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Steps to Starting a Publishing Company

Updated on March 16, 2013

My Logo

The logo I chose for my company
The logo I chose for my company

Things to Do

Sometimes the things to do list is short, but the order of doing them is vital. The first thing I did was find a name for my company and had a logo designed. Then I applied for a DBA-doing business as-designation in my community. Then I was able to get a business account at the local bank.

I hired people to do my book set up and cover art. They are a reputable firm and I am enjoying working with them. They are working on the set up for my new book as I type.

I learned how to get ISBN numbers. Without them my books cannot be sold in a retail market. I have purchased those and sent the ones for this book to my set up people so they can be in the book where they belong.

I have registered with a printing company and will be working closely with them as soon as the book set up is done.

Copyright, it is vital the work be registered with the Library of Congress. I applied for that on-line. I should probably have applied for it two months ago. It is the current holdup on the book.

It's all a learning curve. I've got someone in my corner who is helping me. A big boost if you can find a mentor. Someone who has been there, done that.

What Else?

Oh yes, there is still more. I have been keeping books for my book sales for years. So now I am even more careful with my bookkeeping. I have a wonderful tax accountant who keeps me honest.

I had to apply for a sales tax license. I must collect sales tax on the books I personally sell. I sell books at book signings, and most anywhere I speak. I have to keep track of the sales tax. Some of my books were sold through a bookstore at one signing and they paid the sales tax. I had to be able to account for that, too.

I have an editor on standby. She will edit when I need her to do so. I can only edit my work to a point and it needs someone else to go through it and pick it apart. Someone not afraid to tell me when something doesn't work. My editor does. She gives a thorough explanation of what is missing or not working. Most of the grammar errors I can pick up on my own but after reading my work several hundred times, I get so I cannot see what is missing or not working.

You need to have people in your corner who support you and work well with you. It doesn't work to have abrasive people. If it's going to be constant conflict, it's not worth it.

You need media exposure. I have a personal website. It was not working for me. I had someone who knows about websites take a look at it. As a result, my website has grown up and become professional. As soon as I can get him to, I'll have him design the website for my publishing company. I need it to look professional. Then I will work on the blog, author connections. Facebook tie-in and all the other things I need to do.


Get someone to write good press releases and book cover blurbs for you. They are the key to getting readers interest.

Find someone with media ties, or make your own. Know where to send books for review and the time requirements on them. Get them in on time so you make your deadlines. Set up a deadline calendar. Find a good office person to keep you on task.

Lastly, be selective in the books you choose to publish. You want quality writers. You aren't going to make money with a mediocre writer. You should be looking for a good story, something compelling. The writer has to be good at storytelling. If they don't know the craft, you are wasting your time and money.

With that, best of luck.


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