If you’re self publishing a novel or non-fiction book, you may get stuck on what to list as your publisher or imprint. Although this issue is largely avoided if you go the ebook-only route, when you’re preparing your full book cover for print with Lulu or Createspace, that little space on the bottom of your book spine, which usually features the publisher’s logo, may seem loudly empty. If you don’t want your book to look obviously self-published, you need to put something here. But what?
The truth is, it doesn’t really matter. Make up a company/publishing name, and a simple logo. You don’t really need to register it, or make up a fake publisher’s website, or anything like that. It’s just a quick cosmetic fix that makes your product look more professional. After you’ve picked a name, you can use that rather than ‘createspace’ or ‘lulu’ as the publishing imprint (you may need to pay a little extra to have this option; you should also try to get your ISBN listed with this information.)
How to make a publishing imprint logo
One of my clients sent me this photo and asked if it might work to make a logo.
It took me about a minute to turn it into this:
Which I could then add into the print cover:
I don’t really like the white square on black; so I’ll probably invert the logo and make the text bolder:
It’s a small step; not necessarily the most important, but worth doing if you’re trying to do things right. If you need a logo design or publishing imprint made, contact me for details.
Why would an author not need to register his or her imprint? If the imprint isn’t registered, anyone else could then use the name. And legally, if you are operating a business under any name other than your own name, it needs to be a registered entity.
Thanks for your comment – agreed, and from a business perspective, it’s probably a good idea. However, I think most indie authors won’t register an imprint, nor check to see whether the same imprint name is being used (many don’t even check to see if their book title is free). If someone who registered the imprint wanted to sue the one that didn’t, they would win and the other would have to stop using it. However for indie authors, I think this situation is highly unlikely to arise. I also think most indie authors aren’t operating their writing as a business (with tax breaks, etc) but as part of their personal income/hobby. The imprint I’m suggesting is basically cosmetic, because it helps the book look professional – I’m aware that from a professional book industry viewpoint, this is bad advice. But indies are becoming successful outside of the standard book industry, often by following bad advice and not playing the standard rules and game of publishing. I’m a pirate at heart. I want to claim my gold and I don’t care if the ship goes down. So readers beware: You might not want to listen to anything I’m saying.