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Physical Book Publishing > Self-publishing - company required?

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message 1: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 4 comments Hi everyone!
I'm looking to self-publish my first fiction book with IngramSpark, and I keep seeing suggestions in other groups/discussions that self-publishing authors need to set up their own publishing company. Additionally, when I created my account with IngramSpark, I saw a field asking for my "business." Will I need to set up my own publishing company to continue working with IngramSpark?

Have any of you gone through this process, and if so, could you share your experience? Thank you so much!


message 2: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments Nope. Not required.


message 3: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 611 comments You need to buy an ISBN to publish a book with Ingram Spark. If you plan on publishing more than one book in more than one edition, it's cheaper to buy your ISBNs in bulk from Bowker. You can register them to yourself or make up a publishing company name to register them under.


message 4: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments It all depends you - how you want to set up your writing career/business. You can check out self-Publisher's Legal Handbook by Helen Sedwick. She is a lawyer who represents authors, mostly in Northern California. I suppose you can read a sample on Amazon.


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Edward | 42 comments The main reason, at least for me, was to hold the copyright. If you publish under your real name, you can do business as yourself and make yourself the copyright holder. If you use a pen name (or more than one), you still need a real “entity” (person or business) to hold the copyright. It’s “property” and needs a legal owner.

There are also a lot of tax and liability issues that are WAY beyond my ability to adequately explain, so if you do want to create an llc or something like that, best to talk to someone who knows about business formation. (And they vary between states and countries as well).


message 6: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 4 comments Thank you all so much!


message 7: by David (new)

David Saffold | 4 comments Hello all, I published my first book with Westbow Press which is a fee based hybrid publisher. My book was published first of 2018 and now I am thinking of cancelling my contract with them and going on my own because I am the only one selling books and they are taking 90% of the profits - which really ticks me off. I can get my book back on Amazon via KDP and get all the profits, etc.

Has anyone cancelled with a hybrid like I am about to do? I just want to find out if there is anything I need to consider before actually cancelling. Thanks for your help


message 8: by Jay (new)

Jay Greenstein (jaygreenstein) | 249 comments The main reason, at least for me, was to hold the copyright.

You already do. As the law is written today you own the copyright the day the work is completed. The only thing registering it does is allow you to sue for lost revenue, where without it you can only force them to stop selling it.

But given that you must pay for a lawyer, and court costs in the area where the crime took place, your cost to sue would be significant. A publisher, who has invested thousands in your work, might find it worthwhile, assuming the money made by the one plagiarizing the work is greater than what can be recovered. For the average self-pub, though, that's iffy, given that they're usually making only tens of dollars from their work.

And of course, you also have to factor in the number of cases where someone "stole" the work of a self-published author and made money from it.


message 9: by Gisela (new)

Gisela Hausmann | 47 comments David wrote: "Hello all, I published my first book with Westbow Press which is a fee based hybrid publisher. My book was published first of 2018 and now I am thinking of cancelling my contract with them and goin..."

David,
who registered the ISBN number? If your (former) publisher did, you will have to do something about that because anybody who inquires about your book will be directed to the them. That's what the ISBN number is for.

You can never undo the old ISBN. So, maybe your book will need a new title. Does Westbow have books (hard copies)? It depends on the contract if they are entitled to keep selling, even if you leave.

You may also have to notify Amazon that Westbow is not your publisher anymore (but that won't work if they have the right to keep selling books they printed in the past.)

The first item on your agenda should be to dig up your contract.

Good luck


message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert Edward | 42 comments Jay wrote: You already do. As the law is written today you own the copyright the day the work is completed."

Yeah, you're right about that. But for a variety of reasons I don't write under my real name. "Robert Edward" can't legally own anything. So the choice when writing pseudonymously was to hold the copyright under my real name (kind of defeating the point) or create a legal entity.


message 11: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Skilton | 17 comments You can register a copyright with a pseudonym and you can even keep your true name hidden, if I remember correctly. It's an option in the copyright form.


message 12: by Jumpj1952 (new)

Jumpj1952 | 6 comments TO: David. I also have a contract with a publisher for 2 years. I would read over your contract very carefully before cancelling.
Also I was wondering when my contract runs out, I think July of 2019, does the book still stay on Amazon and Barnes and Noble or do you have to renegotiate with them? Right now my publisher does all my paperbacks. Does Amazon do paperbacks? I am wondering how that works. Does anyone on here know?


message 13: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (last edited Jul 12, 2018 11:04PM) (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
I believe Amazon has tools for self-publishing paperbacks directly through them but I did not look into them yet.
There's the "Paperback through KDP" topic somewhere on the group's forums that might help you.


message 14: by Melaina (new)

Melaina Rayne (melainarayne) Jumpj1952, Amazon has two self-publishing options. You can create a paperback through CreateSpace or through KDP. I've seen the KDP option before but haven't looked into it. I do have my first three books published through CreateSpace though, and they lead you step-by-step through the whole process. It looks like some things have changed with them over the last few years, but they still have the basics of what I used three years ago.


message 15: by Felix (new)

Felix Schrodinger | 138 comments You can register a copyright with a pseudonym and you can even keep your true name hidden, if I remember correctly. It's an option in the copyright form

Timothy, It would be useful if you mentioned which country you are in as copyright law varies with some countries. Which 'copyright form' are you referring to?


message 16: by Donna (new)

Donna Johnson-Klonsky | 25 comments I'm about to publish my first paperback. I'm strongly considering CreateSpace. I've heard when you publish through KDP you can't publish on other platforms. Would love feedback for anyone that has published through KDP.


message 17: by Michael (new)

Michael Zelig | 1 comments You can publish your paperback on other platforms. Just you probably dont want to sign up for Amazon’s extended distribution if you do.

Amazon will restrict your ebook to its site but thaf’s if you want to be in its KDP Select program. If you dont sign up for its optional programs such as this, you could also publish your ebook on any platform you wish


message 18: by Nathaniel (new)

Nathaniel Winters (nathanielwinters) | 14 comments I have published many books with Createspace. It is easy and you only pay for the published books they send you. It is an Amazon owned company, so you can also publish on Kindle as well. You of course need to market your book.


message 19: by Donna (new)

Donna Johnson-Klonsky | 25 comments Michael wrote: "You can publish your paperback on other platforms. Just you probably dont want to sign up for Amazon’s extended distribution if you do.

Amazon will restrict your ebook to its site but thaf’s if yo..."


Thanks so much for the insight. It was the clarification I needed.


message 20: by Donna (new)

Donna Johnson-Klonsky | 25 comments Nathaniel wrote: "I have published many books with Createspace. It is easy and you only pay for the published books they send you. It is an Amazon owned company, so you can also publish on Kindle as well. You of cou..."

Thanks for your response. Yes, marketing. I'm in the midst of that now.


message 21: by Jumpj1952 (new)

Jumpj1952 | 6 comments Has anyone on here tried Books Go Social to market their book? I am looking into them. There is a basic service for $49.00 for three months. They say they guarantee hits on your website or author page, but they don't guarantee sales.


message 22: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments I have not tried them yet because I can't spare the time to generate the content they require to post on social media on behalf of the author. They have a lot of following. The owner is a down-to-earth man in Ireland (Dublin, I think). I met him at a writers' conference in 2014 where he was teaching the technicalities of social media.


message 23: by Betty (new)

Betty Viamontes | 4 comments I have published several books through CreateSpace and find the process easy to follow. My first book “Waiting on Zapote Street” has sold over 1,000 copies, not bad for an independent author who markets her books herself. This book just won the Latino Books to Movies Award (Drama TV Series). In fact, yesterday, three years after its publication, I sold ten copies through CreateSpace expanded distribution, and I don’t know how. I have been concentrating on novel #3 with no time for marketing. I guess that after building a network of followers, one person tells another. Who knows? Good luck everyone!


message 24: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Harrison (natfladager) | 2 comments Betty wrote: "I have published several books through CreateSpace and find the process easy to follow. My first book “Waiting on Zapote Street” has sold over 1,000 copies, not bad for an independent author who ma..."

Congrats Betty! That's really cool! I just published my second book (its a novella, my first was a short story) via Kindle Direct Publishing called Warp. I love how easy it is and I have an amazing artist who does my covers. I find it really hard to market my books and get people to read them/see them. Any ideas? I post on all social media, run ads, do giveaways and even create animated shorts. Would love some genuine feedback. It's tough out there for self publishing!


message 25: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Nat, it might be a problem caused by the length. There's a thread about the fact it seems problematic to sell short stories, in case you'd want to have a look on opinions gathered there.


message 26: by P.S. (new)

P.S. Winn (goodreadscompswinn) | 10 comments I use create space for paperbacks. Barnes and Noble along with Kindle Direct Publishing for e-books.


message 27: by Dwimirnani (new)

Dwimirnani (moxi) | 5 comments I have no idea about IngramSpark, but I can share my recent experience self-publishing an ebook on Smashwords. So far, I am very satisfied with the service. Printed books are also available, but I decided to limit it to ebook.

They have clear and precise instructions and tutorials with videos, so I think it's very easy to follow for a first-timer like me.

Smashwords also send the book to almost every retailer in the world including Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Nobles (they have a very long list of it), although you need to reach certain amount of sales before your book is accepted by Amazon.


message 28: by Shanna (new)

Shanna Bosarge | 4 comments I did a bunch of research before creating my book on CreateSpace. I chose to create my own Business for the simple fact that if you do not then "CreateSpace" shows as your publisher. If found that most brick and mortar stores will not stock books that show CreateSpace as the publisher.

It also allowed me to build my own brand with a logo and other marketing material. It was a bit of a hassle at first, but once everything was in place it is working great.

I'm not sure how KDP handles it now that it and CreateSpace have combined.

Best of luck.


message 29: by Kaylee (new)

Kaylee Dolat | 91 comments David wrote: "Hello all, I published my first book with Westbow Press which is a fee based hybrid publisher. My book was published first of 2018 and now I am thinking of cancelling my contract with them and goin..."

Hey David. I'm also with them. I am also going to cancel with them because I'm tired of ordering my book signing copies at consumer prices.

I checked into it. We have a contract with them, but it is not a time limited contract. We own all the rights to our work. Especially if you had submitted your own cover. The only thing I can think of is if you did not do your own cover, you will need to get one.


message 30: by Todd (new)

Todd | 3 comments I'm chiming in late! I published my first novel through Lightning Source (via Ingram) because at the time CreateSpace did not offer matte covers as an option, and it was a LOT of work to set everything up. I did my latter two novels through CreateSapce as they gave a lot more options since, and I'm super happy with the service. The one negative with Lightning Source is that you end up paying more. For example, there's a yearly fee of $14 and you pay $2.50 per title per month to keep them in the system. If you sell regular quantities, that's not much. I sell a few copies of my Lightning Source book per year, so I literally am paying way more than I'm making in order to keep the title live.


message 31: by David (last edited Dec 06, 2018 07:00AM) (new)

David | 4 comments This is a very interesting thread to read. I'm just looking into self publishing a YA Celtic novel and was wondering about: real vs. pen name, where to print on demand etc... So, many thanks for the insights!


message 32: by May (new)

May Sinclair (maysinclair) | 6 comments I used to get my paper books published through CreateSpace, but now Kindle has gobbled them up. All of my paper books are now with Kindle (it was sort of automatic), but about have of my ebooks are Kindle and the other half with Draft2Digital. There are pluses and minuses, so check your options carefully. With Kindle you can have free days and get paid for the pages read. With Draft2Digital you get a wider range of places the ebooks are available, such as iBooks, Kobo, and several libraries.


message 33: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Hammond | 2 comments I’m very familiar with both sides of the industry and there’s a lot that goes into it.


message 34: by Robin (new)

Robin (mkrmauthor) | 7 comments I use Draft2Digital for publishing my first ebook and Lulu Publishing to get the paperback and hardback copies into the market. Both companies have a decent share of royalties and send out the books to many stores. I've been satisfied with them so far.
When I researched Kindle publishing, I just wasn't happy with the way it was going to limit me, mainly in wanting to remain an individual for tax purposes and wanting to retain my rights to my work.
I created an imprint for my books but not an LLC. I'm working as an individual, so that does put some limits on what happens with my books as they go out into the world. For me, that's fine. It's not what I expected going into self-publishing, especially since my books are available only on the bookstore websites. When I visited our local Barnes and Noble and asked if they had my book on the shelf (I didn't expect them to, mind you...), the associate told me it was not the type they would order for the shelf, but they could order for me to pick up a single copy in the store. It's a surreal experience...going into a store and asking about your own book. XD I was a tad disappointed, but on the whole, my book is out there and as long as I'm marketing it, everything will be fine.
As to writing under a pseudonym, I had a similar conundrum when filling out the copyright registration, though I don't care if people know my identity. I'm writing under a pen name because I plan to write non-fiction in the future and I'd like to keep my NF and F books separate, mostly for the readers.


message 35: by Frances (new)

Frances Richardson | 14 comments I loved working with the people at CreateSpace; they were thoroughly professional, edited well, and created a beautiful cover for my book. I was disappointed when, in March 2018, CreateSpace no longer accepted author changes or improvements to the narrative. Being non-tech savvy, I’m not sure how the new Kindle program works. Can the author still buy copies of his/her books to distribute? Thank you.


message 36: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Garcia | 5 comments i love createspace and i dont have problem with this space but if you love the posibility of create your own publishing its not bad.


message 37: by bill (new)

bill (bmorgens) Frances wrote: "I loved working with the people at CreateSpace; they were thoroughly professional, edited well, and created a beautiful cover for my book. I was disappointed when, in March 2018, CreateSpace no lon..."
You can amend your book or buy copies of your book through Amazon. They make the changeover relatively easy.


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