Tuesday, 16 Jul 2024

How to Start a Publishing Company: A Comprehensive Guide

how much does it cost to start a publishing company

You’ve always dreamed of starting your own publishing company, but you’re not sure where to begin. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to start your own publishing company and establish yourself in the industry. Whether you want to publish your own work, sell other people’s books, or protect your assets, starting a publishing company can open up a world of opportunities. So let’s dive in!

What Does a Publishing Company Do?

A publishing company sells and distributes books, magazines, newspapers, and digital content. They play a role in the editing process to ensure high-quality published content. They also make decisions about marketing and advertising strategies to maximize book sales. Starting your own publishing company can boost your author brand, provide financial protection, and open doors for collaborations and licensing deals.

Should You Start a Publishing Company?

There are three primary reasons to start a publishing company: financial protection, tax advantages, and legitimacy. While it’s possible to publish books without a formal company, establishing an LLC or corporation offers legal protection for your personal assets and provides a professional image. Additionally, starting a publishing company allows you to take advantage of tax write-offs and positions you as a serious player in the industry.

Benefits of Starting Your Own Publishing Company

Starting your own publishing company comes with several benefits:

  • Tax benefits, write-offs, and wealth building: Establishing a business entity enables you to take advantage of tax deductions and write-offs, potentially saving you a significant amount of money during tax season. It also sets you up for long-term wealth building.
  • Liability protection: By starting a publishing company, you create a legal barrier between your personal assets and any potential lawsuits related to your work. This protection ensures that only your company’s assets are at risk.
  • Increased credibility: Having your own publishing company adds credibility to your author brand. It demonstrates professionalism and expertise, making it easier to collaborate with other authors and business partners.
  • Ability to expand your brand: Starting a publishing company gives you control over your book marketing and allows you to expand your author brand. It opens up opportunities for collaborations, licensing deals, and access to multiple Amazon KDP accounts.
  • Double the number of KDP accounts: With your own publishing company, you can create an additional Amazon KDP account, which comes with benefits like increased author pages, more exposure, and the use of multiple pen names.
  • Co-writing and licensing opportunities: Having a publishing company provides a platform for co-writing projects and licensing deals. It allows you to legally contract with other authors and collaboratively publish their work.
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Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Publishing Company

Now that you understand the benefits of starting your own publishing company, let’s dive into the step-by-step process:

Step 1: Evaluate Your Business Goals

Before you start your publishing company, it’s essential to evaluate your business goals. Write down a list of goals you want to achieve, such as financial targets, expansion plans, or collaborations with other authors. This will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the process.

Step 2: Develop a Business Structure

Choose the business structure that best fits your needs. The most common options for publishing companies are Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and Sole Proprietorships. An LLC combines liability protection with the flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship, making it an ideal choice for most self-publishers.

Step 3: Choose a Name for Your Business

Select a name for your publishing company that reflects your brand and is not already trademarked by someone else. Check the availability of the chosen name in your state or country. Avoid using words like “corporation” or “inc.” unless you have set up your business as a corporation.

Step 4: Choose a Location

Decide on the state where you want to register your publishing company. Consider the tax implications and requirements of each state. Additionally, choose a physical location for your business that is separate from your personal address to protect your privacy and avoid public disclosure of sensitive information.

Step 5: Make It Official

Register your business with the necessary authorities. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, set up a business bank account, and establish an accounting system to track your financials accurately. Register your domain name and create a publisher’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) account on Amazon.

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Step 6: Grow Your Team

As your publishing company expands, you may need to grow your team. Consider hiring a dedicated accountant, collaborating with other authors, and outsourcing tasks like cover art, formatting, editing, and marketing. Building a team will allow you to focus on your core strengths and scale your business effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does it cost to start a publishing company?

A: The cost of starting a publishing company varies depending on the state and the services you use. Generally, fees range from $50 to $800, with additional annual fees. Expect to pay around $200 to $500 per year to maintain your business.

Q: How do publishing companies make money?

A: Publishing companies generate revenue from book sales, minus the royalties paid to authors and other artists. Royalties are negotiable, allowing publishers to set their terms and profit margins.

Q: What are the advantages of having an LLC for a publishing company?

A: An LLC offers liability protection for your personal assets, tax flexibility, and the ability to present yourself as a professional entity. It provides a legal barrier between you and potential lawsuits, while allowing pass-through taxation and the option to grow your publishing business.

Q: Do I need a separate publishing company to publish my own book?

A: No, it’s not necessary to start a publishing company to publish your own book. However, establishing a publishing company can provide additional benefits, such as increased credibility, legal protection, and access to certain tax advantages.

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Q: Can I start a publishing company if I’m not making a significant income from book sales?

A: Yes, it is possible to start a publishing company even if you’re not making substantial income from book sales. However, consider your business goals and the reasons behind starting a publishing company before making a decision. If you plan to expand your brand, protect your assets, or take advantage of tax benefits, starting a company may still be beneficial in the long run.


Starting your own publishing company can be a thrilling and rewarding venture. It provides you with the opportunity to establish your author brand, protect your assets, and unlock new possibilities in the publishing industry. By following the step-by-step guide provided here, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful and legitimate publishing company. Remember, starting a business requires dedication and perseverance, but the rewards are well worth the effort. So go ahead, start your publishing company, and make your mark in the world of publishing!

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