Is Publishing Your Book a Business Venture?

I’m constantly preaching to writers that they must wear not only a writer’s hat but a businessperson’s hat. So, I was happy to read the following post by my guest blogger, Sue Collier, a publishing consultant and head of Self-Publishing Resources and co-author of the newly released The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th Edition. She clearly shows that writing and publishing a book should be viewed as a business venture–at least if you want your book to achieve success.

Is Publishing Your Book a Business Venture?
By Sue Collier

A traditional publisher looks upon any new book as an investment of its resources because making a profit is the desired end result. Book publishers are interested in books that fit their specialty, fit a market niche, and will sell well enough to make money.

Self-publishers who want to make money need to approach their venture in the same way. So set aside your subjective evaluation of your work and look at your book from a publisher’s perspective.

Ask yourself the following questions before you publish:

  • Do you have a compelling title?
  • Is the projected length appropriate for your genre?
  • How many illustrations will you have? Who will create these?
  • What is the projected completion date?
  • What are the leading competing books (author, title, year of publication)?
  • How does your book compare to the competition? How does it differ? What makes it stand out?
  • Name three benefits for readers of your book.
  • Who is your audience? How will you reach them?
  • How will you price your book? Is it appropriate for the genre?
  • How many books must you sell to break even? To make a profit?

Ultimately, authors must also decide upon their goal for the book. Is it to make money off book sales? Is it to establish “expert” status in your field? Is it to serve as a platform on which to base a consulting career? Your reason for publishing should be an important consideration in deciding on how many resources you intend to invest in the project.

About the Author

Sue Collier is a publishing consultant and head of Self-Publishing Resources, a book writing, production, and marketing firm that assists authors in all aspects of the book publishing process. She is also co-author with industry guru Marilyn Ross of the newly released The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th Edition and the upcoming Jump Start Your Book Sales, 2nd Edition. Sue blogs about the publishing industry at


  1. I learned this stuff the hard way…made all the mistakes without any help. This piece should prove helpful to those fortunte enough to read it before they plublish! Thanks for that…


Speak Your Mind


Skip to toolbar