Category Archives: Company Information

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

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We’ve Moved!

Columbus Publishing Lab has moved! Our new location is 620 Alum Creek Dr., Columbus, OH 43205.  We’re on the third floor of the building in suite 304. If you’d like to stop by, we do ask that you make an appointment before coming in.

Contact Columbus Publishing Lab here. 

This location is easily accessed from I-70, and is literally seconds off of the highway.

When coming east on I-70, get off at the Main St. exit (not the Alum Creek Dr. exit). The Main St. exit will spit you out onto Alum Creek Dr. and the building will be a half mile down on your right, before you get to Main St.

When headed west on I-70, take the Livingston Ave. exit. Turn left off of the exit onto Livingston Ave., then take an immediate right onto Alum Creek Dr. The building will be about a half mile down on your right, before you get to Main St.

Parking is available at any of the guest spots in front of the building.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you in our new home soon!

Paid Internship Opportunity

We are currently seeking three design interns for summer 2015. This is a paid position with a 15-20 hour per week time commitment. Prospective interns must commute to our Columbus, OH office.

Start and end dates for the internship term are flexible, but a 12-week commitment is required. Interns will be paid $10 per hour.

This individual should have a desire to work in the publishing industry, as well as have a genuine interest in the book production process. Illustration and fine art skills are a plus, but not required.

This internship will provide working experience in areas such as book cover design, book interior design, branding, client relations and professional processes. Interns will gain experience working as part of a production team, as well as self-managing small projects from start to finish.

Interns will make significant design contributions to real projects. Everyone makes their own coffee, and we don’t own a copy machine.

Applicants should be proficient with the following software:

  • Adobe Create Suite (InDesign experience required)
  •  Microsoft Word

The following skills are required:

  •  Self-management with ability to manage multiple deadlines
  •  Ability to adapt to a variety of tasks
  •  Communication skills (written and verbal)

All applicants must provide examples of previous design work. Academic resume is requested, but will be considered secondary to portfolio.

Interested designers should email a resume to emily@columbuspublishinglab.com by May 1, 2015. Please also include a short description detailing why you’d like to be considered for this internship, and provide digital samples of past design work (links or attachments are fine).

This internship has strong potential to evolve into a traditional position for those that exhibit exceptional performance.  This internship is geared towards college students and recent graduates, but all interested candidates are encouraged to apply.

Now Accepting Manuscripts

Calling all authors!

Columbus Publishing Lab is currently accepting manuscripts. Whether you’ve written the next great American novel, or you’ve documented your story in a memoir, we can help turn your manuscript into a professional product.

There are lots of self-publishing companies out there, but we pride ourselves on being different. Here’s what sets us apart:

  • We’re not a book factory. We have experience-tested processes, but we understand that not all books are created equal. A fantasy book requires a different touch than a contemporary fiction novel, and a book of poetry is a whole different animal. Too  many big self-publishers treat every book the same. We understand that your project is unique, and we’re here to make sure your vision is actualized.
  • You get a personal experience. Columbus Publishing Lab is a collective of experts, and we’re all working to make your book a success. When you have a question, or need an update on a project, you’ll have a dedicated representative ready to take your calls and answer your emails. You can expect conversations with real human beings, not voicemail robots.
  • We’re an open book. We started Columbus Publishing Lab because we were tired of seeing self-published authors get coerced into purchasing sub-par services, and talked into unnecessary expenses. We pride ourselves on being open and honest with our authors. You keep 100% of your rights, you receive 80% of net earnings, and we’ll never try to sell you a service you don’t want/need.

If you’re interested in becoming a Columbus Publishing Lab author, I invite you to contact us directly via email at info@columbuspublishinglab.com or call us at: (614) 441-9777. We’d love to chat about your book project over a cup of coffee.

Realistic Expectations

Let’s be honest.

You probably aren’t going to sell a million copies of your book. The big man upstairs at Random House, or Simon and Schuster, or any other “Big 5” publisher probably isn’t going to call you with a six figure offer. Steven Spielberg isn’t going to direct the film adaptation of your memoir, and Jennifer Lawrence/Leonardo DiCaprio probably won’t be cast to play you.

If you set out to make a million dollars with your book, you’re going to be disappointed. You’ll taint any amount of success you do experience with the thought of those unfulfilled, unrealistic expectations. Making money by writing books is awesome, but don’t let it define your ideals of success.

Feeling discouraged? Don’t be.

You can work hard and make money off your book. If you start with a decent manuscript, you invest in quality services to make your book the best it can be, and you dedicate yourself to promoting it as hard as you can, you’ll probably exceed your own expectations (assuming they’re realistic).

We started Columbus Publishing Lab after seeing too many authors ripped off by book factories encouraging these unrealistic expectations, charging a lot of money for sub-par services, and then leaving the author out a lot of cash and embittered with the entire process.

When an author comes to Columbus Publishing Lab we don’t promise them money, notoriety or any other traditional form of “success.” Maybe we’d make a lot more money if we did, but our authors wouldn’t. Unrealistic expectations aren’t just detrimental to writers’ egos, they’re bad for the industry. If you’re looking for a guarantee your dreams will come true, you might want to look elsewhere.

What we do guarantee is a quality book, and a solid foundation for a lot of future work.

What happens next is up to you.

Our Distribution Pay Rates

When we produce your book, you can print as many as you’d like and sell them personally–to friends and family, at author fairs and events, or you can consign them with your local independent bookstore.

Most clients also have us distribute their book to major retailers on their behalf.  This distribution is included in all of our self-publishing packages.  We will distribute your print and digital (e-book) books to all major retailers.

When the book sells, we pay 80% of the net sale to you, the client.  After the book sells, and the retailer takes their percentage, and the printer takes their fee for printing, etc., whatever is left over is paid to us, and we write you a check each quarter for 80% of that amount.

Below are some examples of what you can expect to bring home.  The final payout is determined by the price you set for your book, and the cost to print the book, which is determined by the page count and the preferences (size, paper type, etc) that you choose.

E-books

For e-books, you take home about 55% of the list price (suggested price).  Note that different retailers have different fees, so this is an approximate average.  Here are some sample prices:

If your e-book is priced at $2.99 – you take home $1.65 per book sold.
If your e-book is priced at $4.99 – you take home $2.75 per book sold.
If your e-book is priced at $7.99 – you take home $4.40 per book sold.
If your e-book is priced at $9.99 – you take home $5.50 per book sold.

You may choose your own price.  If you would like to price the book below $2.99, or above $9.99, many retailers double their fee.  So we recommend that you price in this range.

The length of your book does not have a significant impact on the way you’re paid when it comes to e-books.

Print Books

At your request, we will distribute your print books to retailers like Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.  Your book will also be available through Ingram (the nation’s largest book distributor) to bookstores of all types.

Below are some price examples, using our recommended discount to retailers.  These prices assume that your book has a black and white interior, and that the book is 5″x8″.  We only produce full-color covers.  A larger book size, or full color will increase the cost to print, which will reduce your take-home pay.  Please contact us for a specific estimate for your book project, these are just examples:

For a 200 page book:
If the book is priced at $9.95, you’ll be paid $3.57 per book.
If the book is priced at $14.95, you’ll be paid $6.77 per book.
If the book is priced at $19.95, you’ll be paid $9.97 per book.

For a 300 page book:
If the book is priced at $9.95, you’ll be paid $2.53 per book.
If the book is priced at $14.95, you’ll be paid $5.73 per book.
If the book is priced at $19.95, you’ll be paid $8.93 per book.

For a 400 page book:
If the book is priced at $9.95, you’ll be paid $1.49 per book.
If the book is priced at $14.95, you’ll be paid $4.69 per book.
If the book is priced at $19.95, you’ll be paid $7.89 per book.

“Your pay” indicates how much you’ll be paid, after all fees have been removed.

Obviously, your book will fall in between one of these page counts, and your take home pay will be adjusted accordingly.  You may price your book however you want, these numbers are just provided as examples.

These royalty rates are much higher than our competitors.  We believe that since you’re the one investing in the book, when it sells, you ought to be the one to take the bulk of the profit.  Our 20% allows us to maintain the infrastructure and overhead necessary to continue successfully distributing your book.

If you have any questions about these rates, or if you’d like a quote for your specific project, please don’t hesitate to contact us here or to call us at 614-441-9777.