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Creating An Author Imprint, With Dan Parsons And Melissa Addey: Beginners Self-Publishing Podcast

Creating an Author Imprint, With Dan Parsons and Melissa Addey: Beginners Self-Publishing Podcast

In today's Beginners Self-Publishing Podcast: creating an author imprint. Author stereotypes skew heavily in favor of “starving artists,” disregarding that those who succeed are often savvy entrepreneurs. If you want to emulate the winners then you will also need to learn business skills, starting with creating an imprint. In this episode, ALLi’s Product Marketing Manager Dan Parsons and Campaigns Manager Melissa Addey discuss why creating an imprint can help you run a smoother author business, as well as the paperwork involved, legal and financial matters, and anything else a fledgling author needs to know if they want to build a robust, long-term organization.

Find more author advice, tips, and tools at our self-publishing advice center, https://selfpublishingadvice.org. And, if you haven’t already, we invite you to join our organization and become a self-publishing ally. You can do that at allianceindependentauthors.org.

Now, go write and publish!

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In the #AskALLi Beginners Self-Publishing Podcast: creating an author imprint and why it can help you run a smoother author business. @dkparsonswriter and @MelissaAddey have answers. Click To Tweet

Show Notes

About the Hosts

Dan Parsons writes the Creative Business series for authors, bestselling fantasy and horror novels (under Daniel Parsons), and a weekly blog for The Self-Publishing Formula. In the past, he has worked for three trad publishers, managed two bookstores and listened to an unhealthy number of podcasts. Now he's ALLi's product marketing manager.

Melissa Addey has a PhD in creative writing and writes historical fiction set in first-century Rome, eleventh-century Morocco and eighteenth-century China. She runs writing workshops covering both craft and entrepreneurship, most frequently for the British Library. She's also ALLi's campaigns manager, a role in which she loves observing and supporting the vast diversity of self-published authors. Visit her at her website and pick up a free novella.

Read the Transcripts: Creating an Author Imprint

Dan Parsons: Hello and welcome to the Alliance of Independent Authors' Beginner Self-Publishing Advice podcast. I am Dan Parsons, ALLi's Marketing Manager, and today, again, I'm here with Melissa Addey, who is ALLi's campaign manager.

Today we are going to be talking about creating an imprint, which is a topic that people don't really understand because it sounds very complicated, but it's quite necessary and it's actually a lot simpler than people think.

So, today we're going to be talking a bit about how you would create an imprint, why it would be important, why it would create a smoother business for you, and then a little bit about the legal and financial paperwork that would be involved, which there's not actually a lot.

Melissa Addey: Yep. Minimal.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, and then anything else that we come up with along the way that we think would be useful.

Why is it important for an indie author to create an imprint?

Dan Parsons: So, Melissa. I think you should probably kick us off with just a little bit of background around the idea of an imprint and why it's important to create imprints as brands. Do you want to go ahead?

Melissa Addey: Okay. So, what you're doing with an imprint really is you are creating a separation between you as the author, so you are writing these books, and you as effectively a publisher, you are creating a publishing business. So, you need also to have a publishing hat on, and your imprint is essentially your publishing house.

So, when you look at your average book that's been traditionally published, one of the things you immediately see on the spine is a little logo at the bottom. So, you'll normally see the title, the author's name, and a logo. The logo belongs to the publisher, and on the back, you'll then see probably their logo, their name, probably a website, that kind of thing. So, that is the publishing house that has published that book.

Now, you as an indie author, as a self-published author, you are creating a publishing business, and as such, it's useful for you to have an imprint name, and that means your publishing name, which isn't your name as the author.

If you don't have this, when you go onto the various distribution platforms, which we'll come onto next time, and things like when you buy your ISBNs, which we'll come onto later today, you'll be asked, who is the publisher? And if you just put your name, the book will just have your name on, or the distribution platform on as the publisher, and you don't really want that because it's not as professional. It immediately tells you the book has been self-published. I can tell a book's been self-published really fast by checking things like that, and it just is a lot more professional to have that separation between you as the author, your creative part of the business, and you as the publisher, the business element.

Dan Parsons: Yeah. One of the easiest ways to find this out is if you go on a book's sales page on a retailer website, typically if you scroll down to the detailly bit at the bottom on Amazon or Kobo or Barnes Noble, something like that, they'll show you the author’s name as the publisher, and usually that's when you know that it's self-published.

It doesn't really make a huge difference to readers generally because a lot of them won't even notice, but the ones that do notice and have some slight anxiety around going with untrusted authors that are running their own imprints, you know, for them it could be an issue. So, separating yourself, it looks like you are a bigger team, and you're more professional, and you've got representation, even though it's all you.

Melissa Addey: Yeah, and it helps you to think about, this is a business and so that is my business side, this is my creative side, and understanding that allows you much more quickly to think of them as two separate things, to start treating your accounts separately, all of that, you can start thinking about my imprint, my publishing house.

What should I call my imprint?

Melissa Addey: Now, you can call your imprint anything you want. I suggest not Penguin. Just have a little check before you go blithely putting a name on there. Pick a name that A. Is not your name. B. Is not the name of one of your books.

So, I remember seeing an author and they had basically chosen an element of their first book's name as their imprint name, and I remember thinking, of course, now this first book is the whole world to you, but when you've written yeah, 5, 10, 15, 20 of them, this will no longer fit and it will be awkward for you, and it's drawing attention to your first book all the time. It's not separate enough.

Dan Parsons: The same thing goes with websites as well, where they'll name the website after their series or something and then they move on to three series later and it doesn't make sense anymore.

Melissa Addey: Yeah, exactly. So, think of a nice, simple name that sounds like a publishing house. Check that it does not belong to someone else, especially in your field of publishing.

Don't overthink it. I meet people sometimes and because of the panic of getting ready to publish for the first time they overthink things, so they'll spend another month thinking about that. It's like, no. Just something simple. Mine is Letter Press Publishing. I just like the old letter presses, the way they used to type things, I like that look, and I just picked that as a name, checked one else had it in my field, and then I made a little logo for it, which I also recommend.

Again, don't go mental and spend months sorting this out. You can go onto Canva, you can make yourself a nice little simple logo very easily, very quickly, and then what you can do with that is you can be putting that on the spine of your book, which again makes it look more professional, and on the back of your book, which again makes it look more professional.

Dan Parsons: Yeah. One little tip I will say is, obviously you want to make sure there are no other publishing companies with the same name as yours, but also it helps to check there are no other businesses in general with the same name as your business that you want to create. So, what I tend to do here in the UK is I will go on the government website where you can check for limited companies, and then you just do a name check, and if it's anywhere near somebody else's name in terms of the characters, they'll flag it up as too close and then you're going to be within infringing on their IP.

So, you don't need to create a limited company or anything, but it just helps to track other limited companies to see if there's already a record of a business that sounds exactly like yours, because otherwise you could step on someone's toes and it's going to cause you problems further down the road.

Melissa Addey: And think of it that, you know, you wouldn't want someone to tread on your toes, so you don't tread on someone else's. Even Googling will show you pretty quick, does that thing exist or not?

How can I protect my imprint?

Melissa Addey: And one of the things you can do then is protect it a little bit. You don't need to set up a whole company, you can think about that later on if you wish and take advice on that, but what you can do is to give it a few small means of protection. One is, I bought the.com for my Letter Press Publishing, purely because then when someone goes and looks to buy that and they see it's already bought, they'll be like, ah, okay, so someone's got that.

So, that was a small protection and I pointed that towards my own author website. So, it's a live thing and it will go to a live website. That's one protection. The next protection is, as I said, if you make a logo and then you put that on your paperbacks, and even on the inside of your verso page, your copyright page, that again is a protection because I could go back, find you a book that was printed in 2015 and go, I've been using that name and that logo since 2015. So again, you are just able to show that little bit of protection, that little bit of usage.

Dan Parsons: Create a paper trail.

I can see that we've had a little comment on the side here that somebody, and I quite like this idea, writes historical fiction and they took the names of their English teacher and their history teacher from school, and they created a publishing imprint. That's quite nice.

Melissa Addey: That is too cute. I like that a lot. That's a very nice tribute. I hope you then showed it to them as well because that is a very kindly tribute and a good idea.

Dan Parsons: It is a very good idea. So, in terms of protecting yourself then, yes, you can buy the domain, you can get the paperback printed with the logo on and all the rest of it, which is all excellent for a paper trail.

If you wanted to, you could go a step further and incorporate. This is the legal side of it, you can either get a limited company in the UK or if you're in the US there's an LLC. There are lots of other business structures, but we are not experts in that field, so we would always encourage you to you know, seek legal advice.

It also helps if you set up a bank account, whether you've incorporated or not, just for the business with the business name attached. So, it encourages that financial separation, and you see yourself as a different entity to the business.

Melissa Addey: Yes, and you saw separating it out and making sure that the money coming in is also paying for the stuff going out as quickly as possible.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, if you've got aspirations of potentially rolling out merchandise, which is a little bit advanced for this podcast, but just thinking ahead, some people also like to possibly think about getting a trademark because that will allow you to do business in different territories and things without worrying about somebody else taking on the guise of your intellectual property and making it difficult for you to trade. But those are advanced things, you don't need to incorporate, and you don't need to trademark, you just need to do the basic stuff printed on the book and things like that.

Melissa Addey: And that's a good place to start now, when you are putting out your first book and then as you go on, you can consider whether you want to get into more complicated things, but from a starting point, that is a nice, simple but important thing to do.

How does my publishing imprint affect my ISBNs?

Dan Parsons: Now, once you've created a brand, it's quite nice to look at how you are going to use that business, which is separate to you as an author, within the wider context of the book trade.

So, Melissa, do you want to give a little overview on how the book trade works in general so that we can contextualize an imprint within the greater scope?

Melissa Addey: Yeah. So, to be fair, most readers, if they said, I've just finished this fantastic book, and you say, great, who was the publisher? They're like, I don't know. That's not something they often think about. I don't think about it and I'm in the business, so that's an important thing to understand.

But most publishers work with, they've got their own big publishing name, and then they'll normally have quite a number of imprints, often focusing on particular genres or particular areas of expertise. They might want to have books that are very commercial, or they might want to have very literary books and those sorts of things, and they'll divide up, if you like, their catalogue into those different areas.

Now, within the book trade everybody uses ISBNs. So, that's an international standard book number, which records the movements of those books, and each book is registered, if you like, to the imprint name. So, when you go and buy your first ISBNs, it will say, and who is the publisher for this? And you will put in your imprint name, and therefore it will be registered to that imprint.

This is another way of protecting your imprint because you'll be able to say, well, I was buying ISBNs for it back in whatever year you were doing that in, and that is a way of showing that it is linked together.

Dan Parsons: And when you buy these, and you typically buy them from a national broker. So, there are agencies all over the world that together collectively manage the ISBN system, and depending on the country you live in sometimes you have to pay, sometimes you get them for free. Here in the UK, I think it's quite expensive for one ISBN, but then you get bulk purchases, so everything gets cheaper.

Melissa Addey: But it is expensive. Canada, lucky things, have them for free. We all need to move to Canada.

Dan Parsons: They come up a lot with this. Yeah, so the thing with ISBNs is you get one ISBN per format. So, this is important, you don't want to use the same 13-digit ISBN across all of your formats. They need to be one per format. So, if you've got an eBook, a paperback, a large print, a hardback, an audiobook, all of the same book, that's five different ISBNs.

And if you drastically update one of those and completely change the page count and everything, then you will need to give it a new ISBN and discard the old one. It's a bit like phone numbers, you get rid of them and nobody else can touch them, in theory, until they get recycled years later.

Melissa Addey: So, the ISBNs, the important thing is to understand they are from the reader's perspective. When the reader says, I want the eBook of your book, whatever, they want that book, that title, in that format. If you then sent them the paperback, they would be very cross because they didn't want that, they wanted the eBook.

It also takes into account the language. So, if you sent them the Italian version, when they ask for the English version, again, that is a different format. So, if you always think about, is the reader getting the thing they specifically asked for, that is the best way to understand it.

Whereas, for example, if two printers both printed the same identical paperback files, that is one ISBN because again, is the reader getting what they asked for? Yes, they are. Do they care who printed it? No, they don't.

Dan Parsons: In the same way that, if you are uploading eBooks across the range of different retailers, you can upload the same eBook to Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Google, all of them, with the same ISBN. It's only if the interior file and the covers are different that then you give it a different ISBN, but generally they're the same. The reason that this is used in this way is because you want consistent metadata across all different retailers and stuff.

So, some authors will argue that you don't need an ISBN, and that is a valid argument if you've got a very limited business model. So, if you're only selling on one retailer and they give out free ISBNs, then you can get away with it, but the minute you go on to more than one retailer, or you want lots of formats, it gets a little bit more complicated. You want to control your own ISBNs because you can control the metadata across all of them, because there are issues with control if you don't have the ISBNs associated with the format.

Melissa Addey: Yeah, it's really important I think, especially if you are thinking this is going to be a long-term writing business, to have your own ISBNs, to have that control and that knowledge of where they all are and what they are all doing, rather than the sales data being recorded by a system that isn't yours and that you can't check up on.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, and there is also the added benefit that if you own your own ISBNs, you can reach every distribution system, and you can go out to all these different ecosystems, because there are certain ones like mainstream bookshop print distribution through Ingram, or something like that, where they don't provide ISBNs necessarily. So, you have to provide your own, which in the UK, we would've bought from Nielsen, or in the US, I think Bowker is the big one. You provide your own, so you can access certain areas of the book ecosystem that other people can't if they're borrowing ISBNs, because if they have a free ISBN from say, Draft2Digital, or Amazon, or someone like that, then they can't use that ISBN anywhere else, because it's not theirs.

Melissa Addey: Yeah. It belongs to the platform, not to you in your format.

And quickly, because we mentioned Ingram, there is an odd stumbling block that they have which is, if you upload your paperback to, let's say Amazon to start with, and then you take the exact same paperback, which should have the same ISBN, and try and implement it on Ingram's system, they will say, that ISBN is already in use. And it's no good you saying, yes, I know, it's an identical product, I want you to print it as well. Their whole system just for some reason has a stumbling block over that.

So, a lot of people have stumbled over that, including me, and there's no point arguing with them that you are correct, that the same ISBN should be used, they won't accept that. So, there's two possible workarounds there. One is you start with Ingram, upload the paperback, give them the ISBN, then take the same ISBN and go over and upload it on Amazon, and that will be fine.

Or you do what I do which is where I go, okay, I'm going to regard them as two different things. I'm going to regard the one that's on Amazon as my main paperback and the one that's on Ingram, I'm regarding that as a different kind of distribution. It isn't, but that's how I'm regarding it, and I'll give it a different ISBN, but that's got its risks because it can then appear on Amazon as two different products, when in fact there's just the one.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, and the problem with this is, and this is a little bit advanced, but it's nice to know in advance just because it's nice to dream. If you are doing a big, what's called a letters run, when you're running for the New York Times Bestseller list, or the USA Today Bestseller list, if you've got the same book in the same format, but with two different ISBNs, they count those as two different products.

So, if the sales of both on different platforms were combined, you may get to number three on the New York Times Bestseller list, and you've done very well, but if they're split, you may end up at number seven and number ten, and you'll never get into that higher echelon of placements.

So, this is why ISBNs are really important, and you want to keep everything consistent across the board.

Melissa Addey: Yeah. So, just be aware when you're setting that up, it's not you that's gone mad, it's their system which has just got this odd glitch, so think about it in advance.

How should I setup my book using my new imprint?

Dan Parsons: Yes. So, now that we've talked about the wider context, how would we set up a book and prep it for sale to try and get it into this system?

Melissa Addey: Okay. So, as you are preparing the interior, you want to think about having those imprint details inside. So, I already mentioned the copyright page, that would be a good place for you to mention copyright, whatever it is, 2023, Letter Press Publishing. So, you would have your imprint name in there, so it's being mentioned there, and you might have, for example, if you had a website for it, you might mention the website in there as well, either at the front or the back, depending on where you want to send people to. So, that might be an important thing, and you might add the logo and that kind of thing

You could also add the ISBNs for different formats. So, in the interiors of mine, it will say paperback, audiobook, eBook, and it will have the ISBNs for those different things, because if you love eBooks and you read an eBook, and then your friend wants to order that book from their local bookshop, you can give them the ISBN and they can go order that.

Or if you'd really like them to stock it in your local library, that ISBN is the one that they should be ordering.

Dan Parsons: Yes, I heard of a story a few years ago, when I used to work in book selling, I think it was when the last Harry Potter book came out, or something. Everyone wanted a particular format, and there was one bookshop manager who'd learned the 13-digit ISBN for the last Harry Potter book off the top of his head so he could just type it in and order it for people. Because it gives you the exact product that you want. So, sometimes publishers will bring out new editions of books that have got slightly different covers and they don't match the rest of your series, but if you know the exact ISBN you want because it matches the rest of your series, then you can buy the exact copy rather than accidentally buying one that doesn't match and looks odd on your shelf.

Melissa Addey: Yep, so I just saw a copy of a Terry Pratchett book that had specific content just for Waterstones. So, they'd done a version of it that just had special extra bonus content for Waterstones, so that would've had a different ISBN.

And you know you've made it when the bookshop manager learns your ISBN number off by heart.


Dan Parsons: So, one thing that we should mention is on that copyright page, yes, you will want to put the imprint details in there and put the logo and things like that, and possibly the ISBNs for the other formats, and while you will be registering the ISBNs to the imprint, when it comes to copyright, you actually want to attribute the copyright on the copyright page to you as the author. Because if you think, again, going back to the idea of you being an author and then the publisher is a separate identity, as if you are licensing the work to a publisher, you keep copyright, but you license certain publishing rights. Well, you would do that to your own imprint in exactly the same way.

So, you license to your imprint, you don't give all of the copyrights to the imprint, because if something down the road happened where somebody wanted to buy the imprint off you, and it became a publishing company, if you ended up publishing other people and things like that, then your copyright for that book would be lost with the imprint, whereas you would keep the copyright if you assign it to yourself. So, this is quite important.

Can my imprint and ISBN’s help protect my copyright?

I noticed that we've got a comment down here from someone who doesn't really know where to start yet and is talking about, can someone take your story and use it to make money without your permission? This sort of ties into the ISBN stuff, because if you've registered a book with your own ISBNs, you've got a paper trail that protects your work, so you've got evidence to suggest that you came up with the work at a certain date.

Typically, if someone's stolen your work and you've released it with ISBNs from the start, you've got the first record of that book being in circulation, and you can do things like take down notices and things like that to stop people from reselling it.

But yeah, Nicole, who commented, you may want to look into copyright and intellectual property law. We've got lots of guides on the ALLi website at selfpublishingadvice.org where you can go and check out those different things.

Melissa Addey: Yes, it's an important part of your paper trail, so that's a useful thing to do.

People worry a lot about their story being taken, and idea, and I always say to them, I could give you the same idea as I'm going to write for my next book, and we could sit down and we're going to write two very different books. So, I wouldn't worry so much about the story. I would worry about when someone actually pirates your existing book, but then that's what the ISBN is part of protecting it.

Dan Parsons: Yeah. Do you know what though? There are a few different caveats to that, that are both a comfort and not a comfort, depending on your perspective. So, often when people find that their book has been “pirated” as an eBook and it's being sold on pirate websites, and just for people that are not watching the video, I'm doing inverted commas when I'm talking about pirating, they haven't always stolen your eBook, they've just taken the cover image and then they're getting people to download viruses and things like that.

Melissa Addey: So, it's a scam.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, you're not necessarily being pirated, they're just making it look like so that they can get readers details and things like that. That means that your intellectual property isn't being stolen.

Also, and this is quite an encouraging fact, there's a study that was released a few years ago that suggested that any author or musician, or any creator of any sort, when they do very well on pirate sites, in terms of, they don't get anything from it, but they're ranking quite highly on popularity for pirate sites, they tend to see a big surge in real world sales as well, because it's essentially reaching a reader demographic that you wouldn't reach anyway because they only ever pirate books.

So, they're still pushing you with word of mouth, and you are getting money off the people that do buy books and support creators. So, while we don't want people to pirate our books, be comforted in the fact that if it ever happened on a large scale to you, you are probably going to do very well off the back of it.

Melissa Addey: Yeah, it does hurt though. If you ever see your book on a site where it shouldn't be there is a very angry moment where your teeth are very much gritted. But yeah, it's a fair point, both of those, so take heart.

Dan Parsons: So yeah, when it comes to the book creation itself, by the way, in terms of prepping it for mainstream distribution with your imprint, yes, you want all that stuff on the back. You don't necessarily need to buy a barcode though.

So, a lot of people struggle with the idea of, do I need to buy a barcode from a particular service? The ISBNs, yes, you'll need to do that, but typically there are online free barcode generators where they take your ISBN, and they add a barcode that's unique to that ISBN underneath it.

You can either, if you work with a cover designer, typically they know which tools they can use and they can add the barcode to your book for print. Or if you are going through certain printing distribution channels, you can leave a white blank space on your back book cover, and they will add in the barcode that is associated with your IBSN. So, that's not something that needs to cost you money necessarily.

Melissa Addey: Yeah, that's a good point. Also, a quick reminder not to put the price on the back of the book. This is a common thing that you'll probably have seen on traditionally published books, and so you'll be thinking, oh, I should put the price on the back of the book, but what that does is take away your flexibility to change the price, which is a fantastic flexibility to have. A, because things like print costs go up, as they've done recently, and also just because it allows you the freedom to move that price up and down to find the right place for you, to do promotional work, all of that. So, don't be printing the price on the back books, I would say.

Can I use separate imprints for different genres?

Dan Parsons: Yeah. We've got a question here in the comments that says, is it worth using separate imprints for different genres, and can imprints use ISBNs off a main imprint, which I think is supposed to be your parent publishing company.

This is not something I've personally done myself. I have worked for companies that have done this though, and generally if they've got an imprint, they can just say that they're trading as, as long as the same person controls the company.

Yes, you can do different imprints. If you want different logos to go on different types of books for different genres, that is the way that traditional publishers do it. So, I'm not sure which imprints work under Penguin, but Penguin's a huge conglomerate with maybe 50 different imprints. So, if they want to bring out a literary fiction book, yes, they've got literary fiction authors on a roster somewhere for a literary fiction imprint, and then they've got branded logos and things that go with that so that it matches across all of their literary fiction. You know, like Wordsworth Classics and things like that.

Then if they wanted to go with sweet romance, or erotica, or fantasy, they've got different imprints. You don't need to, because if you've got your own imprint, it doesn't really matter, because like we said, readers don't really look. But if there's a really strong imprint brand like Mills and Boon, for example, then you know it's going to be a romance.

So, you could do that, and you could use the is ISBNs that you own across the board if you wanted to.

Melissa Addey: I think I would always say, don't overcomplicate things unnecessarily. So, first of all, the reader is highly unlikely to be committing your imprint name to memory. So, I wouldn't worry about that element of it, and also just think about, it's like when people go, oh, I'll have another pen name because I write something else and it's like, how bad is it that your readers know what the different things are?

I mean, if you are writing hardcore erotica and sweet Christian romance, you might want to think about different pen names, but otherwise try and think about how you can use that same name and keep the complexity of life to a minimum.

So, on the whole, I would say don't start getting complicated with having loads of imprints.

That's something Penguin does, and the big five do, because they have a lot of different things that they're doing. As one author, I would just have one imprint.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, generally you only ever need one imprint unless you've got a very different brand. But even within the imprint, you can just have different pen names.

Ideally, you want one imprint and one pen name because that makes everything so much simpler and easier. You only have to send one set of newsletters, do one set of branding, everything is much easier. I'm saying this from experience as someone with, potentially three pen names. I've got two and there's another one, but I may be getting rid of a different one. It's complicated. Don't be me.

Melissa Addey: Yeah, try and keep it simple if you can.

Dan Parsons: What you will learn as you develop throughout your business journey is, you will have made mistakes, but generally you can patch them up, and you can do it that way, and you'll muddle through, and hopefully you've fallen into a genre that is consistent across the board, or you've found an umbrella term like speculative fiction, and you can do horror and fantasy, and things like that.

Melissa Addey: Just a whole mix of them underneath.

I have to tell the story of this super cool {inaudible}, and she writes both very light, cosy kind of stuff, village life, and quite dark mythological historical fiction stuff. And she has this super cool thing on her website, rather than go with different pen names and get all complicated, as soon as you come onto the homepage, it just says, do you want to come to the light side or the dark side? And she just guides you off, and I was like, that is genius, because now I know that you write something else as well, but I'm going to the place that I want to have a look at.

Dan Parsons: Yeah. No, that's true.

So, once you followed all of these basic principles, providing you've also had your own local legal advice for your own territory and things like that and adapted accordingly, you should be ready for having an imprint and professionally looking, branding, and all that type of stuff, and be ready for mainstream distribution on all available channels to indies and some small publishers.

What resources does ALLi have to help with ISBN’s and creating an imprint?

So, now that we're near the end, Melissa, do you have any resources to share with us that people could look for outside of what we've already shared?

Melissa Addey: Yes. So, if you want to get into more depth with any of these things, I'm just going to check that I get all my titles right.

So, on the author imprint we have two pieces. One is a Q&A podcast, which Orna Ross and Michael La Ronn did. So, should you create your own author imprint, and other questions answered. So, that was an important one to look out for, that was December 2020.

The other one is, Should Self-Published Authors Create Their Own Publishing Imprints? That was Debbie Young on the Self-Publishing Advice Blog.

Your Book in Bookstores. So, that's quite important because we've been talking about ISBNs and those are crucial for bookstores. So, Debbie Young again, wrote that one for us, and that is a really important guide to how to get into bookstores, and ISBNs will be important to that.

And Using ISBNs as an Indie Author, which is an ALLi guidebook. So, all of those will give you more details if you need to go into the nitty gritty of things.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, and what you'll find is, if you look through all of our guidebooks, which are available for free to ALLi members, or you can purchase them through the website if you're not an ALLi member, is that they've all got overlapping bits and pieces.

So, there's some territory that one book will cover that merges into another. So, if you want to look into libraries, we've got guides on those. If you want to look into bookstores, we've got guides on those. ISBNs, we've got that guide as just mentioned, and they all have overlapping themes and stuff, but it's just such a big area that it doesn't matter if you don't know everything. A bit like the imprint, you don't need to know everything right now, you just need to learn the little bit of information to get one step ahead of where you are, and then you can learn the next bit after that.

Melissa Addey: Yeah, I think this is something that, the further along your writing and publishing journey you go, the more you realize you do not have to learn everything in advance. You can learn the things that you need to know right now. So, that's why on this podcast, we really take it step by step and we just do the bit that you need to know for now.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, as an indie, mistakes are temporary, not permanent.

Melissa Addey: Yes, this is the good thing!

Next time we're going to talk about formats. All the different formats that are available and distribution, as in how you actually get those different book formats out there into the world.

Dan Parsons: And we may even give you a framework for where to go to make the most money per book and things like that, and what order you want to be distributing in.

There are lots of different ideas and strategies that we can talk about next month.

So, we will see you, I believe on, what day is it today, Tuesday? On the first Tuesday of next month. So, we'll see you on the first Tuesday of February 2023.

Happy New Year, everyone, we didn't mention this at the start.

So, we'll see you again then.

Melissa Addey: All right. Take care.

Dan Parsons: Bye everyone.

Author: Howard Lovy

Howard Lovy is a novelist, nonfiction author, developmental book editor, and journalist. He is also the news and podcast producer for the Alliance of Independent Authors. You can learn more about him at https://howardlovy.com/


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