This is actually “Part 3” of the CreateSpace thread, but the title was too long and this topic is more about the back office activities I did this week.
I often classify days as either a “Two-steps-forward”, or “One-step-back” kind of day. Today was one of those great “two step forward” days. I got so much done it was ridiculous.
It started off with me filling out the CreateSpace publishing form and wrestling with the decision to buy an ISBN or not. Just for reference, an ISBN is an International Standard Book Number, or in layman’s terms, a way to numerically classify books. For the most part, you don’t need to buy an ISBN, especially if you are publishing exclusively through Amazon. As a matter of fact, they kind of go out of their way to discourage you to not buy one.
… So I bought a block of ISBNs.
Why? Well, for one, I plan on publishing across multiple distribution platforms. And two, I get nervous when any company tells me something is not necessary. You see, by using the ISBN Amazon provides, Amazon becomes the Publisher of Record. Is this important? Some of the top Indie publishers disagree on this very point. And if you’re interested in this subject, do a quick Google search. There’s plenty to read on the matter. And right now, having Amazon as the Publisher of Record isn’t an issue. But if one thing is consistent in business, things change, and before you know it, they will, and all of a sudden what seemed trivial is now important.
But… in order to have an ISBN you need to list a Publisher of Record. You can go two routes here. List under your name as the author, or as a business. It seems like common sense that if you’re an Indie, it gives you a little more credibility if you publish under a business name. Now I won’t get into the pluses and minuses of which type of business to start. There are a billion resources on that. For me, the best option was a S-Corp.
But… in order to have a business, you need a name. Now this took me the longest part of the day. The first four thousand names were taken, so I finally looked at a map of Colorado for inspiration. Outside of Ft. Collins, there’s a mountain named, Thunder Mountain, which sounds cool. So I searched for Thunder Mountain Books, and hallelujah, it was available.
Some paperwork later, and I am an official C-Corp (You need to apply for S-Corp status after you organize as a C-Corp)
But… that’s not all. I was on a bureaucratic roll, why stop now. So I applied for a copyright. Now this isn’t really necessary. Just writing the book in the first place protects your work, but I like the little extra protection having an official copyright gives me. And in case your wondering, sending yourself the document in the mail doesn’t really add any level of protection, so save yourself the postage, and spend $35 on an official copyright.
So, all and all not a bad days work.