Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Authors Business, part 2 of 2.
You’re thinking I’m not interested in a business. I just want to write and sell books. But surprise, that is a business! While writing can certainly be fun, it is for me, it can also be profitable. And for that reason alone you need to think of your writing career, no matter how many books that entails, as a business.
Below is a breakdown of what you need to do to set up your business.
Name: [Title of business]
This is important. Your name is going to be used on your website, your advertising, business transactions, bank accounts, etc.
Website: [Businessname.com ]
If you are only going to write one book, the name of your website can be variable. But if you are going to write two or more books you will want a website that reflects you or your business.
I had a personal website where my name was paramount. So it was called RFrederickRiddle.com. And it was R Frederick Riddle that I marketed. However, when my wife and I formed T&R Independent Books the emphasis shifted.
Now I emphasize T&R Independent Books plus my name and later Tress’s name. Originally I had a large website and didn’t want to kill it. But we decided that having a publisher’s site with individual author sites under it was the right way for us to go. So our website is now TR-Indbkstore.com. My home page and subsequent book pages are under that. A visitor can go directly to my author pages if they have a link or they can go directly from the publisher home page or from a menu on the home page.
If you have the money you might want to invest in business cards with your business name and website on them.
For starters think of words or phrases that best describe your book(s). You can update later. To help you do this Google any authors who write in your genre. What are their key words?
A simple way to find out is to go to the author’s website. Right click on the mouse and click on “view page source.” Don’t be overwhelmed. At the beginning of the html document that you see you will find the word meta name=”keywords” followed by a series of words or phrases. This is what you are interested in knowing.
PO Box # [Not necessary, but maybe desirable.]
Mission: [What is your mission or dream. This is not the purpose.]
Organization type: This can be a DBA (Doing Business As), Corp. (corporation) or Partnership or Limited Corporation(LLC). You would also need a State Sales Tax certificate.
Purpose: Your stated purpose is a statement outlining what you will do. Sample: “To publish and promote our own books, cards, etc. At this time, we have no plans to publish anyone else.”
Structure: Officers, such as President and Vice-President
These are some of the basics you need to put some thought into from the very beginning. Don’t put it off. For example, the name of your business will be on your books, marketing tools, internet website, and more. It’s important.
When deciding upon officers you need to consider a number of things, such as Who or What are you marketing, Who will be making decisions, and What tax breaks exist that you can take advantage of?
For example, we chose the T&R Independent Books with the T representing Tress and the R myself. Since we both are authors the purpose was related to both of us. And because my wife has a Masters in Business and there are tax breaks available to business’s run by women, she became President and I became Vice-President.
Logo [goes to businesslogo.html]
Just as the business name is important, the Logo is important. This logo will go on your advertising materials, your books, website, and business cards.
Experiment. Your goal is to create a logo that reflects what you want people to know about you.
Legal [goes to businesslegal.html]
Here you need to be aware of your state’s legal requirements. Increasingly states are demanding sales tax on internet sales. Whether you think that is right or not it is here.
But aside from the internet, you will probably be selling books on your own and will need to get a Sales Certificate. Each state handles it differently, but you should be able to discover their requirements by going to [state].gov.
If you are collecting taxes and/or paying income tax you will need to keep accurate records. Again, you have multiple ways of handling this. You can purchase a tax program, hire an accountant, or some other tool.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four), Death Ship to the Stars (Book One), or Pauline A New Home (Book Two), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to email@example.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.