We are onto the letter P in our weekly ABCs of Small Business Industry posts, and this week we are going to look at the publishing industry! The publishing industry has had its highs and its lows over the last few years. And, with a few major publishers facing rocky business, it is too easy to assume that the industry is on its last legs. However, small publishing agencies may be entering into a bit of a renaissance, and now could be a great time for new businesses to get into the publishing industry! But how do you do that? And what proof is there that the industry is doing better?
What do you need to do to get started in the publishing industry?
Like most unregulated industries, you don’t need anything special to get started in publishing. A DBA and any local licenses and permits are, at the very least, what you need to open your doors. But you should also apply for an Employer Identification Number as you’ll likely need to hire designers, IT staff, editors, and proofreaders. And, in some cases, you’ll need to have someone on retainer who is versed in US Copyright Law, as you may have to copyright the work of authors you buy manuscripts from.
Is there any specific advice for businesses looking to get started in publishing?
Most industry experts strongly recommend you work in the publishing industry before you try to make it as an independent publisher. You have to have a solid network of retailers and distributors if you ever hope to sell your books. You’ll also need to know how to market new authors, what to look for in quality printers, and what manuscripts are typically worth. Otherwise, you’ll be flying blind. And, because publishing can sometimes be a tumultuous industry, you may want to consider forming an LLC or incorporating so that your personal assets and the business’s debts are kept separate.
How healthy is the publishing industry?
That is up for debate. A lot of big-name publishers have had a rocky few years. Major booksellers have been reporting less and less business, and eBooks have really forced traditional publishers to re-imagine their distribution models. However, that can be a good thing for new publishers. Smaller businesses are quick to adapt, so you’re able to corner parts of the market major corporations have missed. Further, the publishing industry has grown over the last few years. According to the New Republic, net revenue in trade publishing has gone up since 2008, and e-publishing has skyrocketed. It’s an exciting time to be a publisher, and if you have the right experience and vision, you could do well in the rapidly changing publishing industry.
Thinking about starting a business in the publishing industry? Need a bit of help? Give us a call at 1-877-692-6772!