Startup Costs: $10,000 - $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? Yes
The book publishing industry has exploded as the ease of self-publishing, people's access to the internet and literacy rates continue to increase.
Ask the Expert: Dr. Morissa Schwartz, owner of GenZ Publishing
What is the first step to starting a book publishing business?
I started right out of college. My first step was preparing a business plan. I did so with the help of an SBA-appointed mentor and my entrepreneur father. We planned out the business, making sure we had our ducks in a row and then launched when we thought through the logistics. I recommend this method to other entrepreneurs too. You don't want to spend so much time planning that you never actually launch, but you also don't want to go into your business blind. Setting a deadline for yourself to have the business plan completed and launch started is critical. Mentors are great too, and the SBA has many free resources and counseling sessions open for this.
Is the book publishing industry growing?
Yes, the industry is growing exponentially and becoming more diverse every day. I see people from around the world of all ages getting into this industry, which is a far cry from how it was when I started.
What type of person is a great fit to try this?
People who are not easily discouraged. There are so many ups and downs in this industry. When I started this business, my father, who has owned floor covering shops my whole life, warned me that something would go wrong every day. I laughed and thought he was exaggerating. Now, I am glad when only one thing goes wrong each day. Between scams/dishonest people, technical issues when publishing/running ads, team member logistics, etc., there is a lot you must be prepared for and deal with.
How much money can a person expect to make in the first year and in five years?
With a publishing company, you have to be in it for the passion for books. It is very difficult to "get rich" selling books. For the first few years, you likely will not make much. However, once you sell licenses to virtual libraries, that is when you start to see yourself in the green.
What kind of experience/training do you need to have?
I have a Masters in Corporate & Public Communication and a Doctorate in Literature. While I am proud of these degrees, they are unnecessary for most people in the industry. Your determination is more important. For publishing, you should be a reader so you can recognize the makings of a quality book and do training on how to properly edit/format/market books.
What do you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
Do it because you are passionate, and success will follow.
Who are your customers?
At GenZ, our authors are diverse. We have published people ages 16-87 of all backgrounds.
Where do you find new customers?
We employ our own marketing. We use the power of 360 marketing- SEO, ads, PR, social media to reach our clients. We also keep our clients happy and receive referrals often because of that.
What type of growth can be realistically expected year over year?
I used the power of Twitter to reach out to our first authors. We published ten books our first year as a result. I would focus on finding the right fit in authors and publish who you work well with.
Are there any resources you recommend that were extremely valuable to get your business off the ground?
I reached out to the WCEC, which is part of the SBA. They set me up with a counselor who helped me create my business plan. I now counsel and teach courses for them to give back because they were so helpful. Before that, in college and even high school, if I would talk about my business aspirations to advisors and professors, I was often told to play it safe and get an internship that could turn into a job. The WCEC was my first time meeting someone outside of my family that encouraged my entrepreneurial pursuits.
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