Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Do You Name Your 'Publishing House'?

Two considerations: Someone in a discussion group asked how to name her "publishing house, given that she was self-publishing. Here's how I answered:

Usually, I advise authors to invent a name for their publishing house, less to mask the fact that the book is being self-published (it's not the stigma it used to be) than to give the impression that the book is not a hobby but a business, which it ought to be, after all. Occasionally, authors are so well known that they are better off naming the publishing house after themselves (e.g. Joe Blow Enterprises), but this is an exception. Here are two considerations for coming up with what is sometimes called a fictitious name, a trade name, or a book imprint.

First, don't use "books" in your publishing name unless you want to restrict yourself to publishing books. I coach people to think of themselves as a "brand" that communicates content via various media, not just books.

Second, consider the degree to which you want this name to define your content. You can go either way with this, depending on your objective. For example, "Health Communications" suggests a certain subject matter. On the other hand, "JCR Publishing" offers much more wiggle room.

The Publishing Pro

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