1. Katy12250
    Offline

    Katy12250 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    5

    Self Publishers - Did you create a company?

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by Katy12250, Jul 27, 2016.

    I watched a webinar today and now I have something else to worry about other than writing. And creating covers. And marketing.

    So this is a question to all of you are self published - did you create a company (of any type) or a publishing company when you started to self publish?

    I understand the tax and legal advantages of creating a business entity of some type. What I'd really like is some feedback about whether actual indie authors go that route or not? It's easy when looking at listings on Amazon to tell if the book is from a major publishing company, Random House, for example. It's not so easy to tell on other listings if the author published as an individual or through a publishing company they created or just through a small press company.

    I also understand treating your writing as a business, but does that include setting up a company (publishing or otherwise)? There are going to be a lot of costs involved in setting up a company, depending on where you live. Right now, if I had the choice between spending, say, $500 to set up a company and $500 to get a professional cover, I'd go with the cover. But is that the right choice?

    Opinions? Comments? Helpful (or not!) suggestions?
     
    Rita M Gardner likes this.
  2. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,675
    Likes Received:
    1,072
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I've got a thread going on this process over at http://www.writingforums.org/threads/wherein-i-roll-my-own-in-the-publishing-house-line.147122/.

    So far the cost of "setting up the company" has been $145: $70 to get the name registered in my state and $75 for county bar association Legal Journal to run the required advertisement of that fact.

    I suppose you could count the cost of the ISBNs I purchased from Bowker, but that's an investment. Owning my own numbers means I am the official publisher and retain all rights to my work.

    And there's been a few bucks for web addresses for my future website, and there might be a bit more for hosting, if I choose to go that route. But an author website is recommended whether you form your own publishing company, or if you let CreateSpace and Kindle be the publisher of record for you.

    Oh, and I've laid out a little on a couple of guidebooks to help me get all this right.

    The nice thing is that having my own little publishing company means I can deduct all these expenses on my taxes, as well as anything else I spend connected with my writing. I realize the point is moot until I make money from my books and have income to deduct from, but that's what all this is about.
     
  3. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,649
    Likes Received:
    5,127
    The answer to this is probably going to depend on your jurisdiction, and probably also on what you mean by creating a company.

    I'm in Canada and I self-publish with no extra legal structures (not incorporated, no DBA, etc.) It's not a problem, and I can deduct expenses from my income with no issues. It sounds like this may be different in @Catrin Lewis's jurisdiction? My ISBNs are under my author name.
     
  4. Brindy
    Offline

    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    394
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    I'm in the UK and have published under my own name. I may convert to a company if things look to be needing me to, but initially it's not a problem to self-publish as an individual. Dealing with ISBN's, barcodes etc have not been an issue.
     
    7XshadowolfX7 likes this.
  5. davidm
    Offline

    davidm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    85
    A friend and I have started an online publishing venture, The Pood: http://poodpawprints.com

    We have a couple of titles up:

    The Pood:



    Abe 2.0:



    With more to come:

    http://poodpawprints.com/coming-soon.html

    And on Facebook:

    https://www.facebook.com/poodpawprints


    We just started it within the last month or so, ergo it’s too early to determine if it will be the slow-motion train wreck that I predict. :) My friend is mostly handling the business end of it, so he could supply the details of the ins and outs if any are interested. He actually is a member here but has not posted in a long time. If we do succeed we will be looking for writers (fiction and nonfiction).
     
  6. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    This sounds like what the Ontario government calls a sole proprietorship. Years ago, when my wife and I started a web development service, I'm pretty sure this is the way we went... although, how we got around the 'sole' part of that so we could co-own it, I don't remember. I've never been much good at that business stuff anyway, so this isn't surprising.

    My understanding is that there are no real tax advantages to a sole proprietorship as far as income is concerned (all income is still seen as personal) but it does give one the advantage of writing off expenses (including equipment and a percentage of rent/hydro/etc.) as the cost of doing business.

    Does that sound about right or am I mis-remembering?

    Oh, and another question: I read somewhere that here in Canada we don't have to pay for ISBNs. Is this true? Also, are those ISBNs for Canada only or are they international?
     
  7. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,649
    Likes Received:
    5,127
    I report income as "self-employment income" but, yes, I guess it counts as a sole proprietorship, since I'm the only person involved... I can certainly write off the standard business expenses when reporting as self-employed income.

    And yes, ISBNs are free in Canada, and they're for use all over the world. It's just a registration system - it's insane that the Americans have to pay so much for theirs!

    http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services/isbn-canada/pages/isbn-canada.aspx
     
    Sack-a-Doo! likes this.
  8. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    Cool! That's good to know. Socialized medicine, socialized ISBNs... what more could a person want? :)
     
    Brindy and BayView like this.
  9. cutecat22
    Offline

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    1,063
    Location:
    England
    But even if you don't register an actual company, you do still need to fill out a self assessment tax form to declare any money you receive from book sales. Even if you only make £1.00
     
    Brindy likes this.
  10. Brindy
    Offline

    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    394
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Yes, I have a separate bank account for everything to do with my writing, so I can keep a clear check on any tax liabilities. Fortunately, my business background is accounts, so that is all second nature to me.
     
    cutecat22 likes this.
  11. cutecat22
    Offline

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    1,063
    Location:
    England
    I've self published under a pen name and when filling out my Self Assessment tax forms, I use my pen name as the company name.

    I keep all the receipts from purchases I make regarding my writing - be it swag, research books, my own book to give away, postage and packaging.

    I also have a separate bank account for all sales royalties to be deposited into.

    When filling in the forms, I add up all my sales for the year, (checking via the bank statements and my Amazon KDP/Createspace account reports) and all my expenses for the year, fill in the form on-line and send it off.
     
  12. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,649
    Likes Received:
    5,127
    It's a bit more complicated if you're getting income in different currencies - the publisher statements won't match up very well with the actual money that shows up in your bank account.

    I keep a US$ account for my US royalties and just make sure it's empty on December 31 - and all $ from that goes into my Cdn$ writing account before it gets spent/invested. So then I just have to add up deposits to my Cdn$ account to get the year's writing income (in Cdn$).

    There may be an issue with cash-based vs. accrual-based accounting, depending on jurisdiction. I use cash-based because of the exchange rate issues (can't really tell how much I've made until it's actually in Cdn$ after I receive it) but I'm not sure all jurisdictions are okay with this. And obviously if you're using cash-based for for income, you have to use it for expenses as well...
     
    cutecat22 likes this.
  13. cutecat22
    Offline

    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    2,434
    Likes Received:
    1,063
    Location:
    England
    When it comes into my bank account, it's automatically transferred into £Sterling. Those are the figures I use, I use the KDP account statements to make sure I haven't missed anything off the bank statements. KDP run reports every month but my bank statements are three monthly. You can bet your bottom dollar that I've lost at least one of them through the year!

    I reconcile one against the other and use the £sterling bank statements as the final figures for the self assessment. Which also means I don't have to mess on with conversion tables.
     

Share This Page