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Friday, June 15, 2012

Self-publishing is the Wave of the Future

PUBLISHED IN BookDaily Staff

The House Always Wins

Courtesy of Victoria Brown
Why I Formed My Own Publishing House

By now we all know self-publishing is the wave of the future (think iTunes and the music industry). This means more authors are self-publishing, and more people are reading self-published books either on their e-readers or in print.
If you’re going to self-publish, should you form your own publishing house?
You don’t have to, but that was the route I decided to take. I formed a one-person, one-book (for now) publishing house. It’s a sole proprietorship, because I wanted to keep it simple, and incorporation is complicated and expensive.

A sole proprietorship requires virtually no paperwork, and one of the benefits is that virtually every expense involved with getting your book into ready for e-readers or print is tax deductible. Make sure you keep track of every expense related to bringing your book to market. Ask your accountant as soon as you begin your WIP which expenses are deductible, and then keep meticulous track of everything, down to the penny. I use Quicken.
First, I named the company “Woodchuck Publishers.” I hear a collective chorus saying, “Huh?” Does it help you to know I live on Woodchuck Lane? It was a no-brainer.

After I landed on a name, I created a logo and a website/blog.
I went through the tedious process of trying to understand ISBNs. The ISBN is a number that uniquely identifies your book for publishers, distributors, and bookstores.

You need a different ISBN for each version of the book. First, you need one for your e-book. You can use the same ISBN for an e-book offered on different sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and more.
Then you need another ISBN if you are going to sell a print version, which I am doing with Amazon’s sister company CreateSpace. CreateSpace provides a barcode for the print version, or you can buy your own from Bowker. Once you have the barcode on the back cover, you won’t be able to adjust the price for the print book unless you use a different ISBN and barcode.

One of the main reasons I wanted my own publishing brand was so that Woodchuck Publishers would be listed as the publisher of record in Books in Print. Libraries worldwide consult Books in Print to find titles, create lists, and decide which vendor, e-book platform or online retailer to source the title. If you get a free ISBN, the issuer is listed as the publisher of record. For example, if I used CreateSpace’s free ISBN, then CreateSpace is listed as the publisher. I didn’t want to do that, so I bought my own ISBNs from Bowker.

And if you’re wondering…yes, I do tweet (@VBrownWriter). Although I don’t expect to make sales through my Twitter connections, my tweeps offered a wealth of information about self-publishing through blog posts.
One last word: To be successful, there is one critical component: Write a good book. No amount of business savvy is going to make up for a stinker of a book.

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BookDaily Staff



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