1. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Creating a small publishing company

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by DeadMoon, May 15, 2016.

    Has anyone here created or knows someone who created) their own publishing company?
    I am thinking about this for short story collections. I got the idea from a site that is always looking for authors and exchange for a small payment (this ranges from X amount of cents per word to royalties, flat fee or copies ect...) then they do all the leg work of choosing the stories, editing, cover design, promotion ect. and collect the profit (if there is one) after paying the authors. I want to do this as a side project(s) to fund myself as an author and learn more about the industry along the way. I'm sure I can figure out how to do this but any help would be appreciated Thanks

    This would be strictly a E-book format...
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know some people, indirectly, who've created their own publishing companies.

    I wouldn't recommend doing it.

    Publishing is a pretty complicated business--yes, the jobs, you've listed, but also contracts, formatting, marketing, accounting, making payments, doing taxes and issuing tax documents to authors, etc. If an amateur wants to mess around with it using his own work, I think that's fine, and a good way to learn. But using someone else's work? I think it's irresponsible.

    I guess if you were totally up-front, paid a flat fee, and resigned yourself to almost certainly losing money on the deal, it would be okay. Like, if you told prospective authors that you're not an expert, but you want their stories, will pay them $50 (or whatever), and will revert their rights after a reasonable period? I guess. But you'd be sinking a lot of time and money into a project that isn't likely to have a good return.

    If you're thinking of publishing as a way to make money? Honestly, I'd say your odds are better at making money from writing than from publishing. And you're less likely to be taking advantage of others in the process.

    Sorry.
     
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  3. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    No reason to be sorry. Your advice sounds good and really it's the kind of thing I need to hear. That is why I like posting n this board.
     
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  4. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't go so far as irresponsible, assuming you're not trying to present yourself as something you're not, but this part:

    I totally agree with.

    None of the jobs involved - not the cover design, not the marketing, not the contracts, not the accounting - are complicated to get done. But some are expensive, some are time-consuming, and several are both.

    If you're going to do this on your own as a sideline, in your free time, then you'll likely only have time for one, at a push 2 books on the go at any one time. The economics of publishing companies aren't that they make a bit of money on every book - on most books, they lose money. The companies are funded by the ones that win big. The model works, but it relies on rolling the dice a lot; something you're not going to be able to do with a part-time small press.

    It sounds like a lot of fun. I'd love to try it myself some time, if I ever have the funds and the time together to make a proper go of it. But if you're after funding yourself as a writer, I don't think it'll do what you want it to.

    Source: I haven't ever founded a publishing company, but I have worked in a couple.
     
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  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    To add to what others have said, anthologies typically don't make money. They sell fewer copies than novels, just like an author's novels generally sell far better than a short story collection by that author.

    If you dive into it, however, setting up for POD copies isn't that much more expensive and it might provide an opportunity to reach a few additional readers.

    Here is something else to consider: Marketing.
    If you pay royalties per each copy sold to the authors included in the anthology, there is incentive for them to help promote the work--it's in their best interest. That, however, means a lot more work on the accounting side for you, the publisher, not only for that year, but in years to come. On the other hand, paying a flat rate for a story, or so much per word up front (like most magazines and ezines and anthologies tend to do it), the accounting is less of a concern, but there is less incentive for the authors to help spread the word and keeping on it. Yes, publishers should market their works, but combined efforts with authors only makes sense. Virtually all publishers (of novel length works) expect/count on some effort by the authors.

    A lot of small presses start up and are gone within a year or two. Publishing anthologies is a way to get your feet wet as a publisher, especially if you hope to do more than dabble in it. But you'd have to offer added value as a publisher, otherwise there is little incentive for an author to be published with your company, when they could self-publish, if that makes sense. Plus, you'd be competing with all of the other smaller presses out there for the best manuscripts.
     
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  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm pretty sure @Mike Kobernus opened his own publishing company and published his own books through it too?
     
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  7. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    That's a different scene. Many people have recommended that you start your own company to publish your own works. That way, you can expense out the stuff that you have to do to promote your book...travel, advertising, office expenses. And your publishing company is the entity (or imprint) that Bowker sends its ISBNs to. The taxes are a little more complicated, but not staggeringly so, except if you have inventory like printed books and such. I had a small business for years and used Quickbooks to track expenses. I had no payroll, just contract labor (which is what you'd have for editorial expenses and the like). I used the cheapest version of Tax Cut or H&R Block's tax software to file taxes, and they handled it just fine.

    The situation changes dramatically when you start publishing other people's stuff. Then you have to worry about everything that BayView and others have mentioned.
     
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  8. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    [QU
    Sounds like I would be better working on my own writings and company. I ended up reading an article on Tax advice for writers from Writers Digest too.. thank you evey one for your help.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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  10. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    This is perfectly correct. I wanted to professionally publish my work, and I simply extended the curtesy to others and hey presto, I had a business on my hands.

    Not an EASY business, I grant you, but deeply satisfying.
     
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  11. Nabila Mulyady
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    Nabila Mulyady New Member

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    If you're looking for an editor for fiction books or writing, you can contact me at nabilamulyady@gmail.com. Thanks!
     

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