View Full Version : Questions about developing a self-publishing company

07-11-2006, 09:53 PM
I have a few questions about self-publishing. I posted my first couple of questions right before the server problem, and had to re-register to be able to post them again.

First of all, this is a great site, and I'm learning a lot. My first book is now completely done. It's been edited by several trusted people, the cover graphic work is ready, and I've picked a printer to do the actual printing. All they do is print what is submitted to them, they do no editing or formatting.

I'm a little confused regarding whether I should be creating my own publishing company. The book is a type of reference, non-fiction, geared towards the medical/legal communities; and I'm curious as to how other authors set things up before actually selling their books. So, this leads into a few questions:

1. If I create my own publishing company, do I "sell" the rights, as the author, to the publishing company even though I'd own the company anyways?

2. I've been told by legal representation that if I create a publishing company, to make it a limited liability company (LLC) to create a level of protection should somebody in this lawsuit happy country decide to pursue some form of legal action down the road. Has anybody on these boards created a publishing company to develop this level of protection, even for just one book that wasn't going to be mass marketed to book stores?

3. If you've created a publishing company to "administer" the sales of your book, is there anything that I should be made aware of in advance?

Thank you for you help!

07-16-2006, 11:22 PM
I have a few questions about self-publishing. ...
There are a couple of widely known books on self-publishing that should answer pretty much all of your questions. One is by Tom and Marilyn Ross, and the other (probably even better known) by Dan Poynter.

I would recommend that you talk with some experienced self-publishers.

Legal questions should be discussed with a lawyer, especially where they are specific to your own situation or needs. For general guidance, Nolo Press publishes books such as Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business that might be helpful.

You might find some useful leads to other information at http://www.norcalpa.org/benefits/pub101.shtml. (Browse www.norcalpa.org (http://www.norcalpa.org), as there may be other information of value. I am the group's newsletter editor. The newsletters are posted in pdf and available to everyone.) If you can find a self-publishing/small-publishers organization in your area, it might be worth talking with folks in that group. For some possible leads, see http://www.spannet.org/.

For an excellent example of a recently self-published book, see www.bushopedia.com (http://www.bushopedia.com). Bill Potts published an edition under his own company name, PottsPublishing, and simultaneously had an edition published by a subsidy POD company, Trafford. (That is unusual, I think.) Bill is a very nice fellow. He might have time to talk to you about his publishing experience. Other experienced self-publishers in this area include Alton Pryor (16th book due out soon; Stagecoach Publishing, http://www.stagecoachpublishing.com/) and Naida West (novelist of very high standards for her writing and publishing; Bridge House Books, http://www.bridgehousebooks.com/).

There are a LOT of self-publishers, some doing very good work. Those who are at the top of the game produce books that no one would recognize as self-published, as in every respect they meet normal commercial publishing standards. It takes a lot of work and an entrepreneurial spirit to make that happen.