Services That No Self-Publishing Firms Have

The following is included in all packages:

  • Title information distributed to industry databases including Ingram and Bowker.
  • Title available for distribution in the US including from HarperCollins, Ingram, and Anchor.
  • Title available on all major online book retailers in the US including Amazon,, Books-A-Million, Christianbook, and more.
  • Title available on all major ebook platforms including Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, Google, and more.
  • Sales and reviews monitored by HCCP so that strongest titles are considered for acquisition by HCCP. List of strongest titles is also distributed to select literary agents that focus on the Christian book space.
  • Title available to all HCCP accounts in the United States.
  • Title and author listed on Goodreads (the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations).
  • Title available from HCCP’s online consumer sales site, FaithGateway.
  • Title available from HCCP’s online church sales site, ChurchSource.
  • Title available to libraries in the US through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and other distributors.
  • Title available to all major library ebook platforms including OverDrive, Libby, Hoopla, and more.
  • Title available for distribution worldwide including HarperCollins, Koorong (Australia), and more.
  • Title available on international online book retailers including HarperCollins (Australia and New Zealand), Koorong (Australia), Kinokuniya (Japan), and Rakuten (Japan).
  • Title available from HCCP for export to English markets worldwide.
  • Title available from HCCP for international licensing.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

Gold Leaf authors — tiers 4, 5, and 6 — will have the opportunity for their book to be presented by HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP) sales representatives to retail book buyers in a variety of ways:

  • Title featured in HarperCollins Christian Publishing catalog on Edelweiss (the primary tool used by book retailers for information on upcoming books).
  • Title presented to the sales team at HCCP’s sales conference two months prior to its release.
  • Title presented to stores in one Metropolitan Market of your choice in the United States.
  • Titles showing strong initial sales have the opportunity for sales efforts to be expanded to a regional level.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

Elm Hill is currently developing a Professional Certified Author (PCA) program. Authors who purchase packages with this option will have one year of access to the “Marketing Your Book” course. By completing and passing the required sessions offered online through this course, you will earn certification in Book Marketing from the Professional Certified Author (PCA) program. This course will be accessible online for one year from the time of package purchase, and will teach authors how to take an active role in marketing, promoting, and selling their book using the best practices developed by HCCP.

The course will give authors the opportunity to learn both basic and advanced strategies and tactics to drive book sales. The topics covered will include:

  • developing a marketing plan
  • optimizing metadata (title, subtitle, keywords, description, price, etc.)
  • optimizing the book’s Amazon title page (keywords, description, formatting, Search Inside, etc.)
  • optimizing the Amazon Author Central page
  • Amazon advertising
  • creating an author website
  • designing an author newsletter
  • setting up social media platform accounts
  • developing a content marketing plan
  • getting book reviews and maximizing their impact
  • marketing with local bookstores
  • generating publicity with local media
  • working with local book clubs
  • developing your event marketing plan
  • Facebook marketing and advertising
  • Goodreads marketing and advertising
  • how to find and work with a publicist

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

If you select the top package, you are going to enjoy the “inside of the inside” benefits:

  • 50 Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) for use in implementing your Prelaunch Campaign
  • You’ll learn how to run your part of the prelaunch campaign in your own prelaunch marketing playbook which covers a variety of topics including how to develop a street team and get them to take action to drive potential readers into stores, how to distribute ARCs to generate reviews, and how to spur prelaunch sales on Amazon to maximize your sales when your title releases.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

Editorial Services

If you only have a hard copy or previously printed version of your manuscript or book, our scan and data entry service can convert it to a live digital file you can use to revise, re-publish, and release your title as an ebook with the highest quality and accuracy possible. Here are the steps:

  • Your book must first be converted back to a Word document through a combination of scanning and proprietary data capture software developed over the years. Our process achieves accuracy as high as 99.992%. You will be responsible for reviewing the resulting Word document for errors, which also gives you a chance to revise the content for editorial reasons.
  • We will then need to professionally format it (aka “Page Design”) so it will have a professional look. We will recreate the book cover for you or create one with a new look — it’s entirely up to you.
  • We can then take the formatted file and cover and create an ebook version as well. Both the file for the printed book and the file for the ebook require formatting. (If someone tells you ebooks don’t need formatting, run the other way before it’s too late!)

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

This service is mandatory for all Elm Hill books and focuses on evaluating your manuscript to make sure that it meets the standards set for Elm Hill by HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Elm Hill authors are free to write on any topic provided it meets the HarperCollins Christian Publishing Editorial Standards and adheres to the additional requirements listed under “Elm Hill Submissions.” Though Elm Hill will make every attempt necessary to communicate the content standards to authors and provide a resolution period for works that are determined to misalign with the content standards, Elm Hill reserves the right to cancel a publishing agreement at any time based on its content evaluation of an author’s work.


During the Content Evaluation stage, we also do an initial assessment of your manuscript’s editorial quality. This is to ensure that your manuscript will have the opportunity to reach the editing standard it needs and to ensure that the quality of the edited version will conform with Elm Hill’s standards. Depending on the initial editorial assessment, a manuscript might require an unusually high portion of the words, phrases, sentences to be changed; this is usually when there are English-as-second-language issues, but other situations as well. Please know, however, that this occurs with less than 1 manuscript out of every 50 submitted to us.

If you have opted for Full Mechanical Editing service and, during the initial assessment, we've found that more than 12% of the words will need to be changed during editing, we will get in touch with you immediately to discuss which of the following options you would like to choose:

  • Proceed with the Full Mechanical Editing service and pay the additional cost incurred for the correction rate that goes beyond 12%
  • Downgrade to Basic Editing (no cost)
  • Cancel the editing service and withdraw your manuscript from being published (in this case, you'll receive a full refund minus a $200 fee, in keeping with the cancellation terms in the agreement).


Since our mission is to “inspire the world by meeting the needs of people with content that promotes biblical principles and honors Jesus Christ,” it is important that we have Editorial Standards that support and are consistent with the Mission. With that in mind, the following standards will serve as guidelines for the various HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP) publishing groups:


When publishing under the Thomas Nelson or Zondervan brands or other imprints publicly identified as part of HCCP, in general our goal is to publish authors who profess Christian faith and whose character and lifestyle, so far as they are reasonably known to us, are consistent with basic biblical standards (Gal. 5:22–23; Col. 3:5–10, 12–14).

Content Standards

The Heart of HCCP’s Mission

Our intention is to publish Christian content that honors God and sees humanity in its proper perspective in relation to God as revealed in the Bible. Historically Christians have accepted the Bible as their authority on those matters that it addresses. Consequently, we want our books to be consistent with the Bible and within the historic mainstream of Christian doctrine and ethics. This would include such basic beliefs as the Creator God revealed in the Bible, eternally existent in three Persons, the creation of all humankind made in the image of God, the Fall, the deity of Christ and his sacrificial death on our behalf and his bodily resurrection, salvation by grace alone through faith alone, the literal return of Christ to the earth, the final judgment of all people, and biblical ethical and moral standards.

As Christians from different traditions we recognize that this stream of Christian traditions contains a left bank, a right bank, and various crosscurrents. Overall, we want to be in the broad center of this stream, but as we seek to engage the culture and address the crucial and complex questions of our day from time to time, we may publish a bit to the left or right of this center, or publish the various crosscurrents. We want to be a broker of ideas within the context of our commitment to biblical authority and the historic doctrines of orthodox Christianity.

One of Elm Hill’s core markets is the CBA market which consists of the majority of the Christian bookstores across the United States. Our content guidelines are designed to make sure that each book we publish will be welcomed by this market and so we do not publish books conforming to religious traditions such the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) or Jehovah's Witnesses since they are not normally carried by most CBA stores.

Notwithstanding these commitments, since all truth is God’s truth, this does not suggest that all our publications must be explicitly “Christian.” We consider books that promote wholesome values (Phil. 4:8) to be consistent with the HCCP mission even if they are not the primary focus of our mission.

Standards of Excellence

We want to be known for publishing excellence including credible and well-researched content, good writing, careful and skillful editing, well-conceived design and illustration, and quality production values in all publishing formats.

The Use of Coarse Language

HCCP recognizes the existence of language that may be considered offensive in spoken and written communication. We therefore strive to minimize or eliminate such language in our products at the editorial stage.

Elm Hill Submissions

When making a submission, please note that Elm Hill will not publish manuscripts containing the following content:

  • Acts of violence against any institution or person(s)
  • Details of witchcraft, magical or horror references
  • Gratuitously violent or sexual content, including nonconsensual sex or sex with minors
  • Personal proprietary right violations or infringements, including copyrights, trademark rights, trade secret rights, contract rights, privacy rights or publicity rights of any persons
  • Recipes, formulas, instructions or recommendations that may be injurious to any reader, user or third person

Regarding Copyright

The default you should assume for other people’s works is that they are copyrighted and may not be copied or quoted unless you know otherwise.

Nothing modern and creative is in the public domain anymore unless the owner explicitly puts it in the public domain. Explicitly means that there must be a written record or a note signed by the author/owner saying, “I grant this to the public domain.”

Postings to the Internet are not granted to the public domain, and don’t grant you any permission to do further copying of the image nor use of the image for reprint. Any and all images found online must have written permission from the owner of the image, unless the website contains a clear notice that images may be reproduced for commercial use.

Regarding Libel and Invasion of Privacy

Understanding and respecting the rights and identities of people who may be identifiable within your manuscript is very important. Communication of statements that can hurt, harm, or have a negative connotation towards the reputation of an individual can be considered defamation of character and acted upon in a court of law. The defamation of character that appears in print form, such as a book, is referred to as libel.

The communication of statements that may cause emotional distress to an identifiable individual within your work is known as invasion of privacy, and that person may have the right to sue you. Acts that may be seen as an invasion of privacy include (1) revealing embarrassing and private facts, (2) portrayal of an individual in a false light, (3) intrusion into an individual’s private affairs, or (4) misappropriation of an individual’s name for publicity purposes.

Regarding Violence and Gore

Elm Hill does not promote gratuitous violence and gore, and we seek to avoid the degradation that may come from reading excessive descriptions. We understand that sometimes violence and gore must be mentioned but please refrain from being overly descriptive about it.

Regarding the Voice of God

It is our belief that the only words in a manuscript that are spoken or otherwise communicated by God, angels, or demons to anyone other than the author or providing direction to anyone other than the author should be those quoted from the Bible. All quotes from the Bible should conform with the original intent of those verses as part of the message of justice, mercy, and grace found in the Bible. Any communication in a manuscript from God, angels, or demons to the author or providing direction to the author should also be consistent with the message of justice, mercy, and grace found in the Bible.

Regarding Use of Scripture

If you are quoting Scripture within your book, it will be your responsibility to properly cite this material.

  • If you have quoted Scripture from multiple translations of the Bible, the Scripture needs to be referenced within the text including the book’s name, chapter number, verse number, and Bible translation (see The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style by Robert Hudson for more information on use of Scripture in your work). You will also need to provide us with a list of all the translations you have quoted from so the proper copyright statement for each can be added to the copyright page during design.
  • If you have quoted Scripture from only one translation of the Bible, then you still have to reference the book name, chapter number, and verse number within your text, but you won’t need to reference the translation each time. You will need to let us know which translation you have used so we can include the proper copyright statement on the copyright page during design.

In addition, many translations have limits as to the amount of Scripture that can be quoted without obtaining written permission. The amounts vary depending on which translation is being quoted. You are responsible for adhering to the limits or obtaining written permission if you want to exceed the limits.

Regarding Profanity, Violent and Sexual Scenes in Content

Use of unwholesome language simply reflects poor word choice and should be replaced with a better adjective, adverb, noun, or verb. Use of the word “hell” is acceptable only when it is referring to the place from a theological perspective. “Damn” is acceptable only when it is referring to God condemning a person to suffer eternal punishment in hell. Use of such words should be double checked and limited to instances when it is absolutely necessary and theologically correct. Neither word should be used in vain but should only be used in serious discussions of theological matters.

We want to make sure that our content advocates a view of sex that is consistent with Christian morality. Avoid descriptions of the act, specifically the following: kissing below the neck; sexual touching; visible signs of arousal or sexual attraction; nudity; double entendre; sex outside of the biblical definition of marriage.

Regarding Standard Legal Disclaimer Placement

As with most books, Elm Hill books carry a legal disclaimer on the copyright page. The following disclaimer will appear in your book on the copyright page:

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any Web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since the publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

We will require that any and all issues or concerns raised by any of the above standards be resolved before moving forward with your manuscript.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

Editing Your Manuscript

Are you ready for a team to help you take your book from good to great?

You are best served by an experienced team who not only knows how to do all you need but most importantly, cares as much as you do about your dream. From “soup to nuts” we’re there with you right by your side—from assessment to the most intense editing—mechanical and substantive (if you’ve written your manuscript) and ghostwriting (if you haven’t). Other publishers leave Big 5 editors and come to us for our work and have for a decade now.

We know what works best for you because we still see you as an individual with a dream rather than just a customer. We can tailor just what you need and no more to save you money and yet provide a level of service unmatched anywhere for that money. That may sound boastful, but it’s just the confidence of years of authors thrilled with us.

Our Mechanical Editing concentrates on the writing mechanics of your manuscript, including correcting errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure, tense, syntax—18 categories in all. Substantive Editing is a “next level up” for our authors and provides levels of advanced editing rarely if ever found in self-publishing. It is up to substantive editors to help authors see the big picture and how best to rework their projects in order to deliver clear content. We have assessments for those not ready for professional editing quite yet, and ghost writing for ambitious storytellers who need a partner from the beginning, as well.

The goal is to take what you’re saying in words and make it sing.

Find the level of our editing best meets your goals for your work…

  • For Elm Hill authors who are beginning their relationship with us at an “entry level,” we offer our Editorial Assessment service as a learning device substitute for the higher cost Mechanical Editing.

    We assess your manuscript, digging deeper into your work to address issues that need immediate correction before it is sent for final publication. This service includes evaluation of context and structure (grammar, spelling, plot, setting, characterizations, etc.), as well as recommendations that will help you know which issues to address—from technical structure to content—and how to fix them. This service offers a reading of your manuscript and a detailed report based on a three-level examination of multiple elements of manuscript review and critique:

    • Manuscript Review. We will write a synopsis of your manuscript, touching on the main points of the plot, character, and style, as well as identifying the audience the manuscript most likely needs to target.
    • Editorial Analysis. Our editors use a rigorous application of the rules from The Chicago Manual of Style across 18 different categories to edit nearly 100,000 pages annually for publishers. The same professionals who edit those pages will edit a selection from your manuscript. We will report on the degree of editing that will be required to bring your manuscript into conformity with our standards so that it can be made ready for distribution.
    • Substantive Analysis. For fiction manuscripts, we perform an analysis of the writing quality in general, as well as how you approach and utilize storytelling elements including the following:
      • Setting
      • Character development
      • Sequence
      • Exposition/back story
      • Details
      • Dialogue

    It is important to understand that at this level we are not editing or changing your manuscript … we are just pointing out aspects of your work that are well done or may need a second look.

    To see what packages include this service already, click here.

    We are ready to start your book!

    Are you?

  • Some manuscripts need mechanical editing, but either you don’t want or your manuscript doesn’t need our comprehensive Full Mechanical Editing. Nonfiction manuscripts are often a candidate for this level. Regardless, for our clients in these situations, we offer our Basic Manuscript Editing.

    Our Basic Manuscript Editing focuses on refining the fundamental structure and details of your manuscript, including grammar, spelling…important areas of concerns that professionally “clean up” your book…hyphenations, commas, semicolons, colons, en dashes and em dashes, apostrophes, etc. As a result, you get a clean, edited manuscript that helps make your published book as good as it can be for your readers.

    To see what packages include this service already, click here.

    We are ready to start your book!

    Are you?

  • Our Full Mechanical Editing is as close to Substantive or Content Editing as can be while still at the level of mechanics. It is not considered substantive editing (although professional editors often tell us some of what we do at this level, they consider substantive editing), as it does not include significant rewriting of your manuscript.

    It includes everything in our Basic Manuscript Editing plus adds checking fully on syntax, tense, and more … details like run-on sentences and sentence fragments, subject and verb use, plural and singular usage, tense, word and paragraph syntax, etc.

    Our experienced editors apply a rigorous interpretation of rules from The Chicago Manual of Style and The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style across 18 different categories to ensure your manuscript has structural consistency and editorial integrity. The 18 categories range from simple spell checking to a complex confirmation of tense agreement throughout the manuscript.

    All except the bottom two packages (Tiers) out of seven include Full Mechanical Editing. It is available as an add-on to both those Tiers as well.

    To see what packages include this service already, click here.

    We are ready to start your book!

    Are you?

  • If you truly want to go from good to the best you can be in your book—if you want it to sing—know that Substantive Editing it is what virtually all successful authors start with, in fact virtually every traditionally published author has substantive editing, even famous ones – especially famous ones.

    Are you ready for a team to help you take your book from good to great? Where mechanical editing deals with the “mechanics of writing,” such as spelling, grammar, sentence structure, etc., Substantive Editing is a whole other universe. The mechanics of writing are still dealt with, but editors at these levels also concentrate of the “content of the work” … how well is it written, how well it is organized, whether it tells the story consistently the way the author intended, etc.

    Our Substantive editors are driven and dedicated to lift your work—your blood, sweat, and tears—to the best it can possibly be; to help you get to ‘the grand vision’ you are striving for. They are experts and experienced in how best to rework your project in order to deliver clear content and help your vision emerge. They specialize in examining the overall structure and help with the organization of the content. Ultimately, the substantive editor’s job is to help you deliver the best and most clear, cohesive writing you envision to your intended audience.

    We are passionate about books and want to be sure yours is the best it can be. The ultimate goal is to take what you’re saying in your words and make it sing! You’ll get more than the book you have always wanted … you’ll get a team of professionals who specialize in bringing out the ‘great’ in your work.


    Our Standard Substantive Editing level is for manuscripts requiring the least amount of expected time-consumption for all services and phases, not including evaluation. (Children’s books are a separate quote and time-consumption class). This level begins to see your work as not just good enough to be published but a work that deserves to be published. Our substantive editors are focused at this level beyond the mechanics of your writing to word choice, sentence complexity, use of active or passive verbs, and conciseness—whereas mechanical editing builds the best house possible, this substantive editing brings in elements of taste and design to make a home.


    Now we’re starting to think much “bigger picture.” Our Premium Substantive Editing level is the next important step up for manuscripts, either fiction or nonfiction, requiring more time and work for all services and phases, not including evaluation, than our Standard level. (Children’s books are a separate quote and time-consumption class).

    Our editors are now spending more time looking deeply at the organization and strength of your book—the pace, plotting, dialogue, etc. Some of the questions the editors are asking may very well be the same questions you asked yourself while writing—do I have too many chapters, do I have too few chapters, am I making sense, am I explaining this well enough, or using too many words, does this belong at this point in the book, etc.

    Phone time between author is available but limited and stated to you on a case by case basis before you accept the project.


    This level is the biggest of the big picture short of actual ghostwriting. Our Deluxe Substantive Editing for either fiction or nonfiction requires the most time and work for all services and phases (Children’s books again are a separate quote and time-consumption class).

    At this level, your manuscript will benefit from multiple hours of close inspection. It also includes book cover copywriting as well as other ancillary products to help protect the effectiveness of all. This topmost level in complexity includes unlimited phone time when deemed necessary.

    Which level of Substantive Editing is best for you?

    If you truly want to go from good to the best you can be in your book—if you want it to sing—know that Substantive Editing it is what virtually all successful authors start with, in fact virtually every traditionally published author has substantive editing, even famous ones – especially famous ones.

    Our Author Strategy Managers will discuss the different editing services and levels with you to determine best options. Also, the editor that you would work with on your manuscript, once you’re serious about Substantive Editing, may even join on a conference call.

    In order to see which level of Substantive Editing is appropriate, you’ll need to purchase an Editor Evaluation at the same time and as a part of the purchase of your chosen publishing package (not available without a package purchase). This evaluation is the result of an extremely thorough examination of your manuscript from top to bottom. It reports on and provides recommendations in the areas of

    • Plot
    • Character Development
    • Dialogue
    • Basic Mechanics
    • Organization
    • Clarity
    • Overall Assessment

    See our sample evaluation here!

    After receiving the evaluation and if you agree to going through the Substantive Editing level recommended in the Evaluation, you will receive a $200 credit on the editing service charge. There is no obligation to choose a Substantive Editing package at all, however. The Evaluation, you’ll find, has extreme value in and of itself.

    Substantive Editing is available only for authors purchasing Elm Hill publishing packages -Tiers 2a through 7a. All manuscripts that receive Substantive Editing will also receive Mechanical Editing immediately after Substantive Editing is completed as a stated part of the services-suite of their publishing package.


    Editor Evaluation: $500 ($200 credit back to author if they purchase any level of Substantive Editing)

    Standard Level: $0.030 to $0.045 per word

    Premium Level: $0.045 to $0.070 per word

    Deluxe Level: $0.080 to $0.11 per word

    We are ready to start your book!

    Are you?

  • Some people have the perfect idea or have started to write their book but either haven’t begun writing or don’t have the needed skills or time to finish it. Some others have the beginnings of a great book but do not know how to write it well enough to make their dream come true. Enlisting the services of a ghostwriter can be of great help.

    Our sole purpose is to capture your unique voice. You are the creator of the book. We transform your thoughts, ideas, outlines, etc., into the written word, beef up your content, and then fit it to your tone and style. You retain all copyrights—you are also the sole owner of your book with no strings attached. Here is a bird’s eye view of what you contribute toward the development your book…

    Phone Interviews

    We start with several initial interviews to help set goals, clear up foggy ideas, and start forming your introduction. This is our starting point because we want to understand the real value of what you're going to say so that we can structure it in a powerful way.


    By simply sharing your story through recorded phone interviews, we gather enough valuable material to shape your ideas into a full-length book. There’s no need to say everything perfectly. That’s what our editors and 7-point ghostwriters are for!

    Written Contributions

    Write a dedication, author bio, and give us feedback on the sample chapters we deliver to you. If this is the first time you've published a book, that's okay. We'll guide you through the entire process to make your book excellent.

    Book Launch Party

    After your book is published, host a book launch party. There’s no better way to celebrate the accomplishment, and we provide you with a guide for hosting a successful launch party. Plus, it’s a great way to get exposure for your book.

    In our Basic Package we begin our process with Interviews & Transcription and then proceed on with Developmental Editing, Line Editing & Proofreading, and Title & Subtitle Evaluation. Then we seek out your author comments or changes, and complete the Interior Formatting & Cover Design, and worldwide publishing in print and ebook.

    We are ready to start your book!

    Are you?

We’ll ask you to tell us how you want the interior of your book to look by specifying different particulars in the Page Design Layout instructions you provide to us. If you don’t have an ideal layout in mind, our design teams will glean the “look and feel” of your manuscript, apply high production-value standards, and mix in just the right touch of artistic license to create pages that you will be proud to show off.

Our expert team will convert your manuscript from a Word document to a professionally formatted PDF file ready to be uploaded for printing and publishing. If you have additional images/graphics you would like for us to place in your manuscript, there will be an additional charge of $3 per image.

You will also have 3 revision cycles so you will stay in complete control and have ample opportunity to make edits, free of charge. Additional revisions beyond 3 cycles will be charged an additional $50 for every revision cycle. The cost will be provided to you and your authorization will be obtained before we move forward.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

Give your book a custom-made cover that not only captures your vision of what your cover design should be but also captures your potential readers’ attention. We have three different levels of book cover creation you can choose from. “You can view some of the covers we’ve done here”.

Standard Cover Design

Based on your written description of your vision for your book cover and your “About the Book” write-up, we will produce an interpretation of your vision that we believe will entice a potential reader to look more closely and to purchase your book. Your book cover will be custom and will help your title stand out among the other books in the market — especially those with template-based covers. Standard Cover Design includes the original drafts of your custom front cover, spine, and back cover and up to three revision drafts as directed by you.

We start by asking you to tell us what you’d love your cover to look like. If you can’t come up with a concept, our design teams will read sections of your book to capture its essence, often peeling away new layers of your book’s theme. Then we will apply the standards and best practices for cover design and the precise specifications our printers require as we create a cover designed to capture the potential reader’s attention and help them quickly understand why they should buy your book.

Deluxe Cover Design

Our Deluxe Cover Design service is a big and exciting step up that provides even more options for you to consider. You’ll get three possible cover designs to choose from based on your vision of your book’s cover design. Your feedback on those three designs allows us to understand even more fully your vision and intent, and your suggestions and visual references help facilitate the design team’s creative process.

Once the three versions are presented, you’ll pick the one that best speaks to you and provide your feedback and suggestions, and then we’ll proceed by fine-tuning that version to achieve an even more finely honed cover to maximize its appeal to your potential reader.

Premium Cover Design

Our Premium Cover Design service enables you to work directly with our Creative Director to mutually envision a design that evokes the ambience of the story or the theme of the book and to make the design extraordinarily appealing not just for the sake of aesthetics but to incite and capture the interest of potential readers thus increasing the chance of sales. If you don’t have a vision or concept in mind, our Creative Director will help you come up with not just one but three options from which to choose.

Once the vision or concept is agreed upon, our Creative Director will communicate it to our artists, who will then translate it into an actual cover design. This cycle will continue for each draft leading to the finished design.

Turnaround time can vary according to the complexity of the design and extent of revisions.


All cover design services include up to three revision cycles, free of charge. Additional revisions will be charged $50 per cycle.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

We create original illustrations either for the cover or the interior pages of your book that deliver the “look and feel” you envision for your title. We work with a proven technique that combines cost-effectiveness, artistic freedom, and true-to-the-client-vision compliance, resulting in high quality, original illustrations. Following is the process we use:

  • Based on the “look and feel” you provide, we will produce three themes/styles in black-and-white sketch form for you to review and choose from.
  • The one theme/style sketch you choose will serve as the primary guide for the illustrations our artists will create.
  • For page illustrations, our artists will create one illustration for each of the main characters and main background settings in black and white.
  • Upon reviewing the illustrations of main characters and settings, you will supply requested modifications.
  • We will supply modified main character and main settings illustrations in response to your requested modifications. These cycles will continue until you approve in writing. No modifications on this level will be allowed after this point.
  • We will then produce all pages of the storyline using the main character and main settings you approved, and submit the pages to you. Modifications that are restricted to inaccurate portrayal of storyline only are allowed at this point, as the look and theme of all main characters and main settings are set. Any storyline inaccuracy changes requested will be made and submitted back to you for your approval. After you approve all pages in writing, we will apply color and submit colored illustrations to you for review and approval.
  • For spot illustrations with three or more scenes (such as comics), these will be treated as one illustration per scene for billing purposes.
    • Spot Illustrations are generally identified as small illustrations placed within a certain page. They are individual/stand-alone illustrations that portray a certain scenario to help further visualize a part of the story. The amount of time spent on a single illustration doesn’t depend on the size, but rather on three aspects:
      • Degree of difficulty
      • Level of detail needed
      • Artistic style/technique required

See our illustration samples in our gallery here!

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

Reach more potential readers by making your title readable on virtually every device made today. We’ll convert your book for Kindle, Apple iPad, Apple iPhone, Android phones, Android tablets, Sony eReader, Microsoft Reader portable applications, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo eReader, Adobe Digital Editions, and other eReader devices. You can view our ebook format samples in our gallery.

Standard Reflowable Format is the ebook format tailored to allow the user to modify the presentation and appearance of the content on their electronic reading device (phone, tablet, etc.). In a reflowable ePub file, the content can flow or reflow to fit the size of the screen. Features such as font style and font size can also be modified to meet the user’s needs and preferences.

Advanced Reflowable Format allows you the opportunity to enhance your reader’s experience by giving your ebook the cutting-edge features available in digital publishing. With this service, each of up to five pages of your ebook can have one of the following advanced features:

  • Video — embed a video that your reader can watch.
  • Audio — let readers listen to audio to enhance the message you are trying to convey.
  • Gallery — your readers can swipe through an entire collection of images with captions instead of navigating through pages to find them.
  • Read-aloud — make certain word(s), sentence(s), and/or paragraph(s) of an ebook read aloud to the reader. This can be useful when reading to children.
  • Multi-column Layout — this type of ebook layout boosts the readability, comprehension, and visual appeal of your ebook as well as provide readers with easy-to-perceive text.
  • Pop-over — this feature enables the readers to access another window that contains additional information, additional data, or another image to give more context about the selected image with just a tap.
  • Scrolling Sidebar — insert relevant information and topics into a scrolling sidebar so readers can view additional or explanatory material without ever leaving the page.
  • Interactive Image — incorporate call-outs and pan-and-zoom features to enhance your readers’ ebook experience.
  • Reviews — let the readers review their knowledge using different types of tests such as multiple choice, select correct image, label the image, or a mix of all three. Authors can include up to six possible answers to each question.
  • 3D Images — instead of just seeing flat images on your ebook, your readers can interact with 3D objects by touch. They can also manipulate a 3D image and view all the way around it, etc.
  • Keynote Presentations — browse presentations with custom animations right inside your ebook. This feature includes controls for slide navigation as well as optional auto-play presentations.

Standard Fixed Format precisely follows the appearance and presentation of the printed book. Unlike reflowable ePub, content and design are placed on fixed positions and cannot be customized. This format is suitable for books where delivering the content in exact locations on the screen is important. The best example of fixed format ebooks are children’s titles that have an illustration on the left-facing pages and the story text associated with that illustration on the right-facing page so the image and the text are always displayed together for the child.


All ebook conversion services include up to three revision cycles, free of charge. Additional revisions will be charged $50 per cycle.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

If your work isn’t available as an audiobook, you may be missing an increasing percentage of potential “readers.” That’s why Elm Hill can open this door for you as well.

During “The Term” of the agreement, the author is not allowed to create, produce, sell, and distribute audio versions of the book (audiobooks) independently. Elm Hill and HCCP, however, provide two levels of service to get audiobooks done in partnership with the author:

Author Records and Produces Audio Files; Elm Hill/HCCP QCs Recordings, Sells, and Distributes

Who Does What

  • HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP) would be responsible for QC, selling, and distributing the audiobooks
  • The voice talent, recording, and producing of the audio files fall on the author

Costs and Service Itemization

  • $199 for Quality Control Check by HCCP
  • Provided the files pass QC, there is a $999 charge for services, including sales and distribution
  • The title will be placed on major digital audiobook distributors

Elm Hill/HCCP Provides All: Talent, Recording, Production of Audio Files, QC, Sales, CD Manufacturing, and Distribution

Who Does What

  • HCCP provides the voice talent, recording, production of the audio files, sales and distribution of the audiobooks to retailers

Costs and Service Itemization

  • $4,999 for up to a 50,000-word manuscript
  • $0.05 per word exceeding the 50,000 word count
  • Title placed on major digital audiobook distributors

Miscellaneous (Applies to Both Options)

  • HCCP determines audiobook pricing
  • Giveaways by author are not allowed due to distribution agreements with retailers

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

Footprint Services

After you approve the final PDF of your book, the files will be sent to the printers so that a proof copy can be printed and sent to you for your review. See standard trim sizes here. You will be given a review period to identify and communicate any concerns. After the review period, distribution of your book will begin.

Depending on what package you purchase, you may be receiving softcover and hardcover copies of your book. Printing and distribution of your printed copies will be managed by HarperCollins Christian Publishing’s production department.

Check out how many books are included in each package here. Your Author Sales Representative at HarperCollins Christian Publishing can help you order extra books at substantial discounts any time you want. See your Self-Publishing Services and Distribution Agreement (SPSDA) for details on discounts.

Make your book accessible to any of the more than 9,000 libraries nationwide by having us acquire a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) for your book — libraries will not consider stocking a book without one. A LCCN is part of the “metadata” of your book. Bookstores, distributors, libraries, online bookstores, and others in the book publishing industry value this data since it allows them to work with millions of titles — and it enables them to place your book in more places over time. Having a LCCN number also enables you to apply to have your book included in the actual Library of Congress.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

You shall be paid the following royalties. As used herein, “net sales” shall mean gross revenue from all copies of the Work sold less any invoiced credit for discounts, returns or adjustments.

  1. Trade Sales, Export, Discount Store Editions, Foreign Language Editions, Book Clubs, and Direct Premium Sales. On all copies of each edition of the Work other than sales to You and sales falling within Sections B through H below, the royalty shall be as follows:
  2. Hardcover: seventy percent (70%) of Projected Total Margin on the first one thousand (1,000) copies sold and fifty percent (50%) of Projected Total Margin on all copies sold thereafter. Projected Total Margin is calculated by multiplying the Projected Per Unit Margin specified on the Pricing Agreement Form by the number of copies sold. The Projected Per Unit Margin is calculated by multiplying the Suggested Retail Price by forty-five percent (45%) and then subtracting the Standard Print Cost specified on the Pricing Agreement Form.

    Trade Paperback: seventy percent (70%) of Projected Total Margin on the first five thousand (5,000) copies sold and fifty percent (50%) of Projected Total Margin on all copies sold thereafter. Projected Total Margin is calculated by multiplying the Projected Per Unit Margin specified on the Pricing Agreement Form by the number of copies sold. The Projected Per Unit Margin is calculated by multiplying the Suggested Retail Price by forty-five percent (45%) and then subtracting the Standard Print Cost specified on the Pricing Agreement Form.

    Sales to you and falling within Sections B through H below will not count toward any graduated royalty specified above.

  3. Free Copies. No royalties shall be paid on copies furnished at no charge to You or distributed for review, advertising, sample, promotional, or like purposes.
  4. Excerpts/Permissions. You retain all rights not granted to Us and will be responsible for granting permission to third parties for use of the Work or any portion thereof as you see fit.
  5. Audio/Video/Curriculum on CD or DVD. All applicable provisions of this Agreement shall apply to the publication of audio/video works. For all copies sold through regular trade marketing channels, the royalty shall be fifty percent (50%) of Projected Total Margin on all copies sold. Projected Total Margin is calculated by multiplying the Projected Per Unit Margin specified on the Pricing Agreement Form by the number of copies sold. The Projected Per Unit Margin is calculated by multiplying the Suggested Retail Price by forty-five percent (45%) and then subtracting the Standard Duplication Cost specified on the Pricing Agreement Form. For all copies rented through regular marketing channels, the royalty shall be ten percent (10%) of the sums actually received by Us and/or Our Contractors on net sales. The royalty payable to You with respect to audio/video/curriculum rights of the Work sold or distributed by any licensee of Us shall be governed by Section H of this Agreement.
  6. Electronic Editions. On copies of any electronic edition of the Work including but not limited to, ebooks without enhancements, enhanced ebooks, CD-ROMs, apps, audio/video streaming and downloads sold by Us and/or Our Contractors or a respective affiliate or subsidiary, the royalty shall be seventy percent (70%) of the sums actually received by Us and/or Our Contractors on net sales or a pro-rata portion thereof if less than the entire Work is used (e.g. part of a compilation).
  7. Book Sets. On copies of multiple books published together and sold as multiple books-in-one for publication and sale by Us and/or Our Contractors, the royalty shall be prorated based on the percentage of the combined work that is comprised by each work (calculated based on the number of works included in the combined work). Your royalty will be your prorated percentage of the combined work’s royalty of fifty percent (50%) of Projected Total Margin on all copies of the combined work sold. Projected Total Margin is calculated by multiplying the Projected Per Unit Margin specified on the Pricing Agreement Form by the number of copies sold. The Projected Per Unit Margin is calculated by multiplying the Suggested Retail Price by forty-five percent (45%) and then subtracting the Standard Print Cost specified on the Pricing Agreement Form for the combined work. The royalty payable to You with respect to such sets sold or distributed by any licensee of Us shall be governed by Section H of this Agreement.
  8. Remainders/Overstock. We and/or Our Contractors, as applicable, may, without prior notice to You, dispose of books which, in Our sole discretion, We and/or Our Contractors, as applicable deem to be overstock or remainders in any manner and will have no obligation to pay royalties on copies so disposed of at discounts equal to or greater than seventy-five percent (75%).
  9. Exploitation of Subsidiary Rights. Additional subsidiary and other rights granted to Us and/or Our Contractors in this Agreement are listed below. All monies actually received by Us and/or Our Contractors from licensing or disposition of these rights, less agent’s commissions when applicable, as shall be incurred by Us and/or Our Contractors, as applicable in disposing of such rights, shall be shared equally, fifty percent (50%) to You and Us and/or Our Contractors. All such rights may be disposed of by sale, lease, license or otherwise by Us and/or Our Contractors who for such purpose are hereby appointed the attorney in fact of You, and the power granted to Us and our Contractors hereunder shall be irrevocable during the term hereof. You agree to sign, make, execute, deliver and acknowledge all such papers, documents and agreements as may be necessary to effectuate the grants hereinabove contemplated. In the event You shall fail to do so, such documents may be signed, executed, delivered and acknowledged by Us as the attorney in fact of You with the same full force and effect as if signed by You.

    a. Translations
    b. Sole and exclusive rights of publication in, and disposal of rights in, foreign countries
    c. Audio/Film/Video/Multimedia
    d. Merchandising and other commercial rights
    e. Electronic Editions (ebooks, apps, internet, audio/video streaming, downloads, etc.)

  10. If Your Work is included in a combined work such as a bundle or Book Set by Us or a Contractor, distributor, agent or licensee of Us: (i) if the combined work is distributed as a discrete product, royalties and rights payments shall be prorated based on the percentage of the combined work that is comprised by such version (calculated based on the number of works included in the combined work) and (ii) if the combined work is made available through a subscription or similar service, royalties and rights payments shall be prorated based on the use made of such version by the subscriber or other end-user; as reasonably estimated by Us or the Contractor, distributor, agent or licensee, as a percentage of such person’s use of the entire combined work during each of the quarterly accounting periods, which in the case of digital versions will when practicable be calculated on a page-view basis; provided, however, that if payments for such use cover periods longer than a single quarterly accounting period, such payments will be divided equally across all covered accounting periods for the purpose of making this calculation, and prorated as if received and effective during an accounting period.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

In addition to all the advantages mentioned elsewhere on this site, Elm Hill provides many other unique benefits including the following:

  • Competitive retail pricing on your books: Elm Hill’s focus is on selling your book through retail channels and HarperCollins Christian Publishing’s eCommerce sites. These channels demand competitive book pricing, and Elm Hill has the ability to deliver! Leveraging HarperCollins Christian Publishing’s sales team, we can use their expertise when finding the appropriate price for your book, making it more attractive to new readers. Questions to ask other self-publishers: What will the suggested retail price be on my book if it is a 288-page 6 x 9 paperback? What discount will I receive when I purchase copies of my book? Do you have a dedicated sales force selling books to bookstores and other retailers?
  • Honest information on marketing and promotion: With millions of books published each year, standing out from the crowd and driving sales is the primary challenge faced by every author and publisher. Our Professional Certified Author (PCA) courses, offered through the Gold Leaf packages, will provide information on how to market your book based on industry best practices. Marketing is expensive, but Elm Hill will provide information on how to test various tactics to find the ones that work for your book so you can then invest in the tactics that generate the best results. Questions to ask other self-publishers: What are the most effective ways to market my book and what marketing services do you offer?
  • Complete ownership of your book: Unlike many other service providers that require you to use their ISBNs (the unique 13-digit numbers assigned to each book) and then charge you for your files if you decide to stop publishing your book with them, Elm Hill authors have options. We can use ISBNs you provide (so you can take them with you) or we can provide you with an ISBN. If you find another opportunity that you want to try or want to cancel your agreement with us for any other reason, then we will provide the files you need for your book so you can make a smooth transition. We will have registered your title with the U.S. Copyright Office in your name, and you will have received the registration certificate so there will not be any need to transfer copyright. Questions to ask other self-publishers: Can I use my own ISBNs on my books? What files will you provide if I cancel my agreement? What will I have to pay for those files?

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

Promotional Services

Without a website, an author will struggle to create a following. Several of our publishing packages include the development of a website about you and your book, as well as press releases, blogs, social media channels, and links to retailers who carry your book so readers can purchase your printed book or your ebook.

Standard Three-page Website — We will create a website for you with the following features:

  • Three static web pages (“static” means the visual elements do not move)
  • Up to five graphic placements over the three pages, including your photo and your book cover
  • Your bio and/or “About the Author”
  • Synopsis of your book
  • Links to your social media, press releases, and your blogs and articles
  • “To Purchase” one-click links for purchasing your printed book
  • “To Purchase” one-click links for purchasing your ebook
  • One paid-for hosted domain. Expires after one year.
  • All links integrated through keywords and meta tags to lead your interested audience to where you want them to go

Deluxe Five-page Website — Everything offered in the three-page website option plus:

  • Two additional custom web pages
  • Both custom web pages have two revision cycles for changes of your choice at no additional charge
  • Both custom web pages have options to include dynamic visual elements
  • Two additional graphic placements
  • One “original art” creation that you will own
  • Gallery with video book trailer
  • Increased SEO, keyword, meta tag methodology; taking advantage of Website Analysis
  • One additional paid-for year of a hosted domain

Premium Seven-page Website — Everything offered in the three and five-page options plus:

  • Three additional custom web pages
  • All three custom web pages have two revision cycles for changes of your choice at no additional charge
  • All three custom web pages have options to include dynamic visual elements
  • Three additional graphic placements
  • Blog page
  • One additional paid-for year of a hosted domain

See our website creation templates in our gallery here!

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

One of the best studies available on promotional efforts for self-published authors shows that using a 30-second video trailer increases the amount of royalties earned (Taleist). A trailer, or teaser, creates anticipation for a movie and it works in the same way for a book. Successful teasers entice readers to investigate, then buy and read your book, and we believe no marketing and promotion plan is complete without one — for blogs, Facebook sites, Twitter accounts, YouTube accounts, your website, press releases, and more.

Your book teasers are designed to incorporate the look and feel of your book — to borrow from its content and visuals to intrigue the viewer about your book and take them a step closer towards buying your book. The music and flow are artistically built and layered with appropriate text to create a buzz designed to draw your potential buyer first to the About the Book, then to About the Author, and then to purchase.

You will receive a professionally prepared 30-second book trailer and distribution package. We will strategically optimize the video and measure the results in terms of number of viewers.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

The Gold Leaf publishing packages (click here to see the specific packages that include this service) include a web-optimized press release that will be distributed via PR Web to thousands of news outlets and search sites. Create buzz about your new book and achieve a higher level of online visibility with a professionally written and fully search engine-optimized press release that we will develop for you. With Elm Hill, your press release will be:

  • written in language that is informational and newsworthy, rather than promotional, in order to maximize the number of outlets and feeds that will accept it
  • keyword search engine-optimized for best results placement
  • sent to major news sites and local news sites
  • sent to major search engines
  • distributed to key selected industry news feeds
  • distributed to key selected regional news feeds

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

We will add your title(s) to Google Books so it will be included in Google Books search results which not only allows your potential readers to see a preview of selected pages of your title but also improves your Google Books search results rank.

Google Books matches the keywords users are searching for with not only the title or author name of appropriate books, but also with the phrases in books that are included in the program. Potential readers will see your title included in a list of books when they search for topics related to your title, and are more likely to turn into buyers as Google Books Preview provides them with easy access to links to purchase your title.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

Give your potential readers a sneak peek of your book with Amazon’s Look Inside program which provides a limited preview of certain parts of your book and other features to help potential readers determine whether to purchase your book.

Having us enroll your book in Amazon’s Look Inside program also improves the probability that your book will be listed in search results on Amazon, as this program adds the actual words in your book to the database of words that potential readers search when they are trying to find books to buy.

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

You will need promotional materials for your prelaunch event, book signings, publicity, or just telling an acquaintance about your book. Using promotional materials is fundamental to getting your book noticed and convincing people they need to buy your book.

With that in mind, we offer beautiful, customized business cards, bookmarks, and postcards featuring your author information, book details and book cover image. Please see below for the size of each creative promotional material:

  • Business cards — 2 x 3.5 inches
  • Bookmark — 2 x 8 inches
  • Postcard — 4 x 6 inches

These promotional materials may be ordered in packages of 100 of each, 300 of each, or 500 of each. You can also choose from standard or premium stock. Check out our samples here!

To see what packages include this service already, click here.

International Availability

Elm Hill’s top Gold Leaf packages — Tiers 6A and 7A — include the opportunity for your book to be discovered worldwide with the help of HarperCollins Christian Publishing’s international sales network:

  • Your title will be made available for export to English markets worldwide
  • Your title will be made available for international licensing
  • You and your title will be listed on Goodreads (the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations)

To see what packages include this service already, click here.