Do you want to know how to self-publish professionally and give it credibility instantly?
So, you have this great idea for a book, and you’ve already begun the hard part… writing! However, you become paralyzed during the process because the idea has been rejected by agents and publishers and you start to feel as though the book won’t be taken seriously unless it’s endorsed and published by one of the big presses.
This is completely false.
Thousands of authors who have become best sellers and sold thousands of copies did not have a big publishing house behind them. In fact, many of your favorite authors now choose to go the independent publishing route for the freedom and financial stability it offers. Chances are, you don’t even know they don’t have a big publisher. Sure, some publish under their own names and today there is very little negative connotation about that. It is a widely accepted practice. The problem rears itself when consumers begin to look for books in a saturated market and they tend to look for books that don’t appear to be self-published. They want someone who takes their career seriously and is producing a stellar product. That is 100% possible with independent publishing.
This is not a post about traditional vs. independent publishing.
We love publishers and their authors. We work with them all the time and highly respect the work they do. We simply don’t believe they are the only route to publication. In fact, I’m confident saying you can pick out books that are self-published but would have a hard time telling me which books with an imprint were done independently.
That’s the point – If you want to soar and be successful, professional independent publishing is the only equivalent to traditional publishing.
That’s what we do here at Mandy Roberson Media. We partner with you to publish your book so that it’s professionally created and published and no one knows the difference between it and some other amazing book published by David Cook.
At this point, you might be wondering how these independent authors become so successful without the platform built by a publishing company. Well, we have some answers. Let’s talk about how to become your own small press publisher like William Paul Young, author of The Shack.
First, you must decide that this authorship is a commitment you’re willing to make. You either intend to make writing books a ministry, business or a foundation for your personal brand. You should have a series of books in mind or a list of books you intend to write. Once you’ve committed to one of the aforementioned practices, then you should consider becoming your own small press publisher.
You can become your own small press publisher by:
- Using your ministry name as the publisher;
- Using your business name as the publisher; or
- Creating an imprint to use as the publisher.
We won’t discuss the legal requirements for such a venture. We’ll leave that to you, your state laws, and your accountant or tax professional. Don’t let that scare you. Regardless of whether you publish traditionally or independently you’ll need to get the specifics on handling it legally and financially. Published authors require that knowledge whether they have a big press backing them or not. What we can do is teach you how to self-publish professionally and give it credibility instantly.
Using your ministry or business name as the publisher is a bit self-explanatory so I’ll focus on the imprint. All three are structured in the same way, but an imprint isn’t as well-known in the Christian self-publishing arena as using the ministry or business name. It’s almost a bit of an industry secret.
An imprint is a publishing house name that you use to independently or self-publish your books. This allows many freedoms including:
- The ability to publish under pen names or pseudonyms.
- The ability to publish under different genres.
- The ability to control every aspect of the creative and marketing process.
- The ability to give instant credibility to your brand.
- The ability to collaborate with other authors in writing and publishing and offer a more stable legal and financial contract.
- The ability to expand the print distribution of all of your books.
- The ability to license intellectual property rights for distribution, translation, film and TV, foreign and other media.
I’ll give you an example of an imprint. LifeWay Christian Resources has an imprint called B&H Publishing. BH Kids, Holman Bibles, and B&H Academic are all imprints under B&H Publishing. Imprints are commonly called subsidiaries or subcompanies.
An imprint is simply a trade name used to publish and give weight and credibility to a book in the marketplace. You do not need to be under the umbrella of a big corporation to use one. Find a common thread between all of your creative works and decide on a name that fits them all. Once you decide on a name, create a simple, timeless logo that can be used on all of your covers and contracts.
One of my virtual mentors, Joanna Penn, uses the imprint, Curl Up Press, for her multiple pen names, fiction, and non-fiction alike. This way her target market is appropriately segregated, and she still maintains one umbrella of cohesive publishing for her books. Having an imprint allows you to do the things we’ve already mentioned because when you use an imprint versus your name, bookstores, libraries, agents, and all the other professionals seeking rights tend to not question how the book was published. They view the imprint a professional publishing press brand which is a sign of credibility.
In this video, I’ll show you some samples of imprints and then tell you whether they were done by a big publishing house, a vanity press, an independent author imprint, educational institution, or self-published.
There you have it – how to self-publish professionally and give it credibility instantly.
If you are serious about becoming a successful writer and sharing your message with the world, contact us today to find out how we can help. We are a one-stop-shop for authors, bloggers, ministries, and small businesses and we are professionals with decades of experience in publishing up to big press standards. We can do the same for you and your work.
While you’re here, grab your free downloadable Publisher’s Imprint Guide.
Additional information that might interest you: How to Self-Publish and What Does it Cost to Self-Publish.