Self-Publishing: Becoming a Publisher
post # 422 — August 24, 2007 — a Strategy and the Fat Smoker post
Last week, Adam J Fein commented in one of my self-publishing blogposts. He asked:
Are you using your primary company as the “publisher” or are you setting up a separate publishing company? (Actually, I donâ€™t know your corporate structure, but I have heard that LS only works with â€œpublishersâ€ not individual authors.)
Did you hire people to perform the services normally provided by a publisher, such as an editor, designer, or publicist? If so, any tips on finding these professionals? If not, why did you decide to go it alone?
Adam, youâ€™re right that Lightening source only deals with â€œpublishersâ€, but I found out that all it takes to become a publisher is to purchase some ISBN (International Standard Book Numbers) from www.bowker.com It cost me about $450 to get 10 numbers (just in case I want to publish books other than my own.)
I also had to get a certificate from my City Hall (Boston,MA) to let them know I would be trading as â€œThe Spangle Pressâ€ (a sole proprietership.) It was bureaucratic, but not very time consuming. I just needed a form notarized. But it keeps the costs and income from the books separate from the consulting business, which I wanted just for clarity.
I have the best support team in the world: www.stresslimitdesign.com They found me a great person to design the book, and I plan to split my publicity between two people — an online person to promote to bloggers (Julien Smith at http://inoveryourhead.net ) and a â€œreal worldâ€ PR person to promote to traditional media. Mark Fortier, Fortier Public Relations (www.fortierpr.com) has been highly recommended to me — which is the ONLY way to find any professional provider, right?
Note that I would have had to hire the publicity folks anyway — publishers donâ€™t spend money on marketing. So, the incremental costs have been the design and editing, but I expect to earn a much higher percentage of the bookâ€™s cover price by self-publishing. I expect to â€œearn backâ€ the fixed costs of setting it all up within the first month!