Happy Tuesday Friends,
I would like to share a few things with you I learned while setting up my publishing company. Being a self-publisher, there are always new developments, associations and websites to keep up with for expanding your business. However, it helps to have a good foundation, for starters.
- Set up your Business – Decide early on what business structure you would like for your publishing company. If you are only going to publish your book, sole proprietorship is the easiest and most feasible. If you plan to publish other author titles or evolve your business into other areas, consider incorporation. A great one stop shop is Legal Zoom www.legalzoom.com.
- Set up your Bank Account – Do this as early as possible. It is highly advised for you to set up a business checking and business savings account to keep your publishing transactions accounted for. This is great for tax purposes as well as budgeting for the next fiscal year. Establish a PayPal account for accepting transactions via mobile or online. If you choose not to use PayPal, research other merchant companies that offer these services for low costs. I personally use PayPal for online and Bank of America for mobile. Bank of America has lower fees.
- Set up your Printing and Distribution Channels – This is a great time to decide if you want to publish digitally, print or both. Remember while print copies are great, they can run you around $3,000-$5,000. After you decide, you need to figure out who will be your distributor. Here are a few common places: CreateSpace, Lightning Source, Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble Print, Nook, Kobo, iBook, Goodreads, iUniverse and Author House.
- Purchase International Standard Book Number (ISBN) – A ISBN is your book social security number. The same rule applies as when a newborn needs a social security number for identification, so does your book baby. A ISBN identifies your book and can be used for ordering purposes. Remember if you are doing a print copy and electronic copy you will need TWO ISBN’s. The best package is the Self-publisher prime by Bowker for $300, which includes: 10 ISBN, 1 Vook eBook Creation and Distribution and 2 Barcodes. https://www.myidentifiers.com/self_publisher Single ISBN’s are $125 and 10 are $250. http://www.isbn.org
- Purchase a Bar Code – Again, this is very important. If your ISBN was your Social Security number, your bar code would be your birth certificate. This identifies the author, publisher, ISBN and edition. If you choose not to get the self-publisher prime package (above), bar codes can be purchased for $25. https://www.myidentifiers.com/cart
- Design a Logo – your logo will be used to fit nicely on the spine of the book. Make it professional, clean and creative. There are some sites where you can do it yourself for a low price or hire a professional designer that will run $150 to $250. http://logoyes.com/
- Copyright – Protect your work. You have worked hard enough to bring your fab ideas on paper, for someone to up and steal them. Get your manuscript protected with the Library of Congress for $35.00. www.copyright.gov/forms
- Create a Review List – It is time to shop around and see who you can get to review your book. Friends, family, friends of family and co-workers are good, but you need heavy hitters too. Amazon, Goodreads, New York Times, etc. Begin compiling a list of where to send your advance copies.
- Price your Book – Be sure not to price to high and scare away your new customers, who want to purchase the book, but do not know who you are. They may not be willing to pay the high price for a first-time trial. However, do not price to low where you are not at the price point you want to be to make money. If you are unsure, check out your competition prices.
- Setting up your Author Platform – You have fully set up your business and are ready to publish and sell, sell, sell. Now it is time to build a author website, where your fans can learn more about you, your book and purchase links. If you do not want to set up a website, your Facebook or blog should act as this purpose, offering the same information.
P.S. It is a lot of additional information with self-publishing that I didn’t include in today’s post. I will break-down each topic over the next few weeks and continue answering your questions.
Missy B. Salick