Category Archives: Company Information

Now Hiring — Graphic Designer

We are seeking a full-time graphic designer for book design and publishing projects. Apply now for a creative position with a growing company in the publishing industry.

You will work on a wide variety of projects from inception to print, with a large amount of creative control and self-direction from day one. You’ll be supported by an experienced industry veteran who will kick your work to the next level.

The graphic designer will be responsible for book cover design, interior book design, and marketing-related design work for print and digital platforms.

We’re a close-knit team. We believe that a dedication to exceptional work isn’t synonymous with a stuffy corporate atmosphere, and we know our employees do their best work when they have the freedom and flexibility to be creative.

You will not be chained to a desk cranking out one type of project over and over. Book publishing is a creative industry and you’ll gain experience with a wide variety of projects.


An interest in books is important. You don’t need to be a bookworm, but we expect you to have an eye for what works on a cover, and get excited about book-ish stuff like typography.

Firm grasp of the English language. You should be able to catch typos and spelling and grammar mistakes in your own work.

Self-awareness. We’ll hand a project over to you, give you all the tools, support and feedback you need to do the job, and let your creative control reign. With great power comes great responsibility, and it’s important that our designer is self-motivated and is able to manage time effectively.

Self-taught and unconventional candidates are encouraged to apply. we care more about what you can do than your credentials.  Applicants should have some experience using design skills in a real-world setting. It’s OK if your previous design experience isn’t related to book publishing.

Strong technical skills. Applicants should have useable knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator as well as Microsoft Word. Must be self-motivated to expand technical skills as needed. Illustration and fine arts skills are a plus but not required.


Office environment. Our office is located in a historical building in downtown Zanesville, Ohio. Zanesville offers big-city amenities with a low cost of living. The environment is casual and flexible.  There is potential for this position to include work-from-home opportunities.

COMPENSATION & COMMITMENT: Negotiable, up to $32,000 yr., salary.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATION: Interested candidates should include contact information, an introductory letter, resume, and samples of your work or a portfolio link. Please send this information to

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Columbus Publishing Lab publishes books for authors and small presses across most genres. We work hard for our clients because we respect the trust they place in us, and because work is more fulfilling when you like your job, your work environment, and you have the freedom and flexibility to create work you can be proud of.  The company was founded in Columbus, Ohio, and now operates its primary office out of Zanesville, Ohio under the direction of CEO Emily Hitchcock.

A New Day for Columbus Publishing Lab – Introducing Emily Hitchcock as Chief Executive Officer

Dear friends, clients and colleagues,

It is my pleasure to introduce Emily Hitchcock as Chief Executive Officer of Columbus Publishing Lab.

My role with the company is changing. I’ll still be working with Emily and our staff as a developmental editor, but my primary focus will be outside of the company where I will be launching a non-profit school for creative writing.

Emily has served alongside me as the Chief Operating Officer for many years. She has learned the industry inside and out, and is already more familiar with the day-to-day operations of our company than I am. She is hardworking, creative, honest, and pushes herself to excellence every day. I am confident that she’ll continue to represent the company with integrity, and to carry on the tradition, values, and mission that have defined our organization.

I step away from my role as CEO confident that every author and client our company serves will continue to receive excellent service and transparent communication.

It has been a pleasure to serve so many wonderful authors. I look forward to working alongside Emily and seeing the company continue to soar under her direction.

This transition will not affect any services that our authors and clients are presently receiving.

Thank you for your support and understanding in this transition. Please contact us with any questions.

Here’s to a new generation of excellence at Columbus Publishing Lab.

– Brad Pauquette
Founder, Columbus Publishing Lab

P.S. Learn more about my non-profit organization, the School of Kingdom Writers, at

Our 2017 Average Author Earnings – $1,530

There’s a lot of flashy showmanship and big promises within the self-publishing industry, but a lack of reasonable information and realistic expectations.

At Columbus Publishing Lab, we value long-term, mutually-beneficial relationships with our authors, based on trust.

As you consider self-publishing, we think it’s important that you base your decision on facts.  We’re committed to honesty and transparency, and our average author earnings is helpful information as you consider self-publishing with us.  When you make a confident choice with realistic expectations, we have a foundation for a successful relationship. And that’s good for everyone.

Of our royalty-receiving publishing clients, the average author received $933 in royalties in 2017.

A portion of our books have very limited sales—these books are family memoirs, books for a specific audience or event, or they’ve been on the market for a long time. In any case, the author isn’t pushing this book and doesn’t want or expect a lot of sales. When we adjust the same data set for these books by eliminating all of the authors who received less than $100 over the year, the average “active” author received $1,530 in royalties from us in 2017.

We encourage all of our authors to think about their book as a two-year investment. On that timeline, greater than 65% of our authors recover more money in royalties than they spent on production with us.  I think these numbers reflect that.  Most of our authors turn a profit, and these numbers don’t even include books sold directly by the authors, which we don’t track.

In addition to the royalties they receive from us, most of our authors directly sell books (which they can buy from us at the cost to print)—at events, festivals, through their website, on consignment at local bookstores, or through distribution channels they might have set up personally. Our average royalty listed above is only for book sales through conventional distribution methods like,, Kobo and iTunes which are administrated by us.  Most of our authors are making money with direct sales as well as the royalties they receive from Columbus Publishing Lab, which means that in reality, our average active author is making significantly more than the $1,530 we’re paying them.

Most of our competitors don’t release this kind of information. In fact, I’m not aware of any that do. I don’t blame them, as I suspect their data doesn’t look this good.  At Columbus Publishing Lab, we’re committed to producing books with excellence, and that’s evident in the results our authors achieve.

We encourage all of our authors to follow the step-by-step professional production plan Brad Pauquette, our CEO, created and outlined based on his years of industry experience as a publishing consultant. It works. And our authors who invest in their book and follow all of the plan are profitable more than 80% of the time. Join our mailing list by clicking here and we’ll send you a free copy of Brad’s book so that you can learn all about The Five Key Steps to Professionally Publish Your Book.

Self-publishing is a business. And it can be a profitable one. Contact us today at 614-805-3982 or email us at to discuss how we can get your book to market with the best chance of success. We can’t wait to work with you and bring your book to life.

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 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 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.


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 and  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.