14 FAQs

  • Do I get a discount when I order my own book?

    HLB authors get a print run as part of our package. You will own those books outright. You may order additional books at any point directly from Henry Lyon Books. Books for your own use or resale (excluding trade sales) will be sold to you at the manufacturing cost, plus shipping and handling.

  • What about marketing? How does that work?

    Working with Sharon Castlen for your publicity is key to getting your book to the highest possible sales position. Marketing is an option on your package. Our experience has shown us that books without a publicity plan tend not to go very far — and our goal for our authors is that they will more than earn out their expenses — they will turn a profit. Short of a miracle or a streak of good timing and good luck, the only way to sell books is to have a solid publicity campaign.

  • Why should I consider HLB over self-publishing places like CreateSpace or iUniverse?

    One major benefit of publishing with HLB is the fact that we’re a curated press. We carefully review every submission. We secured traditional distribution because of the quality of our books. With LEB, your book will be available to any and all retail outlets that want to carry your book, as well as to libraries and other specialty markets.

    Our covers rival our traditional counterparts, and our well-edited books are recognized throughout the industry as meeting a traditional-level standard, evidenced by the fact that we qualify to submit our books through traditional review channels rather than through their self-publishing offshoots. When you publish through LSI or CreateSpace, you are the publisher and you do all the work yourself. You hire and manage your team, and you really should have some book publishing experience in order to ensure all the pieces come together properly. At HLB, you’ll have a direct relationship with the publisher, Faithe Thomas. Our creative team makes sure your book has a commercial appeal, and that it will hold up against the competition. Every part of your book will follow book-publishing conventions, and there will not be anything that goes overlooked.

    We are also different from Author Solutions imprints because we provide much more hand-holding. We are a team and a community who cares about the books we’re publishing, their quality, and their impact on readers. This is not a mill. We limit the number of books we publish each year to ensure the quality of each book.

  • What are the book size options?

    HLB publishes paperback (perfect bound) books. If an author wants a hardcover (case bound), they must consider the print costs, and we would like to have a conversation with you about the pros and cons of this option. Our standard trim size is 6 x 9. We have the capacity to print saddle stitched books, and well as nontraditional trim sizes. This can be considered at the time of negotiation.

  • Can you give me an example of what I would make from my book?

    Let's give an example of what you would make from a $16.95 book. It will depend on where and how it is sold.


    • The Net Sales Price will be the $16.95, or a little less if you discount it.
    • The manufacturing cost will be $2 – $4 (depending on POD vs. print-run).
    • If you hand-sell the books from among your own initial inventory, or ship them yourself, those are your only costs. If you need to replenish your own stock, you need to take those costs into consideration.
    • So, if you sell your book directly, your Net Profit will be: $12.95 – 14.95.

    We recommend you pass along the cost of shipping and handling to your consumer. Sending via media mail throughout the U.S. is $2.58 and the cost of mailers is typically about $1-$1.50 per mailer, so you can generally charge back between $4-$5 for shipping and handling.


    • The Net Sales Price will be $8.47 or 50% of the $16.95 (standard trade discount).
    • The manufacturing cost will be about $2 – $4.
    • For distribution, maintaining the trade relationships, warehousing, shipping, and accounting for book sales, LEB receives a 10% fee from the Net Sales Price.
    • So, for books sold through the trade, your Net Profit will be: $3.62-$5.62 ($8.47 minus $2-$4
  • What about royalties?

    Technically we do not pay royalties, because our hybrid model is a partnership and different from the traditional understanding of publishing, and therefore paying royalties. HLB pays authors their earnings, and those earnings are paid monthly 90 days after the month paid. So, for example, in June, you will be paid for sales from the month of February.

  • How does the cover design work? I can design it myself?

    When an author decides to publish with HLB, their cover is managed and/or designed by our designer Faithe Thomas. Authors are asked to fill out a cover memo to give us direction, and from there they are given at least three cover “comps” to review. These will be conceptual, not completely polished. The author then weighs in on the direction and will consult with their project manager about what’s working and not working. In an ideal scenario, one of the three directions will be on track and the designer will polish that cover with feedback from the author. If all three concepts are off-track, HLB will offer one more additional round. We will work with our authors to create the best possible cover for their book, but we will also request from our authors that this be a collaborative process. We take our covers very seriously, and strive to produce covers we can all be proud of.

  • Self-publishing is pretty easy and cheap. Why should I choose a publisher like Henry Lyon Books?

    It is relatively easy to self-publish. You don’t have to spend much money at all. That said, most authors don’t know how to publish, what’s involved, and what they’re missing. It’s the old adage: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Most self-published books fail because they are editorially and aesthetically below par. We ensure that every book published on the HLB label is up to a certain industry standard, and no book put out on our imprint will suffer the feedback of being poorly published. Faithe Thomas has made author education an integral part of the experience at Henry Lyon Books. She offers training as part of the package in which she details all the steps of the publishing process and explains to authors what they need to be considering as they move forward toward publication. Also, self-publishing is a lonely endeavor, and many self-published authors don’t have the community or existing platform they need to be able to sell books. Although we can’t build an author’s platform for them, we do feel we are giving them a leg-up by featuring their books on our social media sites. Authors also take advantage of the collective experience of those authors who’ve come before them, many of whom are active on the HLB Secret group on Facebook. We give authors the benefit of publishing on a brand that has the added benefit of traditional distribution.

  • What about fulfillment from my website?

    HLB does not offer fulfillment services on direct sales from authors’ websites. If you so choose, you can fulfill your own single orders directly from your site, making sure to factor in the cost of shipping and handling (we recommend a flat fee of $5 for your mailer and the media mail option via USPS). If you choose not to fulfill your own single orders, we can set up your website to link to Amazon.

  • Can I add images or tables in the book?

    The following additional services are a la carte, and their inclusion in any given book is at any given author’s sole discretion.

    Additional Images Use of more than 15 author supplied images in the interior of the book $5 per image
    Tables Uses of tables, charts, or other graphics that require sizing or other manipulation $20 per table
    Image Enhancement & Manipulation Any work done on an image to improve its appearance and presentation, beyond the re-sizing included in the base fee $20 per image
    Footnote or Endnotes Insertion or editing of citations or references $1.00 per item
    Index Insertion or editing of citations or references $50/hour
  • Does the package include ebook conversion?

    Yes. We will convert your files and make them available to the following online retailers:

    Amazon Kindle
    Baker & Taylor
    Barnes & Noble Nook
    Page Foundry
    Rethink Books/Bookshout!
    Gardners (United Kingdom)
    Blinkbox Books (United Kingdom)
    Sainsbury’s (United Kingdom)
    Txtr (Germany)
    and many more

  • Will my book be available internationally?

    Your books will be distributed through our international distribution outlets in England and Australia. Please let us know at the point of negotiation if you do not want your book released for international sales. Amazon sells across the world, and LEB will make available the U.S. edition for international purchase. This does not give us the right to sell translation rights, which are rights our authors retain.

  • Can I get my books into bookstores?

    Yes, any bookstore interested in carrying your book can order directly through their normal channels.

  • Do you offer financing or payment plans?

    During our registration call, we can discuss our payment plan options. While we do not offer financing, we do have payment plans and full payment discounts.