Jumping into the world of publishing? With so much content available, breaking through the noise and reaching readers can be tricky. You’ll need more than just a great manuscript to sell your books!
Here are five survival tips for publishing, from starting your business to considering insurance for publishers.
1. Write a business plan
When you’re running a business, it’s wise to have a plan. Many small business owners (including publishers) make writing a business plan the first item on their to-do list. These handy documents help you set goals, make important decisions, and track your success.
A business plan brings together information on all parts of your publishing business:
- Branding and services – Business name, business structure, mission statement, company values, etc.
- Finances – Pricing, revenue forecasts, budgets, etc.
- Market research – Your ideal customers, your direct competitors, how your business will fit into the publishing landscape, etc.
- Marketing plan – Advertising, your website, your social media accounts, PR strategies, etc.
- Goals – What are your plans for your first year in business? First five years? Using the information above, you can start to make clear and achievable goals for your publishing business.
2. Consider business insurance
Like any business, publishing companies face risks. While some may cause minor inconveniences, others can be financially devastating. Claims and lawsuits could create unplanned bills that threaten your day-to-day operations or, in a worst-case situation, shut down your business altogether.
Insurance for publishers helps protect your business and personal finances from common industry risks, such as:
- Copyright and trademark infringement – Typically covered by Professional Liability insurance.
- Defamation, libel or slander – Also covered by many Professional Liability policies.
- Bodily injury of a third-party – Typically covered by General Liability insurance.
- Third-party property damage – Also covered by most General Liability policies.
- Workplace injuries, illnesses or death – Covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance (this coverage is legally required in most states for business with employees).
- Unexpected business interruptions – Coverage can be included in a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP).
- Equipment breakdowns – Another coverage available in a BOP.
3. Figure out your marketing strategy
Getting a book published is just the beginning—you also have to sell it! A solid marketing plan helps get your books into the hands of readers. To do this, you may need to:
- Promote your publishing business – Attracting talented authors is essential to your publishing company’s success. Quality manuscripts can help build excitement with reviewers and could earn you positive PR before launch day!
- Know your audience – Defining a book’s ideal reader can help set your entire marketing plan. Remember: Your audience probably isn’t “everyone”. Knowing precisely who may be interested in an upcoming book can help you create a targeted marketing plan that will likely result in better sales than a more generic plan.
- Start hyping a book early – Waiting until a book is published may be too late. Try building anticipation in the months before a launch to help build a larger customer base and increase presales.
- Diversify your advertising – Booksellers and readers may look for new books in many places. Consider promoting books in multiple ways, such as social media, blogs, industry magazines and in-store materials.
4. Ask for help!
Publishing businesses often start small. You might be a one-person setup in your early days. However, keeping up with everything and doing it well can be challenging. That’s why many publishers seek permanent or freelance help with business admin, like:
- Bookkeeping and accounting – Tracking spending, chasing invoices, preparing your business taxes, etc.
- General office tasks – Responding to emails, setting appointments, booking maintenance, preparing for meetings, etc.
- Branding – Designing a logo, choosing brand colors and fonts, building your website, crafting your tone of voice, etc.
- Marketing – Updating your website and social media, sending press releases, organizing promo materials, etc.
5. Learn from your mistakes
Like many small businesses, your publishing business may not be a success from day one. You’ll probably make plenty of mistakes along the way. It’s important not to let setbacks get you down. Mistakes can be valuable learning opportunities that provide insights into how to do better next time. You could build a successful publishing company with time, evaluation, and practice!
Insurance for publishers helps protect your growing business, and BizInsure makes it easy to find the coverage you want. Compare policies and buy instant coverage online—all in about 10 minutes!
Compare insurance for publishers today and get instant protection for your small business.
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