Saturday, June 14, 2014

Naming a Press; Becoming a Business

If you self-publish, you need a name for your press. Kind of obvious, right? But what you don’t realize is that like most naming decisions (excluding children, perhaps), the need for the name happens suddenly.

It’s not like you weren’t aware you’d need it. It’s not like you hadn’t been thinking about it. Well, perhaps not concretely, but abstractly, like, I’ll need a name as the publisher. And I need more yogurt and a nice pen and a new car lease.

For me, the moment of decision happened like this. I was working through my Kickstarter layout. I’d drafted the basics, the rewards, the story. And then suddenly I was at the account portion. Account? Oh, sure, yeah, they’ll have to have a way to funnel the money to me that all my friends, and even people I don’t know, are spending to sponsor my novel publication.

I fill out all the easy stuff—name, address, etc. Then there’s a section for the business name, address, etc. I skip that and continue down the page. I hit "save" and a long list of red sentences pop up across half the screen. Turns out even though I don’t own a business, currently have no business license, was using Kickstarter because business makes me uncomfortable, even though all of that is true, I must fill out the business section of the form. And there it was, I had to have a business, to own one, to be an entrepreneur. 

See how I can’t even decide on business language, let alone make the decisions. No business, no account. No account, no Kickstarter. It had to be done.

I sat there befuddled. Then it hit me. I’d needed a press name when I created my letterpress triangle book. I wasn’t sure what I’d chosen. I’d done it when I was laying out the lead and needed to put in a press name, much as I did now. But the point was, I’d done it then and could reuse it now. Thus, DRS Press, was solidified. 
logo designed by rayane sholy
It was born at Penland in North Carolina. But it became my Press Name, my business name, the day I drafted my Kickstarter. That meant that when I filled out a business license, ordered checks, contracted with a printer—I knew who I was. Or is that what I was? Is that why business makes me uncomfortable? Does it turn me from a person to an entity? A thing? A what rather than a who?

Let’s hope not and move on.

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