Cryptozoology, BioForteana, Zoological Oddities, Unusual Natural History
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Setting up a Publishing Company

For the legal aspects (business structure, tax licensing), of course, see your state/local/national regulations. There are plenty of books out there providing step-by-step guides, as well. You will probably have to set up a fictitious name for your business (set up with the state commerce department), and then set up a business checking account. (Look around for a bank that has minimal or no monthly fees for small, small business checking.)

For actual "publishing" via POD, you need a computer and the appropriate software. Personally, I use variants of:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Adobe PageMaker
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe GoLive

The first two are used for setting up the text block (internal text), Photoshop is for illustrations and the color cover, Acrobat is for creating pdf's of the text block and cover, and GoLive manages my websites. There are other products that will do these tasks just as well. (I haven't upgraded from PageMaker to Adobe's newer InDesign, as of yet, because I haven't seen the need.)

Besides the software, the biggest expense will be your ISBNs. These are purchased from R. C. C. Bowker, at They like to sell small publishers ISBNs in 10 or 100 lots. They may sell a single one, but if so, they don't list it on the site, and it would probably not be much cheaper than buying 10. If you are only planning to put out a few books, just buy 10. (ISBNs are not transferrable, as they are publisher-specific designations.)

Once you have the legalities out of the way, and the appropriate software, you can set up an account with Lightning Source, Inc., at They will provide you with the appropriate specifications and guidelines for creating and submitting the digital files.

When you have finished creating the digital files for text and cover, you upload them via ftp to LSI, and within about a week, you should receive a proof to look at. Assuming it is acceptable, the book is then approved for sale, and you can order your own copies to give away or sell direct. It takes a few more weeks for the book data to be transferred over to online retailers, and then the book can be ordered by customers from those sites.

One negative aspect of sales via LSI is that payment for a particular month's sales is sent to you after a 3 months lag. But once that begins, you can have it sent to your bank via direct deposit (along with any compensation received from LSI UK sales).