For the love of the written word

Challenges in Setting Up An Online Publishing Business

It has been a few months since my last blog.  How time truly flies!  And time is definitely a luxury I do not have, especially since I decided to start my own e-publishing business.  Evenings are now spent in timeless editing, formatting, and checking out new ideas  –  all these excluding ocassionally doing my son’s homework, projects, and family time.  Imagine balancing the daily 9-6 grind with my personal business. I had to give out finishing the last subject of my MBA degree to make way for other projects I have lined up in the next couple of months.

Not that I really complain.  Setting up a publishing business has always been a dream for me, besides becoming a swimmer, writer and a lawyer.  Swimmer I’ve already become, finishing law (though still underbar) was a feat, and writing well… it took a backseat until much later.

Deciding to finally do publishing was a big leap.  After much consultation and debate, I went on with it.  Thankfully, hubby gave his support.  So we started thinking of a name that would describe the business we are in, and BUKLATIN came to mind.  For foreigners, “buklatin” is a Filipino term meaning “to open”, as in a book.  You open a book, or “buklatin ang libro”.

When you open a book, you open yourself in a world of ideas, whether it’s fantasy or fiction.  And this is what we want to do with the business  –  open everybody to a world of ideas.  So we decided this name is it and change the spelling to BOOKLATIN PHILIPPINES.

But this is not just to open ideas.  BOOKLATIN aims to open readers to new and aspiring authors.  We want to give newbies a chance to showcase their writing talents before they go mainstream.  I have met a lot of good authors who would love to give a shot at having their works publlished but never had a chance to do so.

In this kind of business, you need to have really good partners.  One is having a really good and supportive WEB DESIGNER.  In my personal experience, this I admit is one where I really had the most challenge and disappointment.  With limited funds, I thought I found a web designer who will do  the job promptly and eagerly.  It started out fine, but cracks started to open up.  My web is still a work in progress even after constant follow ups and visits.  Good thing I already started BOOKLATIN with a Facebook account.  It would never have gotten on the Internet without it.  Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Word Press are very important tools which are my anchors to launching the site.

Next thing to work on is looking for WRITERS and an ARTIST to work on the cover designs.  Actually, this is the most fun part, because I get to meet people and not just be holed up in a room.   It becomes time consuming when the manuscripts start coming and I need to read everything.

You need to get a realiable PAYMENT FACILITY that will receive your payments as orders start rolling in.  There are a lot of them in the Internet which you can choose from.  Select the best that will suit your needs.

Finally, you need to have a BOOKKEEPER and ACCOUNTANT to keep tabs on expenses and prepare the financial statements.  Unless you’re a one-man team, you can’t manage a business on your own without these babies.

That being said, publishing is all hard work and time consuming as in any kind of business.  But it is a business of my choice because I love the written word, and there is no other way I want to do this.



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