Are you starting a small press or are you a small press with revenue under $500,000 USD? If so, here are five software tools that will help you succeed in publishing.
First, you need software to track your sales and expenses. For this we recommend QuickBooks. Why?
- QuickBooks has a 95%+ marketing share.
- Most CPA’s know QuickBooks.
- Books and training classes on how to use QuickBooks are readily available.
- You can easily process credit card book sales at conferences using your smart phone and QuickBook’s credit card add-on.
- QuickBooks is available in standalone and online versions.
2. Microsoft Office with Word, Excel and Outlook
Second, you need Microsoft Office. Some say that the Open Office or Google Docs will meet your needs; however, it’s not quite so simple.
- First, Microsoft Office has a 95%+ market share. Most authors and vendors that you work with will send you Microsoft word and Excel files. EBook conversion services will ask for files in Microsoft format.
- Second, you can easily find a wide assortment of books and training classes on using the Microsoft Office products.
- Outlook allows you to store your contacts and your emails on your PC. If you are using cloud based email and your cloud server goes down, you can’t access your email history. With Outlook you can have your emails in two places; on the cloud and on your local PC.
3. Title Information Database (ONIX)
If you want to sell books, your vendors have to know about them. Not only do they need to know the title, the author and price, they also need to know its description, reviews, table of contents and any additional information that you can provide. With a title information database; such as OnixEdit ONIX Software, you can store this information in one location and transmit it to your online retailers (such as Amazon and Barnes & Nobles) and wholesalers (such as Ingram and Baker & Taylor). You can use this stored information to create title sell sheets, catalogs and on-line webpages.
4. Royalty Software
If your press has fewer than 20 titles and simple royalty rules; a simple percentage of net sales, you can easily generate royalty statements in Excel or Word. You don’t need royalty software.
Once you have 30, 50, 100 or 400+ titles you will need royalty software. Royalty software calculates royalties and generates statements. It will save you time and prevent royalty overpayments and underpayments. Currently, we recommend that small presses look at royalty software from Easy Royalties.
You can start with a 50 title license and upgrade later to a 100, 200, 400, 600+ titles. Easy Royalties us is used by ebook publishers, romance book publishers, religious publishers, STM publishers, university presses, trade publishers, art museums, toy manufacturers and book distributors. Their clients includes startups and established publishers with sales of $50M+.
5. Online Backup Software
Hard drives fail. In year one about 3% of all hard drives will fail. By year three the failure rate increases to 6%. It is possible to get hard drive recovery, but to protect your information against loss of data we recommend that you use an online backup service (or two) to protect your data. The online services that we recommend to small presses are;
- SOS Backup
If your finances permit we also recommend the fire and water proof ioSafe USB external hard drive for local backups.