Today your self-publishing short is on how to create your own publishing company. Many authors do not grasp the concept that by self-publishing their book they are, in fact, operating a business. They are in the business of being not only an author but also a book publisher. They just happen to be publishing their own book.


(Watch the video version of this article above. Want more? View our entire self-publishing video collection.)

Before you can self-publish your book, there are certain steps you need to take to start your own business. These are outlined below:

  1. Decide on a business name. Your business name will be the name of your publishing company. I suggest not using your own name as part of the business name. You will need to research the name to make sure it is not already in use before claiming it as your own.
  2. Decide on a business structure. A lot of self-publishing authors choose to do a sole proprietorship, which is the easiest type of business to form. Others choose to form a limited liability company (LLC). In essence, the LCC will grant your personal assets more protection in case the business is ever sued. To decide which structure is best for you, talk with your accountant or CPA.
  3. Register your business. If you selected a sole proprietorship, you will need to file a “Doing Business As” name, sometimes called a “Trade Name Registration” or “Fictitious Name” in some states. For an LLC, you will need to file articles of organization with your state. Different states, counties, and even cities have their own requirements for operating a business, so check with your state and local governments to make sure you follow the proper steps in setting up your business.
  4. Open a checking account. I also suggest you open a separate checking account under your new business name. If you are filing as an LLC, keeping your business and personal assets separated (including your banking accounts) is required.
  5. Purchase ISBNs under your new business name. See my self-publishing short on ISBNs for more information on this step.
  6. Keep track of the money. Running your own publishing company means keeping track both of your expenses as a business and the income it generates.
  7. File your business taxes. At the end of the year, you will receive 1099s that report the amounts paid to you from places such as IngramSpark and CreateSpace. As a sole proprietor or an LLC, this will happen on a Schedule C that you file along with your personal tax forms.

Do you have questions about self-publishing or need some help with book design, covers, eBook conversions, editing, book marketing, or more? We can help! Check out our self-publishing services, send us an email, or schedule a brief phone call with Kimberly Martin.