What is a book imprint? How is a book publishing imprint name used?
A book publishing imprint is the name used as the publisher of a book. This name is:
- Displayed to the public wherever you sell your book (such as on Amazon and other online stores).
- Recorded in book industry databases used by retailers, book wholesalers, and book distributors.
- Listed on your book’s copyright page, and often included in your book’s sales and promotional materials.
- It's the name assigned to your ISBN (and definitely not the free ISBN available from Amazon KDP).
It can be an invented name or the name of one’s existing business, or some variation. New publishers can use their author name, but we think it is preferable to create a distinction between the author name and the publisher for public relations and brand-building reasons. You do not need to establish a formal entity.
In the last ten years, books that use an ISBN registered by small publishing imprints (Bowker calls them Small Publishers) increased 205%–from 14,952 in 2008 to 45,649 in 2017.
Directory of free resources
Learn more about publishing imprints:
- How to Research a Name for Your Self-Publishing Imprint
- How much does it cost to create a self-publishing imprint?
- Create a Self-Publishing Imprint Logo Design-Resources and 18 Examples
- Bowker Self-Publishing Report Analysis-5 Surprising Findings for 2019
How to create a self-publishing book imprint
The most important thing to know is that you must own and control the ISBN. This means you cannot use free ISBNs (from Amazon or others). As noted above, you do not need to establish a formal company to do this.
For complete details and do-it-yourself instructions, get My Publishing Imprint. Available here on Amazon in print, Kindle and audiobook. Or visit this page for more details including how to buy from other retailers.
AuthorImprints specializes in helping authors establish their publishing imprint before publishing their book. Here are just a few of our clients with publishing imprints.