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)
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.