What You Need To Know Before Starting Your Own Publishing Company

How do you combine a love of reading and writing with a desire to start your own business? Easy, you start a publishing company.

What You Need To Know Before Starting Your Own Publishing Company

Here’s what you need to know before you sign the next John R. R. Tolkien.

Who You Need

Could you theoretically do this alone? Yes. Is that the best practice in reality? Probably not.

Here’s who you should hire to help with your new publishing company.

  • An accountant. The financial side of a business can be tough, and it’s easy to get in over your head. Hire a professional accountant to help you keep everything on track.
  • A marketing manager. Think about it, not only do you have to market your company, you have to market the writing you’re publishing too. That’s a lot of work and you’re going to need some help.
  • A general assistant. You’ll need help keeping in touch with your authors, contacting distributors, responding to inquiries, and taking care of other daily tasks. It’s better to find help now than when you’re drowning in paperwork.

If you want to save some time finding the right people, consider an innovative recruitment agency that optimizes candidate attraction through storytelling. In addition to being very on-brand for a publishing company, it’ll save you from having to post all those job listings.

What You Need

So when you have who you need, what else do you need? Here are a few items to put on your list.

  • A business structure. Check into what kind of licensing is required to operate. Decide if it’s a partnership, a proprietorship, or an LLC.
  • A brand. You need clients to publish and people to promote them to. That means establishing a brand that people trust and enjoy.
  • A digital structure. You’ll need a website, social media accounts, email address, and a plan of where your digital writing will be published. These items are crucial for building your brand.

These tasks may not be the most exciting aspects of your business, but they’re the foundation for success.

Why You’re Doing It

Why exactly are you starting this company? It’s an important question to know the answer to for yourself and for branding purposes. You might be starting a publishing company to:

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  • Gain creative control of your work. If you’re tired of giving up control of your work just to get it published, this can solve your problem.
  • Help fellow writers publish their work.
  • Add professionalism to your own or someone else’s writing. Stores are more likely to carry the work of an author if it’s published through a publishing company than if it’s self-published.
  • Expand an existing brand. You may have decided it’s time to take advantage of the writing success you’ve had or a social media following you’ve gained.

It doesn’t matter what your reason is, just be sure you’re able to communicate it to the people you’re asking to support you.

How You Get Paid

So how do you and your authors get paid when you’re running a publishing company?

  • First, you have to find quality writing you can sell. Then you have to promote it and find stores and sites to list it.
  • When books are sold by a store or site, they’ll collect the money and you’ll get whatever percentage you agreed on in your contract.
  • When you get your percentage, you’ll pay the author their percentage. How much you pay them will depend on their contract with you.
  • If you want to maximize profit, you can sell the books through your site or store. This will, however, require that you have a lot of supporters, as you’ll lose the element of people accidentally coming across the book.
  • You could also try both techniques together, and encourage readers who already plan to buy the book to do so directly from you.

How much you’ll make will vary depending on the popularity of the books you’re publishing. Over time, you’ll gain a sense of what writing sells best and how to market it most effectively.

Now that you know what you need to start your own publishing company, you can bring the next bestseller into the world. 


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