Part 2: Develop a Clear Description of
Your Author Entrepreneur Enterprise
Getting Down To Business
So, are you developing a publishing business that will build you a passive, residual, income stream or passionately pursuing a hobby?
Lets get down to Business — YOUR BUSINESS!
1. Have you chosen a name for your business enterprise? Does the name support your branding strategy and desired position?
2. Have you defined your company’s mission? What are your corresponding goals and objectives?
3. What exactly is your branding strategy and market position?
4. How will your publishing project meet the needs of your customers better than your competitor? (Please do not delude yourself that this is the fist book on this subject. It is the first written with your special talent, from your specific point of view; but the customer will have other books to choose from.)
5. What are the steps you need to follow to form a legal business?
6. How do you determine what type of business structure is appropriate for your venture? What are the key differences between a proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or a Corporation?
7. Are you a manufacturer, merchandiser, or a service business? If you answered all three, I am very, very pleased with you grasshopper. As a self-publisher, you have all the manufacturers project management responsibilities — shepherding raw resources into a finished product. As a merchandiser, you have the job of seeing that product successfully distributed and sold. As for service, you have the care and feeding of the distribution network, your clients, the bookstore owners and the end user, the readers. Oh yes, if you are starting a publishing venture with talent other than yourself, you have to keep your authors happy. Because if you don’t, your authors will be in the next wave of competitors.
I just love the publishing business — I think its all that free-floating Darwinian energy.
8. How quickly can you reasonably grow sales? What will it take to reach profitability?
9. Are you planning to develop a whole new product line?
10. Do you have plans to expand your product line?
11. If you have more than one publishing project planned, do you have the metrics in place to measure sales performance?
12. Define the barriers to entering and exiting an alternate publishing enterprise. This goes back to honestly reviewing and recognizing your skill-set and resources. Example: the final price tag for a self-published, printed and professionally promoted book could run between $5000 and $10,000. Do you have the resources to carry the project to successful fruition? If not, that is a barrier to entry.
Another example: you decide to self publish in the form of an e-book. Without the up-front printing costs, it seems like an affordable alternative to get in the publishing game; however, there is a significant technological barrier that you or someone on your payroll has to surmount. Do you have the creative capability to design and format the publication for electronic download? Which of several competing electronic publishing “standards” do you follow? Do you have the budget and/or technical capability to mount and promote an eCommerce enabled website to take advantage of print-on-demand-download technology?