ISBN, Publisher name, etc. - Operational aspects

Hi,

 

I am writing a textbook, and have a few questions on the mechanics. I'm sure these questions have been asked before on the forum, but I couldnt find it readlly so taking the liberty of posting. 

 

Is it fine just to come up with a name for my own publishing company, or do I need to register that name as a trademark, etc? Any legal, etc. paperwork necessary, or can i just dream up a name that no one else seems to be using?

 

ISBN - Is there any drawback in using the free ISBN from Lulu? If I want to have my own publishing company, does it affect me if I use Lulu's ISBN? Since Lulu would be getting ISBNs in bulk, wouldn't the ISBN I use from Lulu identify Luly as the publisher?

 

I know how to register the copyright. Anything else I need to worry about?

 

Thanks,

 

Sid

 

 

Comments

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    sidd_d a écrit :

     

    Is it fine just to come up with a name for my own publishing company, or do I need to register that name as a trademark, etc? Any legal, etc. paperwork necessary, or can i just dream up a name that no one else seems to be using?

    Some of the people here have created their own publishing companies, and have their books printed by Lulu.

    ISBN - Is there any drawback in using the free ISBN from Lulu? If I want to have my own publishing company, does it affect me if I use Lulu's ISBN? Since Lulu would be getting ISBNs in bulk, wouldn't the ISBN I use from Lulu identify Luly as the publisher?

    They generally use their own ISBNs, but some are content enough with Lulu's free ISBNs. In either case, you remain the copyright owner of your work.

     

  • I believe there a tax consideration depending on which ISBN option you choose. If you choose Lulu's free they will take out around 33 percent of your income for taxes etc. If you buy one from them or use your own they don't take out the taxes and you recieve the full amount and are responsible for your own taxes. They do send out forms if you make certain amounts either way depending on how you fill out your info. Hope I'm correct on this.


  • sidd_d wrote:

    Hi,

     

    I am writing a textbook, and have a few questions on the mechanics. I'm sure these questions have been asked before on the forum, but I couldnt find it readlly so taking the liberty of posting. 

     

    I'm not a lawyer, and these opinions are just my thoughts, as two people chatting on a forum.

     

    Is it fine just to come up with a name for my own publishing company, or do I need to register that name as a trademark, etc? Any legal, etc. paperwork necessary, or can i just dream up a name that no one else seems to be using?

     

    For practical purposes, as a hobbyist, or because you intend to only distribute these to your students, who in theory are buying or receivng them through you -- you can, practically speaking, simply make up a name. Registering the Trademark would be a good idea if you expect to need to defend your trademark. But if you're essentially never selling them to the public, then a trademark would be moot.

     

    A key thing about trademarks: If you're trading under a certain name, then you have, to some degree, a trademark already. Another key thing: For trademark violation to be actionable, it is my understanding that there must be some reasonable belief that someone might mistake your product for theirs, or vice versa.

     

    Now, if the address you're publishing from is within a city's limits, you might need to obtain a business permit from that city. Obtaining a business permit is usually a process of filing a fictitious business name statement ("Joe Smith is doing business as Joe's Bakery"), advertising the fictitious business name in a local paper, and paying a fee to the city.

     

    I know of folks who have more than one address, and who have located businesses at the address outside the city limits, to avoid a business license.

     

    So, in short: Let your conscience be your guide.

     

    ISBN - Is there any drawback in using the free ISBN from Lulu? If I want to have my own publishing company, does it affect me if I use Lulu's ISBN? Since Lulu would be getting ISBNs in bulk, wouldn't the ISBN I use from Lulu identify Luly as the publisher?

     

    Short answer: Yes.

     

    1. If you use a Lulu ISBN, then they are required to withhold 28% of your earnings as tax. You can then reclaim this 28% on your tax return, depending on other factors (did I mention that I'm not a lawyer?).

     

    2. If you use a Lulu ISBN, you are the publisher in fact, but Lulu.com will be listed as the publisher in Ingram's Catalog and Bowker's Books in Print, etc. -- this can affect your "publishing company" as it may cause a bit of confusion as to how folks should obtain these books.

     

    Another very important thing about ISBNs: The price each drops EXTREMELY sharply in bulk.

     

     . 1 ISBN = $125 = $125 / ISBN

     10 ISBNs = $295 = $30 / ISBN

    100 ISBNs = $575 = $6 / ISBN

     

    Which means that you should buy as many ISBNs as you can afford, if you intend to do this long term -- i.e., as a "Publishing Company." Think ahead and save money.

     

    I know how to register the copyright. Anything else I need to worry about?

     

    Buy a really good graphics design program, and learn how to use it. Or, make connections with a large number of local artists and arrange deals with them.

     

    Designing your own cover is a long and painstaking process. The cover designer in the Wizard is not going to give you a cover with which you will be satisfied. Having an artist to work with, or at least being good with a graphics program, will make life much much easier.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Sid

     

     


    I hope those comments are helpful.

  • Oh. one other note: If you're Canadian, you get ISBN's for free.

     

    (It's almost as if the Canadian Government wishes to encourage and promote Canadian arts and businesses. Imagine that.)

  • Thank you! These comments help. Based on this discussion, I will buy my own ISBNs, as I do not want taxes withheld. 

     

    I care about having a publishing "brand" because I expect some professor colleagues to use my textbook once I make it widely available next year. This fall is a practice run, and getting feedback from a captive audience. The book still has gaps. So maybe I need a trademark. The book is not my sole livelihood, but its not just a hobby; I want to be at least quasi-commercial about ut.

     

    I have only one address in a big city, so I dont really have a choice. If I need a business license (I dont expect the business to make money first few years), I'll check. 

     

    Can I resell/ give away ISBNs to others, if I don't need it? I guess the answer is no. I need to build a huge publishing company to use 100 ISBNs. I can see myself using 10 in the next few years because of editions, etc, but not 100. 

     

    To summarise, I need to consider trademark (think of a name first), look into business permit, buy ISBNs, apply for copyright with manuscript, think about cover design (something simple using Photoshop should suffice for the moment).  Anything else I need to do on the operations aspect (except write/ format the book, upload to lulu, order copies, etc.)? 

  • Even if you never use 100, the payoff point is around 20, so buying 100 works out well if you can afford it. You can assign an ISBN to any work that you choose, though it's best to keep them within your control to some degree.

     

    When you buy them, you will be asked for an "Imprint Name." Anyone assigning an ISBN to a project needs the number (they are not consecutive, so someone can't readily guess them) and the Imprint to which it is assigned. The imprint name will show up as the publisher if the ISBN is used on Kindle or Createspace.

     

    So, in short, if you have colleagues who are challenged financially, you could give them ISBNs, but you will show as the publisher in Bowkers or Ingrams.

  • This being a test run, marketing is moot. You're primarily going to be aiming these at a captive audience. Hopefully, you won't write a $500 textbook...

     

    But if this were not a test run, marketing marketing marketing is important important important. See any of the many many threads on marketing.

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    sidd_d a écrit :

    I will buy my own ISBNs, as I do not want taxes withheld. 

     


    Won't you have to pay taxes as a publisher? Won't these taxes be the same as those on Lulu's authors with Lulu's ISBNs?

  • Potet


    potetjp wrote:

    sidd_d a écrit :

    I will buy my own ISBNs, as I do not want taxes withheld. 

     


    Won't you have to pay taxes as a publisher? Won't these taxes be the same as those on Lulu's authors with Lulu's ISBNs?



    Maybe. But I expect this business to have expenses too, which I can set off. If Lulu deducts, I can claim a tax refund instead... so somewhat similar, but I'd rather do it at my end. Thanks!

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    sidd_d a écrit :

     

    I expect this business to have expenses too, which I can set off. If Lulu deducts, I can claim a tax refund instead... so somewhat similar, but I'd rather do it at my end. Thanks!
    ____________________________
    Keep us inform in a year's time when your company is in full operation, and you have to make your declaration of income.

     

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