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Tyler Danann said:
Just wondering if people on here make up a publisher name when self-publishing?

I know you're supposed to use your own author name for publisher but I see many self-published books on Amazon have some jazzy made-up publisher for an e-book...
Is this within the 'rules'?
I actually own a small publishing house, registrered in my own country as a business. It's called "Elephant Trail" and I publish my own books through it. Naturally I list that name as publisher, so I wouldn't say I "made up a jazzy name..." I can't see your problem, though?
 

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I am now my own publishing house as well. Registered under my own name (so less hoops to jump through) but my books will be published under an imprint, which is registered under my publishing house name. And if I majorly branch out with my genres each book will go under a corresponding imprint. I even have a logo that will go on the spine of my paperback books.

In Canada we get free ISBNs so I'm up and running with my own ISBN prefix and everything. While I may be a one woman publishing/writing opportation you have to admit that it's pretty full on and legit all the same. It may have taken me all of no time to create my own publishing house but it's no less real. Red Dagger publishing for the win, what what *raises the roof in a totally goofy way*.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Adam Croft said:
Same here. I operate as a limited company, as is only wise if you're serious about writing and want to run your career as a business (which you'll need to), so publish under that company's name.
Is it not difficult to maintain a company without yearly tax returns and accountants though?
 

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I'm sure others who have been at this longer than me will have more info, but I registered a D/B/A to set myself up as my own publisher, got a business mailing address, tax EIN, and all the other little things a small business needs. I bought a block of ISBNs. I also do my own taxes and have had no trouble filing as a D/B/A this year.
 

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Tyler Danann said:
Is it not difficult to maintain a company without yearly tax returns and accountants though?
It's not difficult. You have to deal with yearly tax returns even if you use your own name-it is exactly the same tax deal as filing as a sole proprietor for a business that uses a name different from your own. (It's also the same tax deal if you file as a single-member LLC that doesn't file as an S Corp, I believe.) Either way, you'll have issues, like quarterly estimated taxes, that an accountant is best qualified to help you with even if you use your own name. And in either case, you can get away without using an accountant if you're diligent in your research and don't go cross-eyed reading about tax issues.

There are annual reports you have to file as an LLC or an S Corp, but these really aren't that onerous. Taxes get more complicated if you file as an S Corp, but again-not that onerous, and if you're making enough money to consider filing as an S Corp, you're making enough money to get tax advice from an accountant.

When you earn money that does not come from an employer, you are already a business, whether you use your own name or make one up.
 

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Stephanie Marks said:
I am now my own publishing house as well. Registered under my own name (so less hoops to jump through) but my books will be published under an imprint, which is registered under my publishing house name. And if I majorly branch out with my genres each book will go under a corresponding imprint. I even have a logo that will go on the spine of my paperback books.
How did you register the imprint under the publishing house name?
 
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Tyler Danann said:
Is it not difficult to maintain a company without yearly tax returns and accountants though?
It is only as complicated as you decide to make it. The key thing is to button everything up BEFORE you start, instead of trying to backtrack later.

First, check with your municipal clerk regarding your local law for Trade Names/DBAs (Doing business as). This will vary from state to state (and even county to county in some places). In some cases, it is filling out a one page form and paying a small registration fee. In others, you may have to jump through a lot of hoops. A word of advice, make sure they understand you are running a virtual business. I had a heck of a time trying to make the clerk understand I was NOT operating printing presses in my basement to print books! :p

In the U.S. getting an EIN number is as simple as a phone call to the IRS. You would use the EIN in place of your SSN for things like setting up a business bank account, sending out 1099s to vendors, etc. Get the EIN under your trade name.

The easiest thing is to set up as a sole proprietor. You can always incorporate later if you feel a need. At the beginning, a sole proprietorship gives you the most flexibility, particularly insofar as moving money from your personal accounts to your business one. As Edward said, taxwise it is a matter of one additional form, Schedule C, but you will want to fill that one out regardless so that you can deduct your business expenses. And unless you have a lot of complicated tax issues, most of the DIY software can walk you through the form.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Adam Croft said:
Not at all. It requires practically zero effort. If you're earning money as an author you should have an accountant anyway, otherwise you can expect a visit from the taxman at some point. You also need to file a yearly tax return regardless.

As a company, though, the tax returns are much simpler, tax rates are lower and accountants can save you further tax.
I had a work company set up a registered limited company years ago for my construction work. That was costing me nearly £1000 a year in accountancy fees (rip off merchants) hence I closed the ltd company and have been lairy of any future limited company.
The tax return for my limited company was insane, you had to be an accountant to fill it in!
Now I earn less than $350 per year on my earnings so aren't in the big time by any means.
 
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Question:

"Is it not difficult to maintain a company without yearly tax returns and accountants though?"

If you set up as a DBA, say Jane Doe Publishing, then all income, and expenses, come to you as an individual.
When I file my personal tax return, I just add that as "other income"
If you can add and subtract, it's not that complicated.
 

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Just to add a note to the good info that Julie said, your county clerk only cares about your business operation in your county (and so some extent, in your state). When you publish on Amazon, you are doing business globally, so before you go and jump on some imprint name, I suggest you go on to the trademark database (it's called tess) and do a "word mark" search on the name of your imprint.  It's at uspto.gov under trademarks.

Trademarking your publisher name is not cheap but not necessarily required. There's a whole set of videos on the uspto website on this topic  for general small businesses.
 

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ShayneRutherford said:
How did you register the imprint under the publishing house name?
In CISS there's a space for you to include any other names you publish under. So all of your imprints. So for CreateSpace when they are verifying your custom ISBN I can use my imprint name as the publisher instead of my first and last name and it will still work because the imprint name is saved as an official name that I publish under. "Register" may be too official a word, but it works for this purpose.

Using my own name instead of getting a business name means I don't have to get approval and register the business name. It becomes the most simple of sole proprietorship. The imprint would be my publishing version of a DBA.

I don't know where you live but being in BC, Canada , doing it this way means I didn't have to run anything by ANYONE.
 

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Stephanie Marks said:
In CISS there's a space for you to include any other names you publish under. So all of your imprints. So for CreateSpace when they are verifying your custom ISBN I can use my imprint name as the publisher instead of my first and last name and it will still work because the imprint name is saved as an official name that I publish under. "Register" may be too official a word, but it works for this purpose.

Using my own name instead of getting a business name means I don't have to get approval and register the business name. It becomes the most simple of sole proprietorship. The imprint would be my publishing version of a DBA.

I don't know where you live but being in BC, Canada , doing it this way means I didn't have to run anything by ANYONE.
Have you published through Createspace doing this? Because I had mine set up that way, but Bowker registered my legal name as publisher and then Createspace wouldn't accept my imprint name. Kept reverting to my legal name. Fortunately it only took a phone call to CISS to change my publisher name and Createspace accepted my imprint name. Createspace help was useless.

Hope that helps!

Rue
 

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ruecole said:
Have you published through Createspace doing this? Because I had mine set up that way, but Bowker registered my legal name as publisher and then Createspace wouldn't accept my imprint name. Kept reverting to my legal name. Fortunately it only took a phone call to CISS to change my publisher name and Createspace accepted my imprint name. Createspace help was useless.

Hope that helps!

Rue
No I havnt published to them yet. When did Bowker register your name? When you were adding your isbn to createspace? Createspace says that as long as an imprint name is on file under your publisher name it will be accepted, so I'm going to be really annoyed if I have to make a lot of phone calls when the time comes.
 

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Stephanie Marks said:
No I havnt published to them yet. When did Bowker register your name? When you were adding your isbn to createspace? Createspace says that as long as an imprint name is on file under your publisher name it will be accepted, so I'm going to be really annoyed if I have to make a lot of phone calls when the time comes.
I don't know when they registered it. Sometime between when I set up my CISS account in 2013 and when I started the publication with Createspace in 2014. They look to Bowker and not CISS for the publisher info. You may need to change your publisher name with CISS. It won't change how you get paid or do your taxes.

Hope that helps!

Rue
 

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ruecole said:
I don't know when they registered it. Sometime between when I set up my CISS account in 2013 and when I started the publication with Createspace in 2014. They look to Bowker and not CISS for the publisher info. You may need to change your publisher name with CISS. It won't change how you get paid or do your taxes.

Hope that helps!

Rue
That is so strange because CISS says that their info is not linked to anything and that your records are private. I know that there are a bunch of other changes coming up with them too as we got a heads up in the registration welcome email. I registered in 2015. Maybe what I'll do is hold off changing anything and wait to see what happens once I try uploading my ISBN to createspace and then take it from there.
 

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Stephanie Marks said:
That is so strange because CISS says that their info is not linked to anything and that your records are private. I know that there are a bunch of other changes coming up with them too as we got a heads up in the registration welcome email. I registered in 2015. Maybe what I'll do is hold off changing anything and wait to see what happens once I try uploading my ISBN to createspace and then take it from there.
I suspect CISS simply buys our ISBNs from Bowker. ;)

You can go to Bowker and do a search on your publisher name using your ISBN. If it comes up with your name instead of your imprint, then you know you'll have an issue.

Hope that helps!

Rue
 

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ruecole said:
I suspect CISS simply buys our ISBNs from Bowker. ;)

You can go to Bowker and do a search on your publisher name using your ISBN. If it comes up with your name instead of your imprint, then you know you'll have an issue.

Hope that helps!

Rue
Thanks I'll do that right now!
 

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I'm having this publish-under-my-name versus an imprint name debate right now. Since it will cost me upwards of $1000 to do all the legal paperwork to become a company (via my accountant/attorney; you can do it on your own for cheap, but I want everything to be correct just in case), I'm hesitant because the thought of the number of books I'll have to sell to make that back terrifies me. But I plan on having a long career as a writer, and I want to start off with everything in order, so maybe I should publish under an imprint name?

My question: has anyone who published under their own name regretted not publishing as an imprint?
 
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