Open for Business

Writing may be your hobby, it is mine, but if you are intending on self-publishing your work and becoming an independent (indie) author it is a hobby that you need to treat seriously and that means setting it up in a business like way. You may not appreciate this to begin with but as you progress it will make things easier for you in the long run. Many authors don’t realise that by self-publishing they are in fact operating a business. It has expenses and there will be income to account for.


If you self-publish then as well as being an author you are also a book publisher, who just happens to be publishing their own book. So to start with you should create your own publishing company.

1. Decide on a business name. This will be the name of your publishing company. I would suggest you don’t choose your own name, or the pen name you may be intending on writing under as this may limit your options in the future. For example, if you change genre you may want to use a different pen name. My company Three Shires Publishing (TSP) publishes the work of Georgia Rose, which is the name I write romantic suspense under. If I decided to write psychological thrillers I would want my branding and pen name to be different and I can easily do that under TSP whereas I couldn’t if my company was called Georgia Rose Books.

It also gives you the opportunity to publish the work of others, should you wish to.

Once you have your name put it in to Google. I was surprised by the number of names I had to discard as they had already been taken.

2. Decide on a business structure. Many self-published authors choose sole ownership which is the easiest to form but your choice may depend on how everything else in your personal financial life is run and you may need to seek advice from your accountant on the best way forward on this. Make sure you are registered with HMRC in the appropriate way for your set up so that come the end of the year you are able to submit the relevant tax return.


3. Open a bank account and make sure that everything to do with your writing goes through that. It helps to keep this business separate from your personal accounts and makes it easier to track both income and expenses.

4. I would also recommend you opening up a Paypal account. Publishing a book is an international business done mostly online and Paypal makes it easy to pay for various services, subscriptions and advertising anywhere in the world.

5. When you get that far register for and purchase your ISBN’s using your business name. There will be another post coming soon on ISBN’s which will tell you all you need to know.

These are the basic set up details done and dusted and it wasn’t too painful, was it?

Thanks for reading.


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