How To Start A Publishing Company | Easy Step By Step Guide

Publishing is making any information, literature, music, software, and other content available to the public free of charge or for a fee. Publishing refers to distributing printed works, such as books, newspapers, and magazines.

Still, with the advent of digital information systems, the scope has expanded to include electronic publishing such as eBooks, academic journals, micro-publishing, websites, blogs, video game publishing, and several others.

This article will walk you through starting a publishing company step-by-step. Ensure you follow through.

What Is A Publishing Company?

A traditional publishing company is a business that creates and distributes copies of a written work. The written work they distribute can include children’s books, novels, cookbooks, and magazines.

Large publishing companies publish books in their numbers (thousands) yearly under different “imprints” or departments, while small publishing companies may only publish a handful of books annually.

READ ALSO: How To Self-Publish A Book On Amazon | Full Guide

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Publishing Company?

The cost of starting a publishing company varies from state to state. Generally, the lowest amount of money you will pay to start a publishing company is $50, and the highest is $800. There are usually annual fees due each year.


How Do I Start My Own Publishing Company?

Starting your own publishing company is one of the best decisions you can make if you can thrive in the business.

But to do that, you need to find how the target of starting a publishing company will be accomplished.

To create a publishing company, you are to do the following:

  • Solidify your goals
  • Create your brand. 
  • Select a business structure
  • Register for an Employer Identification Number
  • Set up your infrastructure. 
  • Start Publishing
  • Market and sell your books

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Solidify your goals

Before starting a publishing company, you must ensure that your goals are solidified first and foremost. To solidify your goals, you have to do the following:

  • Be specific with what you want to accomplish. 
  • Decide whether you want to start the company alone or with a partner
  • Decide whether you are going to be publishing your books alone or going to be publishing that of others too. 
  • Determine whether the publication format will be in print, digital, audio, or a combination of any two, etc.
  • Ascertain the sort of income you are expecting via the publishing company. 
  • Analyze the biggest challenges that you might encounter. 
  • Find out whether there’s a particular niche in the publishing industry that you will be filling.

Create your brand

After solidifying your goals, the next right thing to do to get closer to the goal of starting a publishing company is to create your brand. At this stage, you are to come up with the following:

  • Business name your publishing company will bear,
  • A mission statement,
  • The decision on the type of books you’ll publish, etc.

You are to note that one of the things that makes a brand thrive has a relatable brand that will be memorable and enticing for readers, writers, and booksellers.

Select a business structure

Selecting a business structure is one of the ways to start a publishing company. You must decide which business type (from corporations to nonprofits) will apply to the publishing company you want to create.

The Business type options you can take up include sole proprietorships, partnerships, or limited liability companies (LLC), and you are to consider the circumstances surrounding the business establishment to know which is best for you to sign into.

Register for an Employer Identification Number

In addition, you are to register for an employer identification number. This registration will enable different agencies in charge of identifying and tracking businesses to do so.

Set up your Infrastructure

Setting up your infrastructure is among the ways to start a publishing business and is quite pivotal as it involves setting up the administrative aspects of the publishing company.

The following should be in place:

  • Website
  • Logo
  • Email address
  • Business account
  • Accounting system
  • Print structure

Also considered here is the hiring of workers.

Start Publishing

After you might have been down with all of these steps, the next thing to do is to start publishing books.

To publish, you are to put several resources together, and this, includes:

• Having the book designed

• Uploading it online or sending it to the printer.

Market and sell your books

At having a product to sell, the following line of action is to create a marketing plan that is tailored in such as to have outstanding sales.

You can either market the product yourself or hire a marketing professional. Either way, you are to ensure that there’s an actionable plan to sell the product and that the right audience is targeted in the marketing plan.

Before you start marketing your product, you must find out what makes it interesting or different and highlight it in your marketing materials.

Social media marketing is one of the keys to building an audience in the modern era. As a Publishing company, it is needful that you create a social media presence for your publishing company and make it active. You are to promote all of your upcoming releases there.

As an avenue to draw your audience’s attention to book review publications, you can send out advance review copies. Additionally, revisit your marketing plan often to see if you missed any opportunities and better alternatives to reaching your audience.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Music Publishing Company?

To start a music publishing company, you must pay a $150 fee for solely-owned publishing companies to affiliate; $250 for partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies.

Affiliating with Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) is free as a writer.

You may want to read: How To Self-Publish A Book On Amazon | Full Guide

How Do Publishing Companies Make Money?

Traditional publishers make money by selling authors’ books to consumers, while self-publishing companies make money when YOU write them a check.

For online publishers, the avenues through which they make money differ from the ways traditional publishers make money.

Some of the ways online publishers make money include:

  • Blog posts – Publishers discuss their books via blogs and convince readers to click the PURCHASE NOW button.
  • Ebooks – Publishers can affix links to download ebooks from sponsors. Such downloads that allow an opt-in work well
  • Webinars – As an online publisher, you can profit from publishing by running webinars for companies wanting to reach your audience. You can get a monthly sponsorship fee as a publisher plus any affiliate sales.
  • Podcasts
  • Interviews
  • Training
  • Sponsored channels
  • Premium content access for a monthly subscription
  • Affiliate revenue – To get revenue through affiliates, you must offer quality products that suit your audience.
  • Kindle eBook – As an online publisher, you can make money by selling a 50-100 page ebook in PDF format on Amazon. This would be attractive for writers and earn them a lot of money.
  • Banner advertising
  • Sponsored advertising

Which Equipments Do I Need To Start A Publishing Company?

To start a publishing company, you need the following equipment:

  • Computer running photoshop
  • Monitor
  • A sewing machine for section sewing for the book to last
  • Foil blocking press

The combination of three facilities together gives a wide range of services covering Digital Printing, Offset Printing, and Wide Format Printing options, including:


Your press room should have the following facilities:

  • SM102 – 28 x 40 Heidelberg 12-color perfector
  • SM102 – 28 x 40 Heidelberg four-color perfector
  • SM102 – 28 x 40 Heidelberg Speedmaster two-color perfector
  • SM52 – 14 x 20 Heidelberg five-color
  • 14 x 20 Heidelberg GTO two-color
  • A.B. Dick 9800 (Envelope Press) two-color
  • Solna 35” Web Press with two four-color towers
  • Heidelberg Cylinder 30” Die Cut Press
  • Heidelberg Windmill Press (Foil Stamping, Embossing)


  • Xerox 1000
  • Xerox Docucolor 8000AP
  • HP Indigo 360
  • Ikon Print Center Pro 1050
  • Ricoh Pro 907EX
  • Xerox 721
  • Xante Impressia digital multi-media press (letterhead & envelope press


  • Mutoh VJ-1638 Dual Head
  • Mutoh VJ-1604
  • Mutoh SC-1400D
  • HP Latex 360
  • Orca II Laminator
  • Flora 250UV 8’ Hybrid Printer


  • UV Coater Tec Lighting
  • Thermo Graph Runraise
  • Stahl Folder
  • MBO B23 Multi Folder
  • MBO B30 Multi Folder
  • MBO B32 Multi Folder
  • Standard Horizon PF-P330 Folder
  • Moll Folder/Gluer
  • Muller Martini Stitcher/Trimmer 6 Pocket
  • Shanklin Auto-Shrink Wrapping machine
  • Palamides Paper Bundler Zeta 30 Solo
  • US Paper Counter Tab Inserter
  • Rhino Tuff Punch
  • Spiel Punchmaster
  • Challenge Drill
  • Panda 10-pocket Perfect Binder
  • Horizon BQ460 Perfect Binder
  • ExactBind PBS-6000 Perfect Binder
  • Polar 78X programmable paper cutter
  • Saber Programmable 45” Auto-Cutter
  • Polar 36.5” Cutter
  • WolanBerg Three Knife Trimmer
  • Rapid Trimmer Three Knife Trimmer
  • Morgana Autocreaser Pro 33
  • Scott Custom Tab – Mylar and Diecutting
  • Rhino Tuff Coil, Comb, Wire-O puncher
  • Standard Horizon Booklet Maker
  • Stitchmaster Saddle-Stitcher


  • Neopost DS-70 Folder Inserter
  • Neopost DS-62 Folder Inserter
  • Neopost Postal Meter
  • Mathias Bauerte Multi-Master Folder Inserter
  • 2 each Cheshire 7000 with mounted Xijet Print Heads
  • Phillipsburg Expediter 5000 Inserter
  • Neopost TA60 Tabber
  • Mailquip mailing and numbering sequencing machine
  • 1.5″ & 1″ Tabber

How Much Can You Make From A Publishing Company?

Publishers are pivotal in publishing and can find employment heading newspaper, magazine, and book publishing offices.

A publisher’s salary varies depending on the publishing company’s size and the publishing type being conducted. The highest-paid publishers can earn about a quarter of a million dollars, while the lowest-paying jobs can bank a publisher just over $60,000.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is book publishing a good business?

Starting your own book publishing company is a profitable business idea. According to a survey, retail book sales exceed $16 billion annually. Whether you plan to sell printed or online e-books, the overall process of starting up a book publishing company is about the same.

What are the four types of book publishing?

The four types of book publishing are Traditional Publishing, Self-publishing, Joint-publishing, Vanity Publishing.

Can just anyone publish a book?

On a technical note, yes. But what is needed is not just the ability to write but the money and time to do all the other stuff that comes alongside it.

What is a book royalty?

Book royalty is the amount of money that a publisher pays an author in exchange for the rights to publish their book. By calculation, royalty is a percentage of book sales.

Which are the top 10 self-publishing companies?

The top 10 self-publishing companies include Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), CreateSpace, iBooks, Barnes & Noble Press, Kobo, IngramSpark, Smashwords, Draft2Digital, Lulu, Bookbaby.


As you’ve seen, owning a publishing company is one of the best establishments you can think of. By following the steps above, you are sure of owning and running a successful publishing company. Also available is the equipment you need to start a publishing company, etc.


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