If you’re a writer, or like the idea of having other writers get their writing out there into the world, then starting your own publishing company is a great idea.
However, it takes more than a passion for books to be a successful publisher. In order to succeed in the publishing world, you need to know the in’s and out’s of the industry and how to outsmart your competition.
Starting a publishing company is a lot of work, but if you start out on the right foot, things will go much more smoothly.
Read on to learn how to start a publishing company.
1. Decide What Type of Publishing Company You Want
The type of publishing company you have will partly depend on where you live in the world.
If you live in the US, for example, you will have 3 options. You can either operate your publishing company as a sole proprietorship, an LLC, or an S-Corporation.
A sole proprietorship is typically the easiest way to start, as you run the business yourself and claim it under your own social security number for taxes.
An LLC is taxed in a similar manner as a sole proprietorship. However, your personal assets and business assets will be separated under limited liability.
Lastly, an S-Corporation means you’re running an incorporated business and are therefore able to receive more tax advantages and savings.
Before deciding, it can, of course, be advantageous to consult with lawyers or other experts about which decision is right for you.
2. Choose a Name
Once you know what type of business you want your publishing company to be, it’s time to choose a name.
You definitely want to put a good amount of thought into your name, as changing it down the road will be very difficult.
Also, before you have your heart set on a particular name, make sure:
- It isn’t trademarked
- You don’t have the word “inc.” or “corporation” in your name unless you’re an actual corporation
- If in the US, the name isn’t already taken in your state
- You have a backup name in case yours is already taken
3. Choose a Location
If you’re going to open your publishing company from home, then you should use your home address as your business address, right?
Many publishers make this mistake, so don’t let yourself be one of them. If you use your home address as your business address, then your information will be public for any random person to access.
When choosing a location, you have a few options. You can:
- Rent a physical space (although this can be very costly)
- Get a PO box (which will need to be in the same state that your business is registered in)
- Set up a virtual office (this will allow you to work anywhere in the world, as everything can be forwarded to your current location)
4. Finalize the Business Type and Set Up a Bank Account
Once you have all the above figured out, it’s time to finalize your business type and set up a bank account.
Finalizing the business type (LLC, S-Corporation or Sole Proprietorship) will allow you to receive an employer identification number.
Every state has different regulations for filing as a business, and further regulations depending on which business type you choose. Therefore, you’ll need to look into your own state’s laws to figure it out.
But once you file and set up your business bank account, then you can set up your business bank account.
Again, each bank will have a different process, so you will need to look into yours to see what steps need to be taken. It is also a great idea to set up a PayPal account, as this will allow you to receive online payments.
5. Set Up an Accounting System
There’s no way you’re going to be able to keep track of all the money coming in and out without a proper accounting system in place.
Luckily, setting up an online accounting system is easy, as there are plenty of options for accounting software available, such as Quickbooks.
Just make sure that whatever system you choose, you are careful about tracking your receipts. You never want to buy personal items on your business account or vice versa, as this will make things very complicated come tax season.
6. Register a Domain Name
Registering a domain name is one of the final things you’ll do once you have all your ducks in a row, but it is also one of the most important!
Registering a domain name will help you appear more professional, it will give you another venue for attracting clients, and it will be another great place for people to buy your books.
Once you have your domain name registered, then you should also look into how to market the books you’re selling.
There are even special plugins available for publishers that make it super simple to sell your books online.
How to Start a Publishing Company: Wrap Up
Now that you know how to start a publishing company, it’s now time to get the ball rolling!
Through each step of the process, it’s important to stay patient, confident, and of course, to have fun with it! It may feel like a lot of tedious paperwork at the start, but once you publish your first book, you’ll know it’s all worth it.
If you have questions about starting your own publishing company, please let us know in the comments below.
And, be sure to check out our blog for more tips on how to start and grow a business.