Frequently Asked Questions

What can be printed using Politics and Prose’s self-publishing department?
How much does it cost?
Can I sell my book through Politics and Prose?
How long does the process take?
How long does it take to receive printed copies of my book?
What happened to the in-store printing machine that P&P had?
Why choose Politics and Prose for my self-publishing project?
What kind of books can be printed?
Can you create ebooks?
Can I have books printed in other languages?
How can I format my book myself?
How do I know what my book will look like when it prints?
Are copies of books that are self-published at Politics and Prose returnable?
What happens to my files when books have been approved for printing?

What can be printed using Politics and Prose’s self-publishing department?

We can help you print anything that has binding. Whether it’s a novel, a collection of poetry, a staff or church directory, an instruction manual, a family or personal memoir, a special occasion book—the options are limitless! Curious about whether your project and Politics and Prose might make the perfect match? Email opus@politics-prose.com or call (202) 349-1182.  We can answer your questions by phone or e-mail.

How much does it cost?

The short answer is: It depends. When printing your book through Politics and Prose’s self-publishing department, the cost will depend on which publishing package you choose.  Packages vary based on the complexity, style, and length of the intended product, as well as on whether it will be offered for sale. Note that printing costs are separate from the publishing fees. For more information on pricing, please see our publishing packages or contact one of our publishing professionals at opus@politics-prose.com or (202) 349-1182.

Can I sell my book through Politics and Prose?

Yes! If you’d like to test the retail market at P&P’s store or on its website, you’ll need to select the Congressional publishing package, which covers the costs involved with making sure your book is sales-ready, including the purchase of an ISBN and barcode and the time and labor associated with displaying, stocking, and selling your book.  As with all works at Politics and Prose, the store’s management reserves the right to refuse to carry any book.

How long does the process take?

If you’re self-publishing your book, you should allow for an ample amount of time between finishing your manuscript and the arrival of your first printed copy. For more information on timelines, please contact one of our publishing professionals at opus@politics-prose.com or (202) 349-1182.

How long does it take to receive printed copies of my book?

Up to 500 copies of your book can usually be printed in three days or less (not including the day of order or unforeseen shipping delays). The printing company that P&P uses is open Monday through Friday during regular business hours, so orders requested towards the end of the week may not be processed until Monday of the following week. When nearing the end of your project, be mindful of the printing time to ensure you get your book by any deadline you may have.

What happened to the in-store printing machine that P&P had?

For five years, from 2011 to 2016, P&P had its own printing machine in the store. While this had some benefits, we have since found that using an outside printing company is both more efficient and economical. This has enabled us to offer self-publishing services that are less expensive for customers and that include more options, among them the use of color on inside pages, not just on the cover.

Why choose Politics and Prose for my self-publishing project?

Authors have options when it comes to self-publishing their work. The advantage of self-publishing at Politics and Prose is that you can retain complete control over the process. You will be able to print exactly as many books as you need, with the option of ordering more in the future. As an author, you retain all rights to your book, including non-exclusive distribution rights, and modifications to your book are possible for a small fee. You can set the sales price of your book, and have the option to offer it for sale on consignment in the store and on P&P’s website. Further, by choosing P&P, you are supporting a local business that serves the community, pays city taxes, and provides donations and support to local organizations. You also will be dealing with us personally, not with a faceless website or corporation, and we will make every effort to provide the help you need to see your project through to a successful conclusion.

What kind of books can be printed?

We can help you publish your work in a variety of forms, whether as a paperback or hardcover, in black and white or in color, in any number of sizes and on many different types of paper. The books we print meet the same publishing industry standards as the books on the shelves at Politics and Prose—and will last just as long. Ask a publishing professional about printing options that may be right for you.

Can you create ebooks?

Not yet! But we are working on it.

Can I have books printed in other languages?

Yes! Books are printed from PDFs, so there are no problems with foreign characters.

How can I format my book myself?

If you would prefer to format your book without the assistance of our self-publishing team, please review our formatting guidelines.

How do I know what my book will look like when it prints?

Our self-publishing team will ensure that the files for your book are properly formatted, and before we send them off to the printer, you will get one free proof copy of your book.  With this proof copy you can see what your book will look like and ask for any alterations before your print run.

Are copies of books that are self-published at Politics and Prose returnable?

Unfortunately, self-published books are non-returnable. However, we make every effort to ensure you are fully aware of the quality of the book you purchase.   

What happens to my files when books have been approved for printing?

Your files belong to you! Depending on the package you purchase, we will either keep your print-ready files on-hand indefinitely or will send your files back to you in a print-ready and X-1a compliant format so you can continue to print your book anytime, anywhere

Contact Us

What if I still have questions?

Email opus@politics-prose.com or call (202) 364-1919. We love talking about the services we provide, and we can answer any of your questions by phone or e-mail.

If you have specific questions or you would like to talk about the details of your project, we want to hear from you. But due to the large number of queries we receive, and to give your project the time and attention it deserves, we require that you schedule an appointment with Opus’ manager. Appointments are available 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and are scheduled in 30 minute blocks.