The Reluctant Self-Publisher: Part 2 -- Announcing Radiator Press

Hmmm, let’s see. There’s Simon and Schuster. Knopf is great, of course. Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, HarperCollins, Penguin and Random House, or is it Random Penguin now? Is Norton still around? I wouldn’t turn down FSG . . .


I’m going to go with Radiator Press!

It’s not cool, it’s hot!

Of course I AM Radiator Press. I’m my own imprint.

Is that against the law?

I couldn’t get a publisher so I became one.

Why, you might well ask.

For starters it’s easy and free, at least the way I did it. I did a trademark search via the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office web site to see if anyone else had already registered the name Radiator in connection with anything related to publishing. Then I did a Google search to see if anyone else might be using the name. Nada and Voila! Radiator Press was born. There’s more you can do to cover yourself, things that cost money, but this was enough for me. I’m no expert, and this is not legal advice, so you might want to check with a lawyer.

I also like the idea of having my own publishing business, of which I’m the sole proprietor. I intend to use Radiator to publish not only The Answer to Your Question, but also my next novel, the so-called Willie Earle novel, stuck in the mud at the moment because of the incredible amount of time this self-publishing venture is sucking up. I thought it made sense for me to buy ten ISBN numbers from Bowker for $250, rather than one for $125, so that I have extras if I need them now and in the future. Though Createspace, which I plan to use as my Print on Demand printer (more on this later), provides ISBNs free, those ISBNs can only be used with the Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, and I want to have control of as much of my publishing enterprise as I can. I know self-published books don’t get reviewed very many places, so by creating a publisher, I might increase my chances for reviews. But I doubt it!

How, you might also ask, did I come up with such an inspired name for my press?

Sitting on a radiator. I do that a lot in Minnesota.

I hired Rebecca Swift to design a logo. I sent her some pictures of plain old radiators, and you can see what she came up with at the top.

I love it. Total cost so far: $100.00.

Next up next Wednesday, the scintillating post: “The Quest for a Cover or Why I’m Not in Graphic Design.” With illustrations!

STAY TUNED! Coming soon to an Amazon near you: THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION, a novel by Paulette Alden, published by Radiator Press.

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  • Pamela Olson

    When I first self-published, I used CreateSpace (and their ISBNs -- since you own the rights, you can always publish under other ISBNs elsewhere if you want), and I named my publishing company "Mason Hill Press," Mason after my youngest nephew and "Hill" after the hills of Palestine (which was the subject of my first book) and Oklahoma (where I'm from). I created the logo out of a design on a discontinued ceramic tile.

    Those were heady times! :)

  • Suzy Turner

    I've often wondered about doing this but was never really sure about it so I ended up just using my real name Suzanne Turner Publishing (totally lame, I know!). But I think when my next book comes out, I'll have to be a bit more inventive!! Well done, Paulette and good luck with your books!

  • Joanne Tombrakos

    Love the name of your imprint!! Wishing you the best. I've self-published, twice so far The Secrets They Kept and It Takes An Egg Timer, A Guide to Creating The Time For Your Life  with more on the way and have never looked back. My only regret is I didn't do it sooner. 

  • Deborah Jiang Stein

    Hi Paulette, I shared your link on my FB page for people to follow your journey. Interesting to see, and wishing you all the best.  Deborah

  • Paulette Bates Alden

    What a thoughtful comment, Elaine.  It's so true in my case too that the book wouldn't have come to fruition without the help of others in various forms - especially people who read it in drafts and made helpful comments, but also Team ANSWER, the professional people who are putting the final product in shape to be published.  I do have a fear that I've left out someone in my acknowledgment page.  I wish I had kept a running list as I went along, rather than relying on my memory now. 

  • Paulette Bates Alden

    That's the kind of story I enjoy hearing, Julie!  Helps to start out as a best-seller I suspect  . . .  Thanks for your good wishes.  I don't know whether I'm ambitious or not.  I guess I must be, to put effort (and money) into publishing my novel. I do want to do right by it.  I know a lot of people who are much more ambitious than I am.  I'd say on the bell curve, I'm pretty much in the middle. 

  • Julie Luek

    I just read an article from a best-seller who got tired of losing profits through big publishers and established his own publishing company as well. He hired out work for graphics, cover design printing and even negotiated distribution with one of the "big 6".  That left all the marketing up to him, which was just what he wanted control of.  Good luck to you on this adventure. I admire your ambition!

  • Elaine Pereira

    Very nice article, but I have to confess that I NEVER read the Acknowledgments Page UNTIL I wrote my own book and THEN I realized how incredibly meaningful and personal one's acknowledgments are; how the book genuinely won't have even come to fruition had it now been for some very key people; how deep within one's heart and soul your gratitude is felt.  Now it is the very first thing I read too!

  • Paulette Bates Alden

    That's so nice, Elisabeth.  Thanks for your good wishes.  I wish you luck with your publishing project too.  I must say, however, that I'm finding self-publishing a bit stressful too!  I suppose anything one does that one cares about and wants to get right involves some stress.  But for me self-publishing is a pretty steep learning curve so far.  Hope you'll share your experience with all of us. 

  • Elisabeth Zguta Publishing

    Love the name. I will be doing my own publishing too. The process of traditional publishers is long and cruel, and may just take away the exhilarating feeling achieved from the writing. Once the decision is made to control it yourself, it is very liberating. Life has too much stress already, so why let more in with the big publisher games. Good luck with your book.