WHAT’S IN A NAME?
First and foremost, your imprint needs a name. It is a reflection of you. Either who you are or how you want to be portrayed. Like most people who got into the independent publishing business for various reasons, I had to choose a name for my imprint as well. I wanted the name to be a reflection of my personality. Although I have lived most of my life in Florida, I always had a yearning for the Rocky Mountains. Fortunately for me, so does my wife. We are outdoors people and love to hike. My wife is actually the one who suggested the name and when I heard it, I knew she was right…again. So my original company name was Switchback Publishing. Switchback Publishing published my first two books The Savannah Project & The Toymaker. I decided I wanted to make a slight change of direction so I created a new company with a similar name…Switchback Press. In 2013, Switchback Press published Breach of Power, and this book Publishing Unchained. My long-range plan for Switchback Press is to offer other authors an avenue to do what this book is all about, become their own independent publisher. It will also offer authors a self-publishing option under the Switchback Press imprint.
So now it’s your turn. If this is the direction you decide to take, then reach deep into your psyche and find a name that fits you and where you want your company to go. It can be as simple as your street name or something, like mine, which reflects a deeper personal meaning.
Now do a little more homework. Do a thorough Internet search and make sure your name isn’t taken. You might be the biggest penguin fan in the world, but don’t try to name your imprint Penguin. I’m sure that big company in New York won’t appreciate it and I’m quite certain you’d hear from them in short order. There are plenty of good names to choose from so find something unique that fits your tastes.
Once you have an imprint name, decide on a logo. Again, make it appropriate to your imprint name. Your logo will appear on the title page and on the spine of your book. This logo is what the public will associate with your company. Be creative and do it right. You need something on the spine even if it’s just the words. To give you an idea, here is my logo for the spine, inside the jacket, and the title page.
The next logo is the one I use on my website and letterhead.
Now it’s your turn. Time to think of a good logo. Make it professional and a reflection of you. If you get stuck, seek some help from friends, relatives, and coworkers. Bounce ideas back and forth. If you are still having trouble, I recommend you find a graphics designer to help you. Good designers are a plethora of knowledge and creative ideas. Just remember to keep it original.