Book publishing is a lot of work. If you are doing it all yourself, it is more work than what
you could imagine. What makes matters worse is it’s hard to find a helpful document that
outlines it all for you. This means you spend an enormous amount of time doing research.
I’m starting a little series called, “Children’s Book Publishing 101,” which I hope helps you
on your journey. Of course, these steps apply not only to publishing a children’s book
but publishing any book.
Here are the first three things you should start with as you get your children’s book ready to publish.
- Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).This is a free number from the IRS. You want to use this number on all your official documents
as it keeps your social security number from being passed out. You will need this number often.
It’s used for distribution, printing as well as setting up your Kindle book to sell. You will find online
sites that tell you that they will make the process simple, yadda, yadda, yadda. Don’t fall for it.
Go straight to the government website. This isn’t a hard step.
You can find the government website with the online application here:
If you want to see what the form looks like before you start filling it out, go here:
- Find out if your state requires you to have a business license as an author. You might be writing
“only at home,” but you will be making a profit (you hope), which means you must file with your
city as a business. I gotta tell you, for myself, this was a big step, and it cost a couple of hundred
dollars. It not only required paperwork, but all my neighbors were informed that I had a business
at home. The city also put up a hideous looking sign in my yard, and on my front door, for a
couple of weeks before a public city meeting was conducted. This meeting deals with all the issues
of the city, and you’re part of the agenda, so it’s not a meeting specifically all about you. At the
meeting, neighbors have the right to say they don’t want a business beside them. Thankfully, all
went smoothly, and the officials thanked me for “doing things legally.”
This step takes time, so don’t think it’s accomplished in a week. For me, all letters needed to be sent
out by registered mail because I needed proof that I mailed all the impacted neighbors. If your property
line bordered my property line “it was impacted.” Because I lived at the end of my cul-de-sac, I had to
notify more than the average amount of neighbors.
To acquire all the neighbor’s addresses, as it must go to the homeowner, not rentals, requires a trip
to the city development office.
Your city might require something different, or not require anything at all. To be honest, I probably
would have given up here, but my husband pulled me along for this step. I felt overwhelmed. Of
course, now that it’s over, it doesn’t seem so bad. I’m glad I did it the right way. I never have to
worry about having legal trouble down the road.
This step works hand in hand with number one. If you’re like me and find you have a lot of things
to do for this step, enlist a friend to work with you. It helps to have someone push you along.
Do these steps before you proceed to the next phase. One little step forward makes progress.
It’s when you don’t move that you don’t accomplish anything.
If you would like to see my first book, you can find it here: