View Full Version : Self Publishing Detail Question

04-30-2015, 11:29 PM
I'm published with small press, and I have a trunk novel that I've been considering self publishing for years. I'm finally getting ready to pull the plug and toss it up there but...

Is anyone creating their own publishing company, and/or incorporating to do so? Why or why not? I'm on the fence myself.

04-30-2015, 11:59 PM
How are you planning to publish it? Will it benefit your tax situation?

I didn't bother because I was publishing via online venues that don't require it and there was no tax advantage.

Laer Carroll
05-01-2015, 04:53 AM
Certainly you can set up your own publishing company. As long as you know what you're getting into, and have the resources to do so. A few authors have done it, such as Kate Wilhelm.

But it's a complex process, basically starting a small business. You can streamline most of the parts, but not do away with them entirely. How do you plan to distribute your book(s)? Publicize them? Handle tax reporting? Etc. Etc.

And while you're creating and managing your business, you are not writing. Fine, if you enjoy being an entrepreneur. But if you want to be a writer it's better to partner with people who do want to be businesspeople full time and are good at it.

Dennis E. Taylor
05-01-2015, 05:19 AM
You don't have a location, so YMMV somewhat. I'm speaking from Canada. After several years of running my shareware company as a sole-proprietorship, I incorporated and ran that way for about 12 years. It's pretty basic, at least for Canada: The ONLY advantage (other than limited liability) is income splitting. If you can pay yourself and your significant other, you'll lower your taxes overall. Otherwise, fuggedaboudit. There are few if any writeoffs available to an org that aren't available to a prop. And the annual accounting costs are significantly higher -- you have to produce audited financials every year. You have to pay your corporate filing every year. You have to have annual general meetings and keep a minute book.

I would not do it that way again.

05-01-2015, 07:54 PM
You don't have to; you can file taxes as a sole proprietor (which is Schedule C, in the US).

I already had a long-running business structure in place (LLC), because I'm self-employed full time, so I simply fold my royalties and publishing income into that.

05-03-2015, 07:26 AM
When I hear "should I incorporate?" I think "liability."

Health-related nonfic has obvious potential for liability, and how-to nonfic involving hazards like power tools can have liability issues too. Fiction, less so...but if you're writing for YA or younger readers, and there are any risky behaviors that they might imitate (especially if the consequences are in a sequel or otherwise not depicted), you don't need our feedback, you need an attorney's, as to whether there's a potential liability if someone does a dumb thing and says you inspired it.

If there is a liability issue, you want to incorporate, because then they can sue the corporation out of existence but you get to keep your house and couch.

05-04-2015, 06:06 AM
Thanks for the input. Yeah, not so much with looking for the legal advice, but definitely trying to see how people are handling this issue. It's one of the things I'm not seeing self published writers/authors addressing when they talk about the steps to do so. Will have some decision to make.

05-04-2015, 08:25 PM
I consulted with a lawyer pre-publishing, and it was one of the best $70 I ever spent. The gist of her advice is that it varies WIDELY state-by-state (and, I would assume, country-by-country), so whether it's a good idea entirely depends on where you live.

Her advice for me was that it was definitely not a good idea for me in particular, but she was able to tell me under what circumstances it would be. I highly recommend talking to someone qualified where you are. :)