How to become an Independent Book Publisher

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: May 2017
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Book publishers commission and acquire hardback books, paperbacks and e-books from authors and agents and also produce and arrange the distribution of books to wholesalers, retailers and consumers. They take responsibility for the whole process with a view to publishing commercially successful books.

Publishers find and commission authors and illustrators, edit manuscripts, design book covers and layout, and deal with typesetting, proofreading and sending print-ready files to a book printer. Some aspects of the production process are often contracted out to specialists such as editors, typesetters and printers. Once the book has been printed, the publisher is responsible for its marketing and promotion.

There are three main publishing sectors: trade (supplying fiction and non-fiction books to the general public), academic (publishing educational, technical, scientific or medical reference books) and professional (producing in-house, promotional and instructional publications for organisations). The trade sector is the largest, covering everything from mass-market paperbacks to children's picture books.

This profile provides information about starting up and trading as a book publisher. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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