12 Publishing Business Success Stories [2023]

Updated: July 23rd, 2023
Start A Publishing Business

Starting a publishing business can be a rewarding and lucrative endeavor for those with a passion for literature and strong business acumen. This type of business involves producing and distributing written materials such as books, magazines, and digital content.

To start a publishing business, you need a solid business plan outlining your goals and target market. You will also need to secure funding to cover the costs of printing and distributing your materials. This can include obtaining loans or seeking investors.

In addition to financial resources, you will need a team of professionals with expertise in editing, design, marketing, and sales. It’s important to build a diverse and skilled team to ensure the success of your business.

Success in the publishing industry requires a strong understanding of current trends and adapting to changing market conditions. Stay current on industry news and continually seek new opportunities to grow and expand your business.

Starting a publishing business requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to take risks. But with the right team and strategy, it can be a fulfilling and profitable venture.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a publishing business:

1. Nourishing Brands ($7.2M/year)

Jeremy Hendon (from ) started Nourishing Brands ago.

$600K / month
2 founders / 10 employees

Case Study

Hi - I’m Jeremy Hendon, one of the co-founders of Nourishing Brands (a direct-to-consumer media company that operates popular sites like KetoSummit.com). My wife and I started the company just over 5 years ago to help people make the transition to eating a healthy diet easier and way more delicious.

Today, our main products are cookbooks (both digital and physical) and challenges and courses centered around various diets. To provide a bit of context, we sold over 300,000 cookbooks in 2020 alone. But our first really successful product in late 2016 was the Keto Summit, a digital summit with over 30 Keto experts.


2. Reedsy ($24M/year)

Ricardo Fayet (from London) started Reedsy over 9 years ago.

$2M / month
4 founders / 38 employees

Case Study

Hello! I’m Ricardo Fayet, one of the four founders and the Chief Marketing Officer of Reedsy. First and foremost, Reedsy is a marketplace connecting authors (or anyone looking to publish a book) with all the people they’ll need to prepare, publish, and market that book successfully — think editors, proofreaders, cover designers, illustrators, ghostwriters, book marketers, and even literary translators.

Since starting in 2014, the marketplace has become home to over 1,500 vetted freelance professionals and close to a million authors, driving 1,000+ projects every month with a GMV of over $1m.


Learn more about starting a publishing business:

Where to start?

-> How much does it cost to start a publishing business?
-> Pros and cons of a publishing business

Need inspiration?

-> Examples of established publishing business
-> Marketing ideas for a publishing business
-> Publishing business slogans
-> Publishing business names

Other resources

-> Publishing business tips
-> Publishing business calculator

4. Advantage Media ($18M/year)

Adam Witty (from Charleston, South Carolina, USA) started Advantage Media about 18 years ago.

$1.5M / month
1 founders / 81 employees
Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Case Study

Adam Witty is the Founder & CEO of Advantage|ForbesBooks and has built the company into one of the largest business book publishers in America, serving over 1,500 Authors in all 50 U.S. states and 63 countries.

Advantage|ForbesBooks is the pioneer of pain-free book creation. Our famed Talk Your Book® and Ghostwriting programs have helped over 1,500 entrepreneurs, CEOs and professionals create a book in 10 to 24 hours of their time over the course of six months.


5. Scribe Media ($15.6M/year)

Tucker Max (from Austin, Texas, USA) started Scribe Media about 9 years ago.

$1.3M / month
2 founders / 51 employees
Austin, Texas, USA

Case Study

My name is Tucker Max, and I'm a 4x New York Times Bestselling Author and the Co-Founder of Scribe Media.

Scribe does that—there are so many people who really want to turn their idea into a book, but they just don’t have the time, ability, or patience to do it the traditional way. We solve the problem. And even better, we solve their problem in a way that’s easier, cheaper and more effective than any other potential solution.


6. Prooftheword ($14.4K/year)

Sara Davies (from Southampton, England, United Kingdom) started Prooftheword over 8 years ago.

$1.2K / month
1 founders / 1 employees
Southampton, England, United Kingdom

Case Study

I’m Sara Davies, founder of Prooftheword, a complete editing and proofreading site that gives customers the ultimate editing service for any document. I’m a sole trader, so I work alone. All the editing and proofreading is done by me, along with everything else. I sort out my invoices, do my own accounts, file my own tax returns – everything.

My editing skills are excellent, which is my main selling point. People come to me because they know I will do a great job! I have a wide range of customers, from students to book writers and regular magazines. My work has grown over the years and, while I’m not making millions, I regularly take home around £1,200 a month.


7. BowTied Opossum ($72K/year)

BowTiedOpossum (from ) started BowTied Opossum about 2 years ago.

$6K / month
1 founders / 0 employees

Case Study

Hello, my name is Opossum and I’m the founder of BowTiedOpossum. Did that first sentence confuse you? Well, you’re not alone. We’ll get to that later though.

After 9 months, I’ve managed to grow the newsletter to $3k a month in between my career, outside consulting, personal projects, and family/kids. I’ve done this completely anonymously with 0 ad dollars, by myself, and no prior social media presence to give it a boost.


8. Prime Publishing LLC ($7.2M/year)

Stuart Hochwert (from Northbrook, IL, USA) started Prime Publishing LLC over 14 years ago.

$600K / month
1 founders / 46 employees

Case Study

Hello, my name is Stuart Hochwert and I’m the founder of Prime Publishing LLC. We operate 60+ cooking and crafting websites, communities, and content newsletters, including the popular websites FaveCrafts.com, MrFood.com, and AllFreeCrochet.com.

Our decision about 6 years ago was to create premium content that is generally without advertising. Premium content is supported by the consumer through circulation revenue and has been growing quickly. While it does take longer to scale, we are fortunate to have diversified our revenue stream. Today more than 33% of our revenue is premium content.


9. Dinosaur House ($72K/year)

When the pandemic hit, Timmy Bauer from DinosaurHouse.com pivoted his business from being a traveling children’s book author to running a children’s book production company. Timmy was enjoying working as a traveling children’s book author, but he was forced to change directions when schools started…

Timmy Bauer (from Orlando, FL, USA) started Dinosaur House almost 3 years ago.

$6K / month
1 founders / 4 employees

Case Study

Timmy Bauer, the owner of DinosaurHouse.com, changed the focus of his company from writing children's books on the road to producing them after the pandemic struck.

His experience is the ideal illustration of how, even if your business hits a brick wall, you don't always need to do a complete 180. Sometimes all it takes is a small adjustment—a few degrees in one direction or the other—to start you on a new course.

Since starting down this new path, Timmy has gone from living "just over the poverty line" to managing a six-figure business.


Read the full article on sidehustlenation.com ➜

10. Merrative ($24K/year)

Harshala Chavan (from Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) started Merrative about 3 years ago.

$2K / month
1 founders / 0 employees

Case Study

I am Harshala Chavan from Mumbai India - a maker, community-builder, and writer in the publishing and content industry.

Today, Merrative can provide on average USD 200 worth of projects to our talent. We generate on an average USD 1500 per month in marketplace transactions and are hungry to scale up!


12. Paper Raven Books ($1.2M/year)

Morgan Gist MacDonald (from Denver, CO, USA) started Paper Raven Books almost 15 years ago.

$100K / month
1 founders / 18 employees

Case Study

I’m the Founder and CEO of Paper Raven Books, a publishing company that helps people write, publish, and market books.

I’m currently in Texas, with my husband and four children, where I’m able to run a seven-figure publishing company and walk my kids to and from school every day. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!


Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
Want to find more ideas that make money?

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