How to Start a Young Adult Book Business

A young adult book business produces and sells books specifically geared for kids in or around their adolescent years. Individuals looking to start a business may rely on outside authors and illustrators or complete the primary tasks themselves (e.g., writing, binding, etc.) as well as selling them.

Learn how to start your own Young Adult Book Business and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services.

Start a young adult book business by following these 10 steps:

  1. Plan your Young Adult Book Business
  2. Form your Young Adult Book Business into a Legal Entity
  3. Register your Young Adult Book Business for Taxes
  4. Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
  5. Set up Accounting for your Young Adult Book Business
  6. Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Young Adult Book Business
  7. Get Young Adult Book Business Insurance
  8. Define your Young Adult Book Business Brand
  9. Create your Young Adult Book Business Website
  10. Set up your Business Phone System

We have put together this simple guide to starting your young adult book business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

What will you name your business?

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Young Adult Book Business Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship, you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state's business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability.

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Want some help naming your young adult book business?

Business Name Generator

What are the costs involved in opening a young adult book business?

Authors have to keep in mind the people for whom they are writing. Because your audience will be composed of young adults, it is important to make sure that your writing is done at the appropriate reading level. Stories should be captivating, but written simply enough that teenagers have no trouble getting through your books.

Although it is said that one should never judge a book by its cover, having attractive cover art for your book will help catch the eye of buyers. Therefore, it is suggested that you invest in a quality illustrator to carry out your cover art. This will allow you to catch and keep the interest of customers.

What are the ongoing expenses for a young adult book business?

Ongoing expenses for a business will depend on how many books the business sells a year. Additional expenses may include the following:

  • Advances for new authors
  • Book promotion
  • Employee salaries
  • Publishing materials/cost

How does a young adult book business make money?

Profit margins can vary based on the materials of the book, the advance of the author, and the promotion strategy for the book. The average advance for a young adult book is about $11,000. Once the sales of the book pay back the advance, the author will receive royalties for additional sales based on their contract.

How much can you charge customers?

Young adult books range in price according to the quality of the book and the author’s popularity. Look at similar books to the one you’re selling determine the market price. Keep in mind that customers will be hesitant to shell out a lot of money for a book that may not be well put together.

How much profit can a young adult book business make?

The profits can be unlimited for a young adult book business if they score a must-have book (think Harry Potter). However most authors and publishers will see more modest returns on each printing. Let’s say you print 4,000 first edition books, and they’re priced at $15. If they cost $5 a piece to make then you’ll need to sell 800 to break even on the cost of the materials. If the author received a $12,000 advance, then they would need to sell an additional 800 copies to fully pay off the the advance. From there, the publisher and author/illustrator will typically split the any additional sales according to the contract.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Those in the young adult book business may want to branch out, making their characters into toys or games. They can also look into turning their ideas into a television show or feature film!

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your young adult book business is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website. If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

  • Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a young adult book business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting the SBA's reference to state licenses and permits.

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.

Certificate of Occupancy

A young adult book business is generally run out of a publishing office. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO).  A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.

  • If you plan to lease a location:
    • It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
    • Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a young adult book business.
    • After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
  • If you plan to purchase or build a location:
    • You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
    • Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your young adult book business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

FInd out what types of insurance your Young Adult Book Business needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Young Adult Book Business.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended: Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker.

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market a young adult book business

Social media and word-of-mouth are two free ways to get the word out about your book. But it's also pivotal to develop and build relationships with both customers and retailers. Having a book party for friends, bookstore owners, and librarians can be a good way to get people’s eyes on the book while connecting with them on another level. You can also consider visiting schools and reading your story aloud to the young adults in your community to encourage interest.

How to keep customers coming back

Bestsellers are able to keep up with new consumer demands while giving readers the same quality they’ve come to expect. Choose or create characters and storylines that touch the heart or tickle the funny bone. Young adult books don’t necessarily need to be a series, but there should be some continuity when it comes to style and tone.You’ll also want to keep up with promotion on a regular basis. An author can fade into obscurity relatively quickly, so it’s important to keep the name in the public eye for as long as possible.

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
  • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Recommended: Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders.

Other popular website builders are: WordPress, WIX, Weebly, Squarespace, and Shopify.

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

Is this Business Right For You?

This business is good for someone who loves entertaining young people. They should have active imaginations and appreciate interesting or unusual characters. Even if you're not planning to do the actual writing yourself, they'll need to be able to spot those who can.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at a young adult book business?

The primary duties may include the following:

  • Courting authors/illustrators
  • Scheduling releases
  • Coordinating publicity/promotion for books
  • Book binding/printing

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful young adult book business?

People who know the publishing industry and the developmental stages of a child will likely do well. The popularity of young adult books are notoriously difficult to predict, so having these skills will help to build a solid foundation.

What is the growth potential for a young adult book business?

Traditional publishers have been steadily trying to find their place in the market since the debut of self-publishing and electronic books. The profits for an e-book are typically far higher than hardcover books, and the fact that young people are increasingly utilizing technology means that the number of opportunities for publishing electronic young adult books will be increase as well.

TRUiC's YouTube Channel

For fun informative videos about starting a business visit the TRUiC YouTube Channel or subscribe to view later.

Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

  • Funding
  • Events
  • Guides
  • Support

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

How and when to build a team

Unless the author is planning to write and publish the book themselves, they’ll need to build a team sooner rather than later. Depending on the workload, there may be some overlap when it comes to the roles. For example, the author may also keep track of social media promotion, or the publisher may take care of visiting the local libraries.

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!