Making a Business from Your Publishing Skills

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Nothing makes me happier than to see an author successfully publish their first book. It is one thing to say you want to publish a book and become a published author but another to actually do it. It takes incredible focus for some to just sit still long enough to put words on a page. Not to mention that natural storytelling is a talent that few possess. There’s a story inside of all of us, but the craft of writing is one that takes discipline and practice to do well. So when someone reaches the point where they have a manuscript ready to publish, it is an accomplishment worth celebrating. Taking that one step further is to turn their publishing skill into a business.

Why Do You Publish

First you should decide why you're publishing in the first place. Not everyone gets to the point where they want to turn their publication into a full-fledged business. Some have one book which they print for themselves and themselves alone to display proudly on their mantel or the bookshelves of family members, and IngramSpark is perfect for those instances because you’ll receive a quality book you can be proud of for a very reasonable price. But if you want to open that one-off book up to wider distribution to see which retailers or libraries may carry it or if your story strikes a cord with an audience beyond your immediate family, we’re here for that too, and can easily open your book up for distribution with the click of a few buttons and no extra charge. And if you decide to start your own imprint and publish several books, our platform helps you easily manage your titles, their distribution, your sales reporting, and compensation all in one place. And then there are those who decide to take their publishing skills even further.

Sharing Your Publishing Skills

One thing that thrills me is when I meet people who, after being successfully traditionally, indie, or self-published, realize that they know enough to pass along their publishing knowledge to other authors. We are seeing a blossoming of these publishing experts rise up to create publishing businesses of their own that cater to the novice author. This is a great trend for the industry as more experienced individuals come forward to help their fellows succeed in the book publishing industry to share a love of literature. To me these publishing assistants are the best equipped to help authors who seek editorial, design, and marketing assistance in bringing their book to market.

Learning From Others

One trend that we’re seeing is bookstores and libraries stepping forward to offer programs to help indie authors be successful, offering local community events, lectures, and writing programs within the store or library that can result in the actual publication of an author’s book via IngramSpark. It's a nice way to build up a local publishing community, combining your local independent bookstore, local library, and local indie authors. Ask your neighborhood bookseller or librarian if they offer author programming, and if not, suggest things you and your other author friends would be interested in learning from them.

There is a lot of help out there for first-time authors but be wise in how you spend your money. A company that offers you a number of printed copies without distribution attached isn’t going to get you success in the publishing marketplace. Take the time to learn the business online and from legitimate publishing experts. Attend conferences or join credible publishing associations to help point you in the right direction. And remember that you too can become a seasoned and successful publisher with the opportunity down the road to create a business that can help other authors. It happens every day.


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Robin Cutler

As the Director of IngramSpark at Ingram Content Group, Robin is committed to helping independent publishers easily get their content into the hands of readers around the globe. To help make this happen, she leads the development of IngramSpark and continues to support and refine the platform to better serve independent publishers around the world. She is a leader in the independent publishing space, and when not developing new programs and services for IngramSpark, she can often be found sharing her expertise at industry events around the world.