When you decide to start a publishing company, one of your first tasks will be to choose a good name for your new business. Whether you plan to publish a few of your own books, or grow your new baby to a giant publishing conglomerate, your company name can be an asset or an obstacle. Here are some tips to choosing a great publishing company name.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing a name for a publishing company is the type of books you will publish. Although Fairy Princess Publishing might be a good name for a publisher of children’s books, it would not be a good name for a business book publisher.
When you plan to focus on a particular type of book, you may want to choose a name that evokes that genre. Lonely Planet is an evocative name for a publisher of travel books. Keep in mind that if you stray from your planned genre, the name may look odd.
If you plan to publish a range of topics, choose something not associated with a particular genre or type of book. Ideally, though, it should capture the spirit of your company. For example, Quirk Books publishes unusual and “quirky” books, such as the, uh, revised version of the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!.
Some publishers choose a geographic name (e.g., Rocky Mountain Press) but that might be limiting or not really convey what your company publishes. And if you relocate the company, it could seem strange that Rocky Mountain Press is in Atlanta, Georgia.
Some publishing companies are named after their founder(s), such as Simon & Schuster. This is not a good idea if some (or all) of the books you plan to publish will be written by you. If John Smith Press publishes a book by John Smith, it screams self-publishing. Although self-publishing does not carry the stigma it once did, there is no point in drawing attention to the fact you have self-published. The same idea applies to using your initials (e.g., JES Books).
You can also use a made-up word. This is a popular naming method for websites, but there is no reason why you couldn’t do it for a publishing company. Reverse or anagram a word to come up with a nonsense name (e.g., “book” becomes “Koob”), or string together two or more words (e.g., “Skyzoo Press”).
You may have noticed that in some of the examples I used Publishing, while in others I used Press or Books. Does it matter? Not really. Just choose the one that sounds best with the name you have chosen.