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Publishing FAQ

If you don't find the answer you are looking for, contact us at: or call us at 1-800-238-6376, or locally, 613-962-0234.


Does it cost anything to submit my manuscript?

Absolutely not. After reading your manuscript, we return a contract detailing all publishing costs. At that point you decide if we are to go ahead. If not, you owe nothing.

Do you publish non-Christian books?

Essence Publishing publishes many non-Christian books under the Epic Press imprint or under a name of the author’s own choosing. Each and every book we produce is created with the same care and concern, regardless of imprint name. We reserve the right, however, to refuse to print anything that is explicitly contrary to our beliefs or falls outside the range of acceptable taste.

Do you publish children’s books?

Essence Publishing has published many full-colour children’s books. Surprisingly, full-colour children’s books can be published at a reasonable price. Generally, because of colour printing costs, we suggest a minimum quantity of 500 books. Whether your book already has illustrations completed or you require an Essence illustrator also impacts the overall costs of a printing. If you would like more details, please contact us.

How much will it cost to produce my book?

The book’s page count, number of books needed, and the physical size of the book mainly determine pricing. Other things like editing, pictures or charts, and cover design elements can also add to the overall costs.

See the price list printed in our brochure, or click on here for a general idea on the printing costs. For an exact cost estimate, please submit a copy of your manuscript for evaluation. If your manuscript is accepted for publishing, we will prepare a contract outlining the exact costs for your book. There are no hidden costs, and the contract we send will provide a breakdown of each element separately.

I live in the United States. Is that any problem?

A large number of the books we publish are for authors in the United States. We also have published books for authors outside of North America. It has not been a problem for any of them. Essence Publishing is located in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, which is two hours east of Toronto, three hours west of Montreal, and one hour from the US border. This central location allows for economical shipping across North America. Books are duty-free and they are never a problem going through customs. Our pricing is very competitive.

Authors overseas may wish to take advantage of our e-book and POD options, which eliminates many shipping costs.

How long will it take to produce my book?

Each project is different, and thus the production time varies from book to book. Generally, all books are completed within three to five months. This is the fastest in the industry, three to eight times faster than the average royalty book publishers. Some seasons are busier than others, potentially influencing production times. Late summer and fall are usually the most hectic.

For some authors, completed books are needed by a specific date. Arrangements can be specially made for quicker turnaround, which may be subject to a fee.

We recommend that authors do not book speaking engagements until the book is in their hand. Planning ahead is recommended to allow enough time for your book to be produced, which can be an unpredictable process.

Is typesetting really included in the printing cost? I've seen this cost as high as $5 or $6 per page!

For all standard book formats, typesetting is included, provided the manuscript is supplied on disk. The exception would be books with non-standard layouts such as cookbooks, dictionaries, some textbooks, or reference books. This will be very clearly spelled out in the contract.

Should I design my own cover?

We recommend that a trained graphic designer work on your cover, just as it’s best to let a professional edit your book. Graphic designers have the artistic and technical experience needed to produce high quality covers. We have three levels of cover design options to choose from, all of which produce attractive, professional, custom covers. The more attractive a cover is, the more likely the customer will pick the book up.

If you are having your own graphic designer complete your cover, they will be required to submit their original files to us for verification and printing purposes. Cover design costs are adjusted to reflect this arrangement.

Should I UV coat the cover?

We require UV coating on all of our books. UV coating gives your book that final professional polish. It also protects your cover—books are often subjected to wear and tear. UV coating also helps prevents cracking of the cover in the binding stage.

How many books should I publish?

Unless you have many advance orders and/or do a lot of public speaking, 500 books should be sufficient for a first printing. For a minimum investment, 250 books is an acceptable alternative. However, because the cost per book goes down considerably as quantities increase, and because books can be sold for many years if necessary, we encourage a quantity of 500 books for a first printing. For instance, suppose that for 250 books, the unit cost is $8 and for 500 books, the unit cost is $5. If you sell the book for $13, then 250 copies will break even at 153 books, while 500 copies will break even at 192 books—only 39 more books and you still have 308 books left to sell for profit!

We will complete as few as 50 copies for a first printing for authors who do not wish to market the book outside of their friends and family. This is a great option for biographies or memoirs meant only for family and friends.

E-book-only contracts are now available, which can include only 50 books. International Distribution options also allow a larger market with few printed copies.

How many words are on a typical typeset page?

The number of words on a page can vary greatly depending on the page layout, fonts, spacing, and type size. Approximately 350 words per page is a rough estimate. To get an accurate estimate of the page count before sending your manuscript to Essence Publishing, divide the total number of words by 350 and add 10. Under most circumstances, that will be within 5% of the final book length. This is the formula you can use for a page that measures 5.25” x 8”.

Should I ask for my book to be edited?

Absolutely! We strongly recommend allowing our team of professionals to edit your work. This is one of the main considerations when choosing to publish and should be budgeted for. Many times authors are too personally invested to objectively evaluate their own work. Our evaluators will determine what level of editing is needed. This will be suggested on the contract. It is, of course, always your choice. If you have been awarded the Essence Publishing imprint and wish to be published under it, then we ask that you follow our suggestions.

At Essence we want your book to be as professional and polished as possible. You will have lots of opportunities to review the suggestions made by our editors via the proof questions. The proof process allows you to make changes according to the editor’s suggestions as well. Nothing goes to press without your written approval.

All changes must be made in writing by the author. The author holds the copyright to their book, and therefore the author has the final say in determining exactly what changes will be made.

What about the back cover?

The back cover is a very important part of your book. In fact, if you watch a person look at a book, you will notice that right after the cover prompts them to pick it up, they will flip it over and read the back cover. While there are no hard and fast rules, the back cover usually contains an “advertisement” for the book and some biographical information about the author. This may or may not include a picture of the author. Sometimes favourable quotes from respected individuals are used. Generally what you want written on the back cover draws the buyer enough to purchase the book. Essence Publishing works with the author to produce just the right wording, and our design team makes sure that it looks aesthetically pleasing. This is included in our cover design charge.

How do I copyright my manuscript?

All original works—literary, dramatic, musical, and visual art—are automatically protected under the copyright act, which is universally accepted by most industrialized countries around the world. For books, this is usually listed near the front of the book to show readers who holds the copyright. You do not have to register your copyright to have protection. Registering your copyright can be an advantage in the event that your work is infringed upon, but it is not necessary in order to take legal action.

In either case, copyright is no guarantee against infringement. It is the author’s responsibility to police and take legal action in the event of violation.

Essence Publishing lists the copyright in the author’s name, thus he or she retains all rights.

When must I make payment for my books?

We require 33% of the total cost, or the first deposit, with your returned contract. A second 33%, or second deposit is due at the proof stage. This is generally about six to eight weeks after the contract has been received. The remainder is due when the books are completed and ready for shipment. This is about a month after the book has been sent to press. The books cannot be shipped until we receive the final payment. Essence Publishing accepts VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal for all payments.

How much should I charge for my book?

Usually, you will want to price your book competitively with similar books—generally in the $15 to $20 range. From a profit perspective, you should price your book at two to five times the book’s cost. (If you plan to sell through bookstores, the retail price should be at least three times the cost.) We will suggest a retail price range for your book.

How much is a second printing?

In most cases, a subsequent printing is 10 to 15% less than the sum of the cover and book printing costs of the first run. There would be no extra charges, such as editing or cover design, provided they don’t change. Small text changes can be made at this point, for little or no cost, without any problem. This process is usually much faster, a reprint can be completed in about a month, as most publishing concerns have already been addressed.

I’m not sure how well my book will sell and am nervous about printing too many. I also don’t want to run out. What should I do?

Essence Publishing has the answer. Essence can Print-on-Demand more books as you need them. Combine the advantages of offset printing—lower unit costs and higher quality covers—with the ability to print as needed, an advantage that Print-on-Demand offers.

If you’ve chosen our e-book option, your book will be available even if you have run out of printed copies. Another option is International Distribution, where you can direct buyers to the large book-buying sites to fulfill their orders, such as Learn more about ebooks by visiting the E-book Publishing section.

Essence Publishing does all of the book production in-house, which enables us to combine all these options into one affordable package.

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to publish my book myself?

It is possible that you could save money in the short run by arranging, by yourself, all the different services Essence Publishing provides. Our prices are very competitive, however, and you will be very hard pressed to beat them, even if you do all the work yourself. It is important to remember that there is a lot more to book publishing than simply printing a book. In fact, printing is often the easy part. What about ISBN registration and bar codes? Can your local print shop be trusted for attractive cover design and helpful suggestions on page layout, back cover text, and successful pricing? Do they do their own carefully controlled, professional bookbinding? (Very few do!) Even if all of these hold true, it is improbable that a print shop has the ability to give you the marketing assistance Essence Publishing does.

Very few, if any, specialized book publishers can compete with our complete package pricing. Most charge exorbitantly for marketing services. Many take a 40 to 60% commission for each book sold. Others manufacture books in an assembly line style—stock cover designs, stock page layouts, and stock book size. Deviate and you pay dearly.

Essence Publishing has been working closely with authors and producing great books for many years. We are particular about the finished product because our name goes on it as well. Check out our Facebook page or read the "What Our Authors Say" area of this site for comments from satisfied, published authors.

My book will require photos and charts, how much will that cost?

All black and white photographs inside the book cost $12 each. Photos can be submitted electronically, by mail or in person.

Colour photos are substantially more expensive  ($250+) and potentially change the book production method. Please talk to us if you're planning on colour photographs in your book.

Charts can be submitted by the author or made by our staff. Costs vary so we recommend talking to us about specifics.