Book Publishing FAQ

Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.  If you don’t see your question, please contact us. We’re happy to help.

What kind of books do you publish?

We publish all kinds of books, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoirs, children’s books and graphic novels. We do not publish erotica.

I’d prefer to speak with a real person about my project. Is there someone knowledgeable I can talk to?

Absolutely! We’d love to chat. If you’re in Central or Eastern Ohio, we can even meet in person. Please give us a call at 614-805-3982. We also respond to text messages at that number.

Who is the publisher of my book?

You’re the publisher! You make all of the executive decisions for your book. We’re here to provide professional services and expertise to make your book the best that it can be. You can put your name or your company name on the back of your book, or you can use one of our imprints at no additional charge.

Do I remain the owner of my book after I’ve published it?

Absolutely. You retain all rights to your work at all times.

What other costs can I expect?

There are no hidden costs. Our business model revolves around transparency, and we’ve designed our packages to include everything you need to take your book to market. We won’t try to up-sell you what you don’t need, and there are no hidden fees you’ll have to deal with down the road.

Who prices my book?

You do! We’re happy to help you make a good decision, but the choice is ultimately yours. Before we start your project, we’ll talk about the estimated page count, run through some pricing options, and provide the royalty rates you can expect to receive.

What royalty will I receive?

You take home 80% of net earnings. That means that whatever we receive for the sale of your book, you get 80% of that in a quarterly check, no weird fees or funny business. For comparison, most of our authors make $3 to $6 per book sold. The actual dollar amount will vary depending on the page count of your book, the printing options that you select, and the price you choose for your book.

In 2017, our average author who earned royalties made $1,530. Learn more about our methodology here.

We see many of our competitors claiming that authors make “100% royalties.” We honestly can’t figure out what they mean by that, because the dollar amount they’re paying is a fraction of what our authors are making. Our best guess is that they’re charging fees and then giving the authors “100%” of whatever’s left over.

Where will my book be available for sale?

Your print book will be distributed through Ingram (the nation’s largest book distributor) and will be available from all major online retailers, including and  It will also be available to brick-and-mortar bookstores, but it will be up to you to convince them to carry your book on the shelves.  Whether they carry it or not, the book will be available to all bookstores for special order, so if someone asks for your book, the bookstore can get that reader a copy.

Your e-book will be available from the world’s four largest e-book retailers—Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, iTunes and Kobo.  These e-book retailers account for more than 99% of all e-book sales in the United States.

Can I print books for myself? Can I sell them? How much will they cost?

Yes, you can print books for yourself, and do whatever you want with them.  You’re the publisher, and you retain all rights to your own work.  You can give them away, you can sell them online, at author fairs, to friends and family.  You’re the boss.

The cost to print books will vary depending on the page count, book size and other printing options.  As an example, a 250-page paperback book, with a 5″ x 8″ size, with a black and white interior and full color cover will cost about $5.60 to print, plus shipping.  For most orders, books will be delivered to your doorstep in about ten business days.  Rush processing is available for an additional charge.

We do offer quantity discounts for orders of 100 books or more.

How long does it take to edit and design my book?

The length of time varies based on the services that you’ve requested.  Most complete book projects take from 6 to 12 weeks. That’s counting from the time that all of the materials are provided to the day it’s available for sale from major retailers.

Can I provide my own cover artwork? My own copy editor? Proofreader?

Absolutely! You’re the publisher, and that makes you the boss.  Let us know what you already have, and what you need from us, and we’ll adjust one of our packages to meet your needs at a great price.

Where are you located?

We are in Zanesville, Ohio. We are happy to meet authors in person in Central and Eastern Ohio, and to talk on the phone or video conference with clients outside of our area.

We do NOT outsource our work to foreign countries.

How do your prices compare?

Our prices and service are unmatched in the industry. For example, Outskirts Press charges more than $4,500 for a publishing package that includes only basic services. Compared to our package that includes developmental editing (to improve big-picture issues with the manuscript) and copy editing (to fix line-by-line issue), there’s no comparison.

Similarly, Mill City Press charges more than $5,000 for a package that only includes “Editorial Diagnostic Review,” whatever that means.

How do you determine your prices?

We price all of our services based on our cost to perform them. We know how many hours each task takes, and how much we have to spend to effectively distribute your book and perform other services. We love the job that we do, and we love to work with emerging authors. That’s why we’re committed to offering our services at the lowest possible price, so that our authors can be profitable and successful.

How does the process work?

We get excited about the books we produce, and enjoy keeping authors in the loop along each step of the publication process. We’ll walk through each service that you’ve selected, and get your feedback and approval for each task before moving on.

For a full production process, we start with developmental editing, then move onto copy editing, followed by interior design and cover design, and we finish with proofreading. After everyone is 100% happy with the book, we distribute it to retailers.

How and when do I pay Columbus Publishing Lab for their services?

We accept checks, credit/debit cards, and PayPal. For most projects, we ask for half of the total project cost up front, with the remainder due when you’re 100% satisfied with all of the services you’ve been provided.

Don’t see your question? Please contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.