CXO Matters

4 Things to Keep in Mind Before Starting Your Publishing Business

4 Things to Keep in Mind Before Starting Your Publishing Business
Image Courtesy: Unsplash
Written by Varsha Pednekar

A traditional publishing company is a business that creates and distributes copies of written material. This can be anything from novels to children’s books to magazines to coffee table reads. A large publishing house prints thousands of books every year under different “imprints” or departments while small publishing businesses may only publish a handful of books every year. 

Starting a publishing business can be a lot of work. But if you’re feeling ready to start your own publishing business, here are 5 things to keep in mind:

#1 Solidify your goals

Before you dive into the technical aspects of starting a publishing business, you’ll need to focus on what you want to accomplish. Here are some questions that will help you establish your goals:

  • Do you need a partner or will you start the company on your own?
  • What are the format guidelines (print, digital, audio, etc.) you want to set?
  • What sort of income are you expecting? 
  • What will be your biggest challenges? And how will you overcome them?
  • Will your publishing business be specific to a niche in the publishing industry?

Answering these questions will help you make clearer decisions about your business plan as your company grows. 

#2 Create your brand

Once you’ve set your goals, the next thing you need to focus on is creating your brand. This will include setting up a business name, creating a mission statement, deciding what authors or books you want to publish, etc. Branding should help your publishing company’s name and brand become a relatable and attractive concept for readers, writers, and distributions. 

#3 Set up your infrastructure

Setting up the administrative aspects of your business should be your next agenda. This will include acquiring a domain name and website, creating a logo, setting up a communication address, opening a business bank account, etc. 

As you streamline your admin processes, you may also need to make hiring decisions. If you need help in an area that you don’t have enough expertise in, it’s always best to hire a full-time employee if it’s an ongoing process or a contractual one for ad-hoc tasks. 

For example, accounting will be a day-to-day job for your publishing business and requires a full-time accountant. On the other hand, designing a logo can be outsourced to a freelancer with whom you can work closely till the project is completed. 

# 4 Marketing and selling your books

Once you have printed your first set of books it’s time to focus on marketing and coming up with a strategy to advertise your books. If you’ve already hired a marketing professional, they will create an actionable plan to market your product. 

If you choose to market the books yourself, you’ll need to get a clear understanding of the audience you want to connect with, and how to market to them. Researching similar books in the genre and analyzing how they were marketed can help you create a marketing strategy for yourself. 

Although you have a printed product, don’t forget to keep social media marketing as a part of your marketing arsenal. Create a social media presence for your publishing company so you can promote all of your upcoming releases. Another effective way is to send out advance review copies to book review publications to draw attention to the new title. 

Don’t forget to revisit your marketing plan on a regular basis to see if you’ve missed out on any opportunities or alternative ways to reach your audience.