Tips for Naming Your Author-Publisher Business and Your Publishing Imprint

If you’re an author that’s opening your own author-publisher business, you need a business name and a publishing house name. These can be the same as your publisher imprint, if you’d like. As a business owner, it’s important to open a business bank account to simplify your taxes and accounting. Once you have a business bank account, you can purchase your ISBNs and all your publishing expenses using that account. Here are the basic steps for name your business and publishing imprints:

  1. Choose your name(s).
  2. Make sure you’re not infringing on someone else’s trademark.
  3. Use the name to create a business (it’s recommended to do a sole-proprietorship LLC).
  4. Name your publishing “house” the same.
  5. Consider different imprints if you have more than one brand.

What you’ll learn in this post

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • What’s in a publisher name
  • How to choose a name for your brand
  • How ISBNs track your book
  • How to make your book business a business and not a hobby

But first, what’s in a publisher name?

Your business name, publisher name, and imprint name can all be the same. If you want your publisher/imprint name to be “Paisley Press” then you’ll need to set up an LLC named Paisley Press, LLC. You’ll purchase ISBNs under that name, and copyright your book under that name, too.

So, your business name (LLC), your brand, your publisher name, and your imprint name may all be the same.

…or they could be different.

For example. The name of my business is Misadventures Media, LLC. I purchase ISBNs and copyright my books under that LLC. But because I write on two very different topics, I have two imprints under my business/publisher name: Motorcycle Misadventures and Destination Published. Like my own name, Carla King, these are brands.

If I were starting out today, I’d probably use this strategy, instead:

These are my current names and brands:

  • Business: Misadventures Media, LLC
  • Brand/Imprint: Misadventures Media
  • Brand/Imprint: Destination Published
  • Brand/Imprint: Motorcycle Misadventures
  • Website:
  • Website:

If I had a do-over, I might do this instead:

  • Business: Carla King Media, LLC
  • Brand/Imprint: Carla King Media
  • Brand/Imprint: Destination Published
  • Brand/Imprint: Motorcycle Misadventures
  • Website:
  • Website:

Have your fans given you a nickname?

Sometimes you’ve got to go with the flow regarding branding. People regularly call me the Queen of Self-Publishing (Carla “King”-right?) and early on in my adventure writing career I was nicknamed “Miss Adventuring”, so I am @missadventuring everywhere. So, if your fans do that for you… awesome! That’s how you connect.


  1. Choose a name(s)
  2. Make sure you’re not infringing on someone’s copyright or trademark.
  3. Set up an LLC (sole proprietorship) and file a DBA, etc. There are companies who can do this for you pretty cheaply.
  4. Get a business banking account and debit/credit cards.
  5. Register your copyright. (See a sample copyright page here.) Get your resale certificate. Create a business plan and a sales strategy. Pay your taxes. Do all the things!

For a thorough, but simple, checklist on all the tasks needed to start your publisher business, check out this blog post.

A Note About Your Publisher Business and ISBNs

When you publish using your own ISBNs purchased with your own publisher (imprint) name, you’ll only need to use ISBN per book format. That way, you can print and distribute that book wherever you like. Otherwise, you’ll need to use a different ISBNs for the same book when it’s published (printed or distributed) with another company. See my blog post here for more information on ISBNs.

8 Reasons It’s Imperative for Authors to Own Their ISBNs by Carla King

For example, if you use Amazon KDP to publish your paperback, your paperback is listed with an Amazon ISBN. If you add IngramSpark print distribution, then the same book is listed with Ingram’s ISBN. The ebook may have an Amazon KDP (Kindle) ISBN, a Smashwords ISBN, an Ingram ISBN, a D2D ISBN, and so on. All this can make sales tracking very complicated. So, simplify. Know what you’re selling, where, and for how much. Track your business. Get serious.

Make Your Book Business a Business and Not a Hobby

Creating a business takes you out of the hobby realm. Get serious. Write off expenses. Join professional organizations. Create a writing and publishing mastermind group. Write more books. Test early drafts with your readers. Create a giveaway to grow your email list. Use preorders. All this can be a whirlwind of fun and truly rewarding.

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Do You Want to Dive Deeper into How to Set Up Your Publishing Business?

We have a course created for just that! It’s our Book Publishing Master Course. Go here to learn more and register.

Book Publishing Master Course with Carla King