The Deceived — Proving Press

The Deceived by E. C. Fisher is a work of dark, biblical fantasy. The book opens with the death of God, and then launches readers into an epic good-versus-evil story that pits the Archangel Michael against monsters, demons and Lucifer. Set in the post-apocalyptic landscape of the Rapture, Michael and his ragtag group of followers set off on a desperate journey to save the souls of all humanity.

The Deceived tells a story E. C. Fisher felt compelled to write. He wrote the book quickly, his manuscript taking shape around his own frustrations with the real-world troubles humanity grapples with today. After receiving favorable feedback from his peers, Fisher began the process of finding a publisher who would allow him to retain creative control over his debut novel, and his relationship with Columbus Publishing Lab began.

Fisher chose the Catalyst package–everything he needed for a professionally produced novel, with the extra support of a marketing foundation to help boost his work into the hands of readers. Learn more about publishing packages here. 

We got right to work. Fisher worked with an outside copy editor prior to contracting Columbus Publishing Lab, and so our first step was to take his raw manuscript file and create a custom interior design for The Deceived. Our designer chose an aesthetic to reflect the dark tones of the book, while maintaining a simple, readable layout.

Writers spend a lot of time in the worlds they create for their characters. Fisher wanted The Deceived cover to represent his ideation of Lucifer, and he provided detailed notes describing what he was looking for–down to the facial structure and hairstyle of his antagonist.  These instructions were then provided to one of our professional illustrators, who transformed Fisher’s words into a provocative, illustrative cover.

After the interior design was complete our proofreader combed through the manuscript again, searching for any last-minute errors, while also checking design elements like page numbers, headers and spacing. Our e-book designer then created a digital version of The Deceived that’s readable across all major e-book platforms.

While the book was in production, our web developer created an author website designed to be a tool to reach more readers, and a showcase for current and future work by E. C. Fisher. Built on a simple WordPress platform, Fisher’s website is easy to update, customize, and blog from at any time.

Check out E. C. Fisher’s author site here.

Given the thrilling story line and thought-provoking themes in the book, The Deceived was sure to garner some attention. But with so much self-promotion work needed to make even the most exciting new release stand out, Fisher enlisted the help of Columbus Publishing Lab to boost his marketing efforts in the critical time following his book’s release. We created printed marketing materials he could hand out at readings and conferences, helped with content creation, social media management, and acted as his publicist to help solicit reviews.

Learn more about our marketing services here.

The Deceived is distributed through our Proving Press imprint to all major retailers. E. C. Fisher collects a quarterly check for his sales, without the hassle of running to the post office, storing and warehousing orders, or paying for them upfront. This leaves him time to market his debut novel, and work on his second one.

Find The Deceived on Amazon.com here.

Throughout the entire publishing process Fisher had a dedicated point of contact to answer his questions and provide him with updates. He never had to wonder if his emails were being read, or if his project would be completed on time. This level of service is standard procedure at Columbus Publishing Lab.

Do you have a book that you felt compelled to write? We want to hear about it. Click here to contact us and learn more about the personal publishing experience we create for our authors.

Maman — Boyle & Dalton

Maman weaves the life story of a Jewish-Iranian woman whose identity is fiercely bound to her family, her country and her faith. Married at a very young age, Maman raised seven children in the midst of poverty and the chaos of political upheaval in Iran. Moris Niknam, one of those seven children, tells his mother’s story with a nostalgic love through memories both sweet and heart-wrenching.

We worked with Boyle & Dalton, the publisher of Maman, to provide editing, design and marketing services, so the finished book would reflect the heartfelt effort Moris Niknam put into chronicling his mother’s extraordinary life.

The first step in the publishing process was a developmental edit. After reading the entire manuscript, an experienced developmental editor provided Moris with a detailed report containing recommendations to improve areas of concern. As a result, Moris was able to act on the suggestions of our editor to vastly improve Maman before the book was released to readers.

Next, a professional copy editor combed through the manuscript correcting spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes, as well as standardizing the manuscript to a style guide. Our editor worked closely with the author to ensure the Persian language used throughout the book was formatted accurately.

After the copy edit was complete, our interior designer set to work creating a custom aesthetic to be both elegant and readable. We also incorporated pictures provided by Moris to better illustrate his upbringing in Iran, seamlessly building them into the design.

As soon as the interior design was complete our proofreader checked the entire manuscript a final time, searching through the text and the design for any last-minute errors.

Our cover designer worked with Moris and his publisher to incorporate several family photographs, creating a dynamic cover design that commemorates Maman while attracting passing readers to her story.

We distributed Maman in paperback and e-book formats to all major retailers as soon as Moris was completely happy with his final files. Maman is readily available to readers, and Moris collects a quarterly check for his sales without the need to store, ship or purchase copies of his book up front.

Find Maman on Amazon.com here.

Moris spread the word to his friends and family about the release of Maman, but wanted to expand the reach of his story. Columbus Publishing Lab provided marketing services to Moris following the release of his book to help get Maman into the hands of more readers.

Throughout the entire publishing process Moris had a dedicated point of contact for questions and updates. Calls were answered or returned, emails were read and promptly answered, and a close-knit team who actually cared about his book brought the project to fruition.

If you’re interested in making your book project a reality, we invite you to contact us by clicking here. We’re happy to sit down with you for a free consultation, or answer your questions via email/phone.

A Little Book About Big Bullies — Proving Press

Despite Roxanne Price’s hectic work schedule, she already had a complete, edited, illustrated children’s book when we first met with her. Roxanne’s book, A Little Book About Big Bullies, is a full color picture book with activities designed to make kids think about how they treat their peers.

Find A Little Book About Big Bullies on Amazon here. 

Having already published a book with a large self-publishing company in the past, Roxanne was looking for a straightforward local company who could provide print-on-demand distribution and inexpensive printed copies, without eating up the lion’s share of her profits.

Roxanne came to our initial consultation prepared with smart questions and a keen sense for how she could make a partnership with Columbus Publishing Lab work for her book. After comparing our prices to those of other companies, Roxanne decided to distribute her book through our Proving Press imprint.

Learn more about printing and distribution services here.

We worked with Roxanne’s illustrator to ensure her files were up to spec for our printer, checking elements like the bleed, spine and formatting. We also provided an ISBN and barcode for her book.

As soon as the files were ready, we distributed A Little Book About Big Bullies to major online retailers. Parents, students and educators can now easily find and purchase the book in a seamless process that’s completely hands-off for Roxanne. She’s able to maintain her busy schedule without the interruption of taking orders, warehousing books or waiting in line at the post office. She collects a check for her sales, and we handle the rest.

Our distribution services also include setup with our printer. Roxanne is able to purchase copies of her book at a significant discount off the list price, in any quantity at any time. We ship books straight to her door, or anywhere across the world.

Throughout the entire publishing process Roxanne had a dedicated point of contact at Columbus Publishing Lab. We were there to answer her questions, guide her illustrator, and provide her with the information and expertise she needed to stay in the loop about her project.

Whether your project is complete, or your manuscript is a raw file on your computer, we’d love to hear about your book. We help authors and publishers at all stages of the publishing process produce professional books. Contact us here for more information.

Call Me Bud — Custom Publishing Package

Often when we publish books it’s because authors are trying to reach larger audiences–sharing their story with the world. But sometimes the smaller the audience the more profound the impact.

Such was the case with Call Me Bud, the memoir of 95-year-old WWII veteran Bud Embree.

Sharon Embree, Bud’s daughter-in-law, contacted us about publishing the memoir she had compiled from Bud’s writings over the years, along with photographs and documents from Bud’s time as an artillery pilot in WWII.

The completed book was to be presented to Bud as a surprise at his upcoming birthday party. With this deadline on our radar, we got to work.

Our interior designer took the materials provided by Sharon and created a custom aesthetic, separating the memoir into chapters by dates in Bud’s life. We kept the design simple and readable, while incorporating design elements that reflected Bud’s service in the air force.

After the text had been professionally laid out, we created a gallery of photos and documents at the end of the book, sharpening the images as needed to make them stand out in print.

Our cover designer took several of the photos taken during the time of Bud’s service (including a dashing photo of Bud in uniform), combining them into a custom cover design.

After Sharon was completely happy with the final files, we uploaded the book to the printer and shipped the book copies off in time for Bud’s birthday surprise, ready to be handed down to grandchildren and to generations still to come.

“I wrote this down so that my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would learn about the Great Depression and World War II, and so they could come to understand my life a little better.”

–Bud Embree, Call Me Bud

From books designed to reach the masses, to those special projects that mean the most to just a few,  Columbus Publishing Lab handles each project with care, attention to detail and personalized service that shows in the final product. If you have a book project on the shelf, large or small, we invite you to contact us.

Hockey Daze — Proving Press

Rolf Remlinger is a funny guy who loves hockey. For the past 25+ years he’s been illustrating the humor he finds on the ice, delighting sports fans with hockey comics in the style of Gary Larson. His work has been featured in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Hockey Ink, Hockey Stop and Michigan Hockey.

When Rolf came to Columbus Publishing Lab he had a stack of paper comics succumbing to the ravages of time. To accompany these he also had a host of extras: press passes, article clips and insider hockey knowledge.  Rather than let his work be lost to fading ink and yellowing paper, we were ready to preserve his collection forever by publishing Hockey Daze.

After an initial consultation, Rolf decided the Solution Package best fit his needs. Our first step was to copy edit the text that accompanied Rolf’s comics, correcting errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation, as well as standardizing it to a style guide.

Learn more about our self-publishing packages here.

After the text had been professionally edited, the bulk of our work went into arranging the materials Rolf had provided in a fun, readable way. Our interior book designer matched each comic with a caption containing behind-the-scenes information about its creation, and added fun details like extra pen-and-ink illustrations, copies of press passes and articles Rolf had accumulated over the years.

After the interior files had been created, a proofreader combed through the book files, catching any last errors in the text or layout. We also created an e-book version of the book, designed specifically to be readable across all major e-book platforms.

Rolf provided his own cover design, and our team added the final elements like the barcode and book description, while ensuring the cover was formatted correctly for print.

As soon as Rolf was completely happy with the final files, we distributed Hockey Daze  in paperback and e-book formats to all major retailers. Rolf collects a check, and we handle all the hard work. The convenience of our distribution services gets Hockey Daze in the hands of hockey fans without the need for Rolf to miss a single game.

Find Hockey Daze for sale here. 

Our distribution services also include setup with our printer. Rolf can purchase books in any quantity from us at a significant discount off the list price, which allows him to offer special signed copies to friends and family, and through his existing website.

Throughout the entire publishing process, Rolf had a dedicated point of contact for questions and updates. He never had to wonder if his emails were being read, and a friendly Ohioan was available to take his calls every time.

If you’re interested in making your book project a reality, we invite you to contact us by clicking here. We’re happy to sit down with you for a free consultation, or answer your questions via email/phone.

We produce great books of all kinds. Will yours be next?

Colorblind — Proving Press

Doug Fernbacher is a father, entrepreneur, star of TLC’s reality show Rattled, and an perf8.000x8.000.inddauthor. He’s a busy guy with an appreciation for work done well the first time.

Doug wrote a children’s book called Colorblind to teach kids (and parents too!) that although families may not look alike, we all have more in common than we think. After his reality TV stint Doug wanted to utilize the platform of fans and followers he’d gained and convert them into readers. He worked with an illustrator who created artwork for the Colorblind storyline, after which Doug had a small test run of books printed.

But the quality of the books and a lack of distribution was limiting Doug’s reach. Every media appearance was an opportunity, but he had no way to connect his potential readers with a high-quality, easily accessible product.

Enter: Columbus Publishing Lab

When Doug contacted us he needed two things: The ability to have professional-quality books printed at an affordable cost, and an outlet for readers to purchase Colorblind that didn’t suck time and energy from Doug’s life. With the next season of Rattled set to air, buzz about the show was growing. It was time to act fast or lose PR.

Just hours after meeting with Doug and learning his situation, the Columbus Publishing Lab team started working to produce a paperback, hardback and e-book version of Colorblind. Our interior designer reformatted the artwork files from Doug’s illustrator, making sure everything was sized, laid out, and formatted correctly for print. Instead of a flimsy stapled paperback, Doug’s books would be professionally bound and printed in vibrant full color, complete with an ISBN, barcode and Library of Congress number.

Within two weeks of that first meeting with Doug our distribution services had Colorblind up for sale on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. And just like that, when Doug plugs his book in interviews, media appearances and on social media, his followers can easily find, order and receive Colorblind in a seamless process that takes no time from Doug’s busy life.

Check out Colorblind on Amazon here.

Because Colorblind is set up with our printer, book copies are available to Doug at a significant discount off the list price. When Doug and his wife Marsadie took Colorblind on the road to conventions, we were able to ship books to venues across the country, ready for them to sign and sell.

Along every step of the publishing process Doug had a personal contact at Columbus Publishing Lab, ready to respond to phone calls and emails without delay, answer questions and provide updates as needed.

“I really appreciate the stellar customer service you’ve shown us so far–you really don’t get it as much these days!”

With the help of Columbus Publishing Lab, Doug Fernbacher was able to publish a beautiful book, make it easily available to readers, and have printed copies readily available for his promotion efforts. He owns 100% of his rights, and the only upkeep to deal with is cashing a check for quarterly sales.

Learn more about our publishing packages and services here. 

Whether you want control over every step of your book project, or you’re short on time and need us to handle the details, Columbus Publishing Lab can provide a custom publishing experience to fit your needs. Don’t let that manuscript sit in a drawer.

Contact us here.

Project Updates

We’ve been so busy producing books for authors and small presses that we’ve neglected to share all of the neat projects we’ve completed over the past several months. Starting next week we’ll begin posting case studies detailing the publishing process for each recent Columbus Publishing Lab book. Here’s a teaser of what you’ll find in our updated catalog of work:

  • An incredible true account of World War I converted from a typewriter-written manuscript to a printed book, ready to be passed on to future generations.
  • An award-winning novel shedding light on the dark underworld of sex-trafficking in small town America.
  • A children’s book from a TLC reality TV star.
  • The second volume of a popular Columbus-centric coloring book featuring hand-drawn scenes of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods.

This is just a small sample of the cool books we’ve published, and we can’t wait to tell you about all of them! Follow us on social media (Facebook here, Twitter here) to get updates on our goings on, insights into the publishing industry, and the occasional grammar joke.

Columbus Publishing Lab is a close-knit company made up of hardworking people dedicated to professionally producing books. We provide a personal publishing experience to each of our authors, with the same high-quality services you would expect from a traditional publisher. If you have a manuscript you’d like to publish, contact us here.

May 2016 Newsletter

You can’t spell “marketing” without “mark.”

Marketing tip: Know exactly who you’re trying to capture.

Most amateur marketing campaigns suffer from overgeneralization. I know what you’re bullseyethinking: “I don’t want to exclude any potential buyers.” But the truth is that if you’re creating a marketing campaign that will appeal to everyone, then you’re creating a marketing campaign that probably won’t motivate anyone. The person who is exposed to your advertising can’t just “like” it, it needs to be powerful enough to motivate them to take an action. If you’ve ever practiced archery, you know that the more specific your target is, the more accurate you’ll be. Aim small, miss small. The same is true for marketing campaigns, and the lower your budget, the truer this principle is.

As you consider marketing anything—yourself, your book, your business (and if it’s a book, you’re marketing all three of those things)—your first step is to succinctly identify your target. As a fun writing exercise, describe them exactly. Where are they right now, what are they wearing, what’s the last book they read, movie they watched, what did they eat for breakfast? I know you want everyone to buy your book, but who would be the BEST person to buy your book? Who’s going to like it the most? Once you know who your mark is, you can begin to formulate a plan to motivate exactly that person. Lucky for you, there are more than 300 million people in the United States, and at least a few of them are exactly like the person you’ve described.

When you have $1,000 to spend on marketing, it would be foolish to think that you can capture everyone. But no matter how specific your criteria get, there are $1,000 worth of people like them out there in the world, and if you appropriately identify them, you can target the buyers who want exactly what you have to offer.

When you market, know your mark. Aim small.

-CEO Brad Pauquette

 Want to be first to receive tips like this one? Sign up for our mailing list! Every new subscriber gets a free PDF of The Self-Publishing Handbook by Brad Pauquette, and we solemnly swear never to spam you. Click here to sign up or learn more

The Black Lens — Boyle & Dalton

Christopher Stollar spent over three years gathering research for his novel, The Black Lens9781633370722 (Boyle & Dalton, 2016). He conducted interviews with sex trafficking survivors, social workers and police officers, in addition to volunteering with several non-profit organizations.

Find a copy of The Black Lens here, or ask for it at your favorite bookstore.

With so much care, hard work and passion put into the writing of this book, Christopher knew the production part of the publishing process had to be handled with equal care and attention. We worked with Christopher and Boyle & Dalton (the publisher of the book), to provide editing, design and marketing services for The Black Lens.

Christopher invested a lot of time in his manuscript, but he knew it wasn’t reader-ready yet. The first step in the publishing process was rigorous developmental editing by a professional developmental editor. Our editor provided Christopher with a detailed report of problem areas and suggestions, and worked closely with him to provide the guidance needed for a rewrite. The result? A publication-ready version of The Black Lens.

After the developmental edit was complete, our copy editor combed through the manuscript, correcting grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes, while standardizing the text to a style guide.

After our editors cleaned up the manuscript, our interior designer got to work creating a professional layout for the interior of the book. Not only is the interior design visually appealing, it’s simple enough to maintain readability for all audiences. Our proofreader gave the finished interior a final check, and we moved on to creation of an e-book.

The Black Lens takes an unflinching look at sex trafficking. It was extremely important to the author that the harsh realities of this horrific crime were reflected in the book’s cover, while being mindful of how triggering provocative imagery can be. Our designer ultimately created a cover that respectfully conveys the nature of the issues covered in the book, while keeping the aesthetic starkly modern to jump out at the passing reader.

Using the book’s newly created branding, our web designer created a custom website for Christopher to showcase his work, blog, and connect with new readers. Check it out for yourself here: ChristopherStollar.com

To help get The Black Lens out to as many readers as possible, we worked with Christopher on a marketing plan that would best suit his needs, including getting the book into the hands of the right reviewers. One of our marketing consultants worked closely with Christopher along the way to ensure energy was being expended in the right outlets.

The Black Lens was only released a few months ago, but it has already garnered attention from the press, reviewers and those who have experienced this horrific crime firsthand. To read what’s been said in the press about this new release, click here.

We love working with passionate authors like Christopher. If you’re ready to take your book project to the next level, we invite you to contact us by clicking here. You’ll have a dedicated point of contact throughout every step of the publishing process, and your manuscript will be handled with the same care you’ve invested in it already.

We produce great books. Will yours be next?

Herm’s County — Boyle & Dalton

Since opening our new office in Zanesville, Ohio, we’ve had great experiences meeting Mizel_Proof_FrontCover-186x300and working with authors in Appalachia.

We recently had the pleasure of producing Katherine Mitzel’s second book, Herm’s County. This mystery story takes you through the twists and turns that unravel a small Ohio town when a local boy goes missing.

Find a copy of Herm’s County here, or ask for it at your favorite bookstore.

Katherine had already worked with an editor prior to bringing her manuscript to us, and so we got right to work on the interior design of her book. We created a custom interior for her book that is aesthetically pleasing, as well as easy-to-read.

As soon as the interior of the book was finished, our proofreader read through the book in its entirety, catching any last-minute mistakes before the book headed to print. As soon as the interior was complete, we created an e-book version of the book, readable across all major e-book platforms.

Katherine provided her own artwork for the cover, and our cover designer chose bold, simple typography to complement the painting.

In addition to book design services, Columbus Publishing Lab also created a simple author website for Katherine, where she can showcase both of her books.

Upon completion of the production process, Herm’s County was evaluated for inclusion under our Boyle & Dalton imprint, and ultimately accepted. Learn more about Boyle & Dalton here.

Along every step of the production process, Katherine had a direct contact at Columbus Publishing Lab to answer her questions, provide her with updates, or give publishing support.

If you’re ready to take your book project to the next level, we invite you to contact us by clicking here. We work with authors and small presses at all levels, and we’d love to learn more about your project.