Friday, 16 October 2009

Ten Steps to Setting up Your Own Publishing Company

I e-mailed Richard Hallows on Tuesday, asking him if he would let me have the PowerPoint slides that he showed us the previous evening, describing how Spikethecat was launched. He did, but it turns out that you can't export these as any kind of text file. He was able to include the text in a further e-mail, which made it easy to format as this post.

Starting Up    

Step 1 – Company Formation
•    Company name: spikethecat limited
•    Cost £95.00
•    Bank Account

Step 2 – PO Box
•    PO Box 2179, Buckingham, Cost £140.00

Step 3 – ISBN Numbers
•    Cost £200.00

First Publication    

Step 4 – Find Some Content
•    Own stories for first publication
•    Writing competitions for next collections
•    Mailshot to 600 writing groups (£180 in stamps and stationary)
•    Email to library services in thirty counties (free)
•    News item in Writers' News and Writers' Forum (free)
•    Listing on writer community web sites (free)

Step 5 – Get some Cover Art
•    Zoe Day – local artist from Akely.

Step 6 – Find a printer
•    Jasprint – did the last Turweston Writing Group Anthology

Step 7 – Send Content to Printer
•    100 copies £211.00

Sales and Marketing    

Step 8 – Legal Deposit
•    British Library
•    Neilson Book Data Registration

Step 9 – Sell Locally
•    Friends and family
•    Swan and Pen/Turweston Writing Group
•    Canvas art supplies
•    Local Bookshops

Step 10 – Sell on the Web
•    Amazon

Richard did all this in less than a month and for less than £1,000. His use of new technology reminds me of the article I read in The Economist in December 1976 which described how new phototypesetting machinery was enabling small companies to enter the market and challenge bigger ones using Linotype and Monotype hot metal machines. This was the impulse which led us to go to the USA in the spring of 1977 to see the latest equipment in use and to borrow the necessary money from Julia's Philadelphian foster-brother to start Randall Typographic Limited.


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