Questions for Self-Publishers

I had questions for those of you that are experienced in self publishing,

Did you choose to file for a Ficticious buisness name, or start a LLC?

What are the benefits of either FBN (Sole Proprietor) or LLC?

What did you publish on first Kindle or CreateSpace, or another platform and why?

Did you get your own ISBN, or barcode other than the free one provided. If so what are the benefits of doing that?

Thanks in advance for sharing any advice. I am new to self publishing, and would like some guidance so I can start finalizing some of the decisions that I need to make. 

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3 thoughts on “Questions for Self-Publishers

  1. I did not start a business before I published. Some possible advantages: limiting your personal liability should you be sued. Honestly, though, writing fiction is a pretty low risk endeavor unless you’re defaming people or something. Another advantage is the ability to open a bank account in the business’ name. And probably there are tax advantages. If I start making enough money to worry about tax advantages, I might decide to start an LLC.

    I published on Kindle because Amazon dominates the marketplace. I procrastinated the paperback version but eventually got it done. Hated learning how to format. Not that bad now that I know what I’m doing, though.

    I really couldn’t see any advantage to buying my own ISBN. The ebook doesn’t really need it, and I’m fine with Createspace being listed as the “publisher” of my paperback.

    These seem like kind of odd questions. Most people about to publish are far more concerned with choices like, “Should I go exclusive with Amazon or go wide?”

    • I do not believe these are odd questions.

      I am pretty certain I would like to go with CreateSpace and KDP. I understand you can choose to expand your distribution with CS.

      However, There are other services that indie Authors use such as Lightning Source, Book Baby, or ingramspark. I wanted to know if anyone had any experience publishing on those platforms and what differences they noticed.

      I have read that you keep more of your rights as an Author when you have your own purchase your own ISBN number. You can move your book to a different POD service if you would like, as well as track your own sales.

      I ask about filing a Ficticious business name because in the state I live in, to do any buisness even selling things online such as eBay or Amazon, you must have a buisness licence and an EIN so they can collect sales tax, and I really do not want to be audited by the IRS if I can avoid it.

      Being a fiction writer and sole proprietor, I really do not see much benefit at this point in time starting a LLC, but I wondered if anyone else had, and why, if they had chosen to go that route.

      I also need a vendors license if I am going to be purchasing copies of my book to distribute to friends family, ect.

      I am just trying to figure out the easiest way to go about doing this, and seeing what others have learned from this, as I have never self published a book.

      Thank you for the advice.

      • I don’t think you need an EIN to sell books because you’re not selling books, Amazon is. At the end of the year, Zon will send you a bunch of 1099s (one for each territory where you sold copies). That’s all you need for taxes.

        If you’ve got money to burn, there’s nothing wrong with buying your own ISBNs, but I really don’t see the need. If you want to change services, why can’t you just unpublish with one and move to the other? I’ve only done CS, so I have no idea.

        My CS books have turned out just fine, but I haven’t really shopped around. Most authors say that CS is generally the cheapest. If you’re doing something that utilizes a lot of color illustrations, IS might be better, though. I’d suggest ordering a proof with CS. If it meets your needs, go with them. If it doesn’t, you’re only out the $10 or so for the proof and shipping.

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