But, as I struggled to decide whether Kubus Books sounded better than DK Press, I realised the whole process was making me uncomfortable. If I was self publishing from choice, why was I trying to hide that from my readers? The more I thought about it, the more sensible it seemed to publish under my own name.
But there was still all that advice. So I looked at it hard and discovered it was based on four assumptions.
You need a fancy name for your business
No I don’t. I’ve been registered with the Inland Revenue as a sole trader since I sold my first book in 1989 and my business name is the same as my real name – ‘Diana Kimpton’. Adding a second name for the publishing side of my business seems an unnecessary complication.
You need a publishing name to buy ISBNs
That’s true, but there’s no reason why that publishing name can’t be ‘Diana Kimpton’.
Readers will take your books more seriously if you invent a publishing name
No, they won’t. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been asking friends to name the publisher of the book they’ve just said they enjoyed. Hardly any of them could do it. That’s because every reader’s main concern is whether the book is good or not. They may care about the cover. They may even care about the author, but they don’t care about the publisher. And even if they did, would they really be fooled by a made-up imprint that a quick, online check will reveal only publishes one person?
Reviewers will take your books more seriously if you invent a publishing name
No, they won’t! Believe me! I reviewed books regularly for ten years, and I could always spot a bad, self-published book. The poorly designed cover was usually the first giveaway, closely followed by the actual writing. The fact that the book was supposedly published by I-Invented-the-Name Press did nothing to overcome those two major handicaps. Conversely, if the cover and the layout were professional and the text was good, I didn’t mind at all if the author was named as the publisher. I might even mentally congratulate them on a job well done.
We live in interesting times, and the world of books is changing fast. Self publishing is rapidly losing its reputation for bad quality and reclaiming the respectable place it held in the early days of printing. So let’s be open about what we are doing and stop hiding behind invented imprints.
From now on, I’m going to name myself as the publisher on all my self published books. Unless one of you can persuade me differently.
Before I ventured into self-publishing, I had more than 40 books published the traditional way, including The Pony-Mad Princess series and Doctor Hoof. My first Kindle ebook for children is Perfectly Pony. You can find out about my other books on my website.