Category Archives: Company News

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

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.

Tomorrow! — Free Self-Publishing Seminar

Join us tomorrow evening at the London, Ohio Library for a free Self-Publishing Seminar. London-Public-LibraryWhether you’re an aspiring author or an accomplished novelist, this seminar is filled with valuable information for anyone interested in how successful books are produced.

The seminar will last from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with a Q&A session afterward. The London Library is located at: 20 E. First Street, London, Ohio 43140. This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP required.

Find this event on the library’s website here. 

Columbus Publishing Lab CEO, Brad Pauquette, has been helping authors at all levels successfully navigate the publishing industry for almost a decade. In this seminar he’ll cover the five key steps to producing a professional book. From editing and cover design to pricing and distribution, learn how to turn your manuscript into a marketable book.

If you’re considering self-publishing, do your homework. Read up on your options and don’t let free resources like this seminar pass you by. We’ll see you there!

Questions? Email us at info@columbuspublishinglab.com

Can’t make the seminar? Get smart self-publishing advice here in The Self-Publishing Handbook. P.S. It’s free!

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.

Author Spotlight: Katie Barron

If you live in the Columbus, Ohio area and you’ve picked up a local paper or walked into a cbuscoloringlocal shop, you’ve most likely come across The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book by Katie Barron. Katie has been interviewed by 614 Magazine and The Columbus Dispatch, and her coloring book has also appeared in Columbus Alive.

The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book features hand-drawn illustrations of the most recognizable neighborhoods in Columbus. From German Village to the Short North, Katie’s illustrations showcase some of the best parts of Columbus.

Find The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book here.

We recently had a chat with Katie to talk about how her coloring book came to be, and what’s in store for her next.

CPL: Why did you decide to create The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book?

Katie: I love drawing cityscapes and I love Columbus, so this was a perfect combination. I was really surprised it hasn’t already been done! People are are really proud of this city now, everyone’s wearing Ohio T-shirts and we’re seeing things like WOSU’s Columbus Neighborhoods. If there was ever a good time to release a book like this, it’s now!

CPL: What was the creation process like?

Katie: First I took a ton of photographs of each neighborhood. Then I looked through all the photographs I took and mapped out the entire book. Then I drew everything with Rapidograph pens, scanned each drawing, and touched it up in Photoshop.

CPL: Why did you decide to self-publish vs. going the traditional route?

Katie: I like having control over the creative process and retaining the rights to all the images, but honestly I didn’t think there was another option! I also felt like it was important to publish locally, especially since it’s a book about Columbus.

CPL: Your book has received a ton of positive press around Columbus. Did you expect it to be this successful when you first decided to make the book a reality?

Katie: I hoped it would, I definitely believed in this book while I was making it. I didn’t expect it though, so I’ve been really excited about all the good press!

CPL: How does it feel when you pick up a newspaper or walk into a local shop and see your book?

Katie: I still get really excited! I always take photos on my phone and text my mom or boyfriend, they’ve got to be getting sick of it by now but I can’t help it! My favorite part though is these amazing emails and Facebook messages I’ve been getting from people who bought the book. They take the time to write these incredibly sweet messages about how they, their kids, their relatives or their friends enjoy my book. Sometimes people even send photos of them holding the book!

CPL: Besides Amazon.com, where can people pick up a copy of your coloring book?

Katie: Bink Davies, State & Third, The Wexner Store, Sean Christopher Gallery, What the Rock!?, Wholly Craft, Mary B’s Gift Shop and Celebrate Local.

CPL: Do you have any advice for illustrators who are interested in making their book ideas a reality?

Katie: Use the Internet! Any question you may have about publishing (or almost anything), someone has probably already answered online. This is how I did it. I just read about other people’s experiences and different opinions, and then decided for myself what the best plan/strategy was for me. It was a lot of reading and it was kind of boring, but I think that’s the best way to do it.

CPL: What’s next for you?

Katie: Right now I’m halfway through working on The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book Part II. The title is even longer this time! This book will feature Olde Towne East, Victorian Village, Italian Village, and The University District. I have a couple other exciting projects that have come from The Columbus Ohio Coloring and Activity Book, but unfortunately I can’t talk about them yet.

Katie is a great author to work with, and we can’t wait to see her next project. If you’re interested in making your book a reality, we invite you to contact us by clicking here. Our editors and designers work closely with each author to ensure each project is a success.

How We Price Our Services – A Better Way to Do Business

There are three common ways that businesses price their services.

Market Based Pricing – A company asks the question, “What’s the most amount of money the most number of people will people pay for this service?”  Companies spend a lot of time and money researching how much people will pay, and how many customers are lost as the price increases to a new bracket.  At some point, the number of customers lost outweighs the increase in revenue.  So they charge the most amount possible before they lose too many customers to make the increased price worthwhile.

Competition Based Pricing – Companies ask the question, “How much are my competitors charging?” Prices are determined based on what competing companies are charging, and the relative services and incentives the company is offering.  Company X charges $1,000, we’ll charge $950.

Value Based Pricing – A company asks the question, “What value does my service provide to the client?”  So, for instance, if an author can expect to make $10,000 off their book, a company who is producing the book might charge $9,000.

Any of these methods would price our services much higher than the amount that we charge. Self-publishers are paying an arm and a leg for quality book production with our competitors.  Other companies are charging $5,000 to $15,000 for similar services that we charge less than $2,000 for.  And if we’re looking at value, our commitment to our clients is unmatched, and most of our clients earn far more money over time than they spend with us.

But we employ a fourth pricing model, Cost Based Pricing.  We look at a potential service and say, “It will cost us $X to provide this service in cash out the door, and it will take us Y number of hours to do a great job.  We want to pay our employees and contractors a reasonable living wage, so we need to charge this amount.”  We don’t want to eat spaghetti every night, but we also don’t want to take advantage of anyone.  So we figure out how much we need to bring in so that we pay our bills.  That’s what you pay.

The world would be a better place if more companies adopted this model.  So many companies are asking the question “How much can we get?” when they should be asking “How much should we get?”

I believe in self-publishing.  I believe it’s a viable industry, and I believe that it can provide readers with great and valuable materials.  But I also look at the self-publishing industry and think what a racket, no wonder so many people don’t take self-publishing seriously.

One of my fears is that people will look at our low prices and ask, “How can the services be as good if they’re only charging 20% of the price? What corners are they cutting?”  I can assure you that the only corner we’re cutting is the one where we take you for as much money as we can.  I’m confident that the materials we produce at Columbus Publishing Lab blow our competition out of the water, and our clients are profoundly more successful.  We can do it for less, simply because we’re committed to charging a fair price.

We don’t have a large corporate structure or shareholders.  We’re a family owned business full of great people who want to earn a fair living wage.  We’re not here to maximize the profits on our spreadsheets.  As the CEO, I don’t report to the board, I report to my wife and kids.

We’re not here to increase shareholder wealth, we’re here to make a fair living and do something we love.  We’re here to provide a quality service that we think is important.

The Self-Publishing Handbook — A (Free!) Resource for Self-Publishers

The Self-Publishing Handbook by Brad Pauquette was recently released by Columbus Press.self-pub cover A resource for self-publishers, the handbook details the five key steps to professionally publish a book.

The self-publishing industry is filled with choices. There are hundreds of different ways to publish your book, each with varying levels of cost and quality. Attempting to navigate so many different options without a guide can cost you time, money and sanity. The Self-Publishing Handbook gives you the facts you need to make the right decisions. From hiring professionals, to D.I.Y. tips, this compact book separates worthwhile services from scams, and gets you on your way to producing an excellent book.

Prior to founding Columbus Publishing Lab, Brad Pauquette was a publishing consultant for many years. From New York Times bestsellers to professional athletes, with lots of ordinary authors in between, Brad has helped author-publishers of all types and budgets make the most of their publishing projects.

The Self-Publishing Handbook was created to be an accessible resource for authors. While the book is for sale on Amazon.com, a PDF download is also available for free to anyone who signs up for our mailing list. (We use our mailing list to send out self-publishing tips and updates on seminars and classes. We solemnly swear never to spam you, and you can unsubscribe at any time.)

Get your free download of The Self-Publishing Handbook here. 

If you’d prefer to purchase a hardcopy, you can find the book on Amazon here, or from virtually any print or digital book retailer.

Graphic Designer Position Available

Columbus Publishing Lab has an opening for a part-time graphic designer.

We’re looking for someone who is a fast learner and a good listener. You must be able to complete tasks efficiently on tight deadlines.

Illustration and fine arts skills are a plus. 

Must be proficient with the following software:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • 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)

Some allowances may be made to work from home, but prospective designers must live in the Columbus, Ohio area, and be able to regularly commute to our office.

We are looking for someone to start immediately.  Full-time work may be available, following a probationary period.

Interested designers should email a link to a website or samples of work to emily@columbuspublishinglab.com