was on demand printing, where a bookstore would have copies of books for the customer to look through, then when they decided on a purchase, a new book would be printed while they waited (Wasserman). Enter the Espresso Book Machine. Jason founded On Demand Books, LLC which created the EBM, a printing press that is onsite at a retailer. The EBM provides “books printed in minutes at the point of sale for immediate pickup or delivery,” (“Executive Overview”). The more I read about Jason Epstein, the more excited I get. I remember hearing about this idea years ago and thought it was pretty cool but that it would never happen. It is amazing to be able to have a real book in your hands when you want it, and not waste paper printing books that people won’t buy. I think it would be fascinating to delve into Jason’s career as he was an editor at traditional publication companies and then moved on to found a company that enables people all over the world to get a book within a few minutes. He changed the world of book printing.

Works Cited
Belfiglio, Brian. “Scribner/Simon & Schuster Acquires Majority of Stephen King’s Body of
Work.” News and Corporate Information about Simon Schuster Inc. Simon & Schuster, 12 Oct. 2015. Web. 28 Aug. 2016. <http://about.simonandschuster.biz/news/scribnersimon-schuster-acquires-majority-of-stephen-kings-body-of-work/&gt;.
Cross, Timothy P. “Columbia College Today.” Columbia College Today. Columbia College, May 2001. Web. 28 Aug. 2016. <http://www.college.columbia.edu/cct_archive/may01/may01_profile_epstein.html&gt;.
“Executive Overview.” Executive Overview Espresso Book Machine. On Demand Books, 2015. Web. 28 Aug. 2016. <http://ondemandbooks.com/executive_overview.php&gt;.
Hughes, Evan. “Book Publishers Scramble to Rewrite Their Future.” Wired.com. Conde Nast
Digital, 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 28 Aug. 2016. <http://www.wired.com/2013/03/publishing-industry-next-chapter/&gt;.
King, Stephen. “StephenKing.com – About the Author.” StephenKing.com. Steven King, n.d. Web. 28 Aug. 2016. <http://stephenking.com/the_author.html&gt;.
Wasserman, Steve. “The Amazon Effect.” The Nation. The Nation, 29 May 2012. Web. 28 Aug. 2016. <https://www.thenation.com/article/amazon-effect/&gt;.