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Starting a Publishing Business

by Ron Kurtus (revised 21 January 2016)

Starting an independent or self-publishing business requires several basic steps that must be taken. They are similar to the requirements for starting any small business.

First of all, you need some initial funding. Then you need to establish your business as a legal entity by establishing a business name, obtaining necessary licenses and having a business bank account. And finally, you need to have place to work and appropriate equipment and software.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Have initial funding

You will need some initial funding to set up your business. It isn't a lot of money, but you should be aware that some funding is required.

Money is needed for licenses, equipment, ISBN blocks, and initial publishing fees, as well as money to pay vendors.

Set up legal entity

You need to establish your business as a legal entity by establishing a business name, obtaining necessary licenses and having a business bank account.

See Legal Structures for Self-Publishing Business

Also see Create LLC for Your Publishing Business

Business name

You need to give your business a name. Think of a name that implies your business is professional and does quality work, even if you only plan to publish your own books.

A name such as "Joe's Publishing" does not make a good impression, while "Worldwide Publishing" may sound pretentious.

Website

It is worthwhile to set up a business website so that people will know how to contact you and perhaps purchase your books or services.

Business cards

Your business name, your name, address, telephone number, and website should be displayed on your business cards.

Licenses

Typically, you need a local or state license to have an "official" business, especially if you will be deducting business expenses from your taxes.

Accounting

You need to keep accounting records of money spent and earned.

Business bank account

You should also have a business bank account to separate business expenses and profits from your other accounts.

Set up shop

You need to have place to work and appropriate equipment and software. Most independent publishers work out of their home office. Personal computers, a color printer, and a scanner are typical equipment needed.

Unless you job out your book formatting and design, Adobe Creative Suite is a standard for independent publishers.

You should purchase an ISBN block for your books.

For many tasks, you may want to job them out to designers, editors, and other contractors. Of course, you need some up-front money to do this.

Summary

In starting an independent or self-publishing business, you need some initial funding, you need to establish your business as a legal entity, and you need to have place to work with appropriate equipment and software.


Make early preparations


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

How to Start a Publishing Company - eHow.com

Publishing Resources

Books

Top-rated books on Self-Publishing


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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Self-Publishing topics

Starting a Publishing Business




Self-Publishing topics

Initial considerations

Start publishing business

Pre-production

Structure of book

Design book

Design cover

Publish hardcopy book

Publish e-book

Prepare to market

Convert format

Check Copy in eReader

Distribution and sales

Sell books

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