If you are considering having your work published, you may want to become a publisher as well. It isn't as hard as you think. If you are willing and able to handle most aspects of getting your work in print, then becoming a publisher may be right up your alley.
The truth is, you become a publisher when you own your ISBNs. Period.
If you are tempted to become what is known as a self-publisher in the industry, I'll let you in on another secret. ISBN ownership can not be assigned to any company or person other than the company or person who registered those ISBNs with Bowker. You will be classified as a self-publisher if you do not own your ISBNs but use a service to make your title available using someone else's ISBNs. If a publishing services says you will own the ISBN they assign to you out of their pool of ISBNs, they are not telling you the truth. It is not possible. Those ISBN numbers are forever theirs and can not be reused, transferred, or reassigned. *You can use their ISBNs for your title but should they choose to retire the ISBN they can. Then you would no longer be able to use the ISBN. Some self-publishing services state in their contracts that should youÂ decide to discontinue using their services, you can not continue using the ISBN they assigned to your book.
Once you decide to obtain your own ISBNs, then you become a Publisher. It is as simple as that. It doesn't matter if all of your titles are written by you or by other people.
So what are some good reasons why you should get your own ISBNs and become a publisher?
1. Complete Creative Control
- When you own your own ISBNs you are completely in control of every aspect of your title(s). You get to write about subjects you are compassionate about and don't have to worry about being told what to cut, what to keep, what to change, or what is going to be done with your work.
2. ISBNs Are FREE In Some Countries
- That's right. Some countries do not charge for ISBNs. For instance, Sweden doesn't charge for their ISBNs. In Japan, you can buy an unlimited amount of ISBNs for the same amount you have to pay for 10 ISBNs in the US. Wow! And you do not have to live outside of the US to obtain ISBNs from other countries!
3. ISBNs Are Universal
- This means it does not matter what country your ISBNs are from. Your titles will be just as available worldwide as if you had US ISBNs.
4. Off-set On-Demand Printing
- Many on-demand printing services offer only digital printing. This is OK but it is better to have your books printed via traditional off-set printing. There is at least one service that I am aware of and use that offers off-set on-demand printing along with some fantastic, unbeatable services at ridiculously low costs (I will talk about this service in another post). With this service you can offer top grade books, with low setup and order fulfillment costs, international distribution, and no inventory.
5. You Can Publish The Work of Others
- How about helping other writer's achieve their goals? With your ISBNs you can become a traditional publisher. You can review the work of others and determine if you would like to publish their work. This will help you build your publishing catalog and help other writers who may not otherwise have their work in print.
6. Be Your Own Boss
- You get to make your own hours and answer only to yourself. How could it be any better?
7. It Opens Up A Whole New World
- I found the publishing industry to be the most open industry I've ever encountered (having also been exposed to the film, music, and IT industries). When publishers come together at book fairs and other industry events it is as if everyone is on the same level. It is just as easy to talk to major publishing houses as it is to talk to one title small publishers and just as easy to talk to publishers who have been the business for over 20 years as it is to talk to ones who just started yesterday. Because of this, it is easy to make great industry contacts as well as find wonderful new authors to publish.
8. It Gives You A Reason To Travel
- There are many international book fairs going on year round. When you become a publisher, it gives you a good reason to travel to new places, experience different cultures and meet new people. Besides the obvious tax benefits, you will also benefit from discounted lodging, business services and other perks.
9. FREE Stuff
- When you setup your publishing business do not be surprised when you start getting free stuff. This includes free books, free offers, free office supplies, etc. Of course these items are an attempt to sell you something but it's still free!
10. Multiple Income Streams
- Best of all, when you become a publisher it is a great way to create multiple income streams. Each title you make available has the potential to contribute to your financial growth. It's not always the best thing to hope to have one or two bestsellers in your catalog. How about several bestsellers, or just as good, several books that sell well. The potential to make a comfortable living publishing books is a nice addition to feeding your passion for publishing.
The bottom line ... If you are willing to do some work, there is no reason not to become a publisher.