This is an interesting idea. I confess I’ve never thought about forming my own publishing company to put out my books. Several people point out that doing this makes taxes easier, but I’m not sure I see how. I’ve had businesses, incorporated and non, and the taxes don’t get easier either way.
I consider my writing a business, although if I really think about it, it’s the act of publishing and selling a book that brings in the money. I could write every day forever, and it wouldn’t make a whit of difference regarding the tax man. It’s the moment I sell a book that he gets interested.
So in that sense, publishing is the business. Writing is just one of tasks to be done. Which is food for thought.
As far as the fraudulent aspect of it, I’m not convinced either way. A self-published author with his own imprint, can certainly act in ways that deceive the public. “So-and-so publishing company has just bought my book! They’ll be publishing it next year!” This kind of thing looks like a snow job to me. But if you say, “I’ll be publishing my book under my imprint, so-and-so publishing,” that’s a lot more clear about what’s going on.
In the end, I don’t think many readers give a whit about the publishing company. I know I never did, until I started down the querying path. A book was a book. It was either a book that I would like, or it wasn’t. Who published it never came into the decision.
Ah, but you know, that has changed recently, and it doesn’t have anything to do with my reading habits. It’s changed, because like a lot of you, I’ve been burned by buying a badly written, error-filled novel with a laughable plot. I’ve been burned more than once. So now, when browsing for books, the first thing I do is check to see if the book is self-published. If it is, or if I don’t recognize the publishing company, I read the first few pages of the book. I do that anyway, to see if the story sounds like it will live up to the cover blurb. But now I’m also looking for quality, which is not something I worried about before self-publishing became so easy.
But here’s where the publisher still makes no difference: if the book is good, and it’s one I’ll probably like, I buy it. I enjoy it. I don’t care who published it.
What about all you other self-publishers? What’s your opinion? Have you formed your own company, or do you think you will? What are your reasons? What about incorporating?