On starting a publishing business.

I dragged out the books on publishing that I bought 10 years ago when we first started dreaming about starting a publishing venture. My how times have changed. The books actually talked about faxing press releases to news outlets! That is so 20th century.

Of course bootstrapping any business means that you have to: 

  1. partner with people you trust and respect who have the same passions
  2. develop your business model and create your business plan
  3. work with legal/cpa professionals to set the business up right to begin with
  4. develop your brand — your name, your logo and your “look” to position yourself amidst the competition

And now, in addition to all those things, you need to:

  1. know–or hire someone who does know–how to design and create an interactive website
  2. know–or learn in a hurry–all about social media
    1. create a blog (hello!)
    2. create a Facebook page
    3. create a twitter account (well, at least one of us has a twitter account!)
  3. keep up-to-date on all the changes in your rapidly changing industry (wow…that’s a tough one in publishing these days)
  4. attract investors
  5. sign authors
  6. and, voila!, publish and, hopefully, prosper.

Obviously, this is the abbreviated to-do list for how to start a publishing company. So, first things first. We’ll be meeting with our CPA later in the week to iron out the business of the business and so today, I concentrated on the website. I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on the home page and I’ll be working on the other pages the rest of the week. We’re not spending gazillions of dollars on a flashy site (I used to work at a creative firm and it was easy to bill out $10,000 for a pretty standard interactive site). Instead we want something that looks good, that reflects our brand, and that helps us connect with writers and readers in the greater Saint Louis area. Instead of putting our money into flash, we want to put it behind our authors.

Anyway, hopefully we’ll be able to launch our full site by next Monday. Just in time for our “roll-out” cocktail hour.

Mmmm. I’m looking forward to popping the cork on a nice bottle of vino now…

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