Xlibris – Reviewed

Xlibris-logo

Xlibris has been in existence for more than ten years and since I last looked at their site and publishing services last year, they seem to have revamped things recently.

For these articles, I am going to concentrate on the most important and popular service used by authors using POD publishers, a 200pp black and white paperback/hardback edition.

In Xlibris’ publishing guide, available to download from their site, they state that, “you are entitled to a 100% refund at any time throughout the production process.” This clause has started to become more the norm with POD publisher contracts in the past few years, but a word of warning. The refund generally covers the period prior to the author’s final file proof approval, and not thereafter.

In their publishing guide, Xlibris do the usual ‘self-published’ name dropping of well known authors who pursued this route, but many of these authors self-published in the truest form, that is, under their own name or personal imprint. Xlibris offer a standard ‘non-exclusive’ contract, granting the author ownership of all rights, and allowing them to move to a traditional publisher. It should be borne in mind that if an author opts out after publishing with Xlibris, then the cover work and all layout files remain with the publisher, meaning, should the author move to another POD publisher, they are effectively starting from scratch. This still remains the norm, and I personally believe it is something that must change with the leading POD publishers. After all, the author is paying for the ‘publishing service’ and the author should be allowed to take all files concerned with the production of their book with them at the time the period of the contract ceases.

One strong point for Xlibris is the fact that they have a direct phone query line, which is something many POD publishers seem to avoid like the plague.

Xlibris offer seven different packages;

Advantage-$399
Basic-$599
Professional-$999
Custom-$1599
Premium-$2999
Executive-$6499
Platinum-$13999

Starting with their Advantage package, online availability, 1 author paperback copy, ISBN, a very basic cover template, author homepage and bookpage. Many other POD publishers charge for the author webpage at the entry level pack.

The Basic pack adds in more interior templates, ability to supply your own custom cover, 5 free paperback copies, Ingram distribution and 50 business cards and bookmarks. Not much extra when you consider you are paying an extra 200 bucks.

The Pro pack offers additional, again, more interior and cover templates, a hardback edition, some customisation input to interior elements of book, 5 posters, and again, my feeling is that the extra 400 bucks is a lot for what you get added on.

The Custom pack adds on a design consultation and cover, a step up in the amount of graphics, 50 postcards, the starter personalised website with domain and er….well your starting to see where I’m going with this. The extra bucks are now $700 and I’m starting to wonder why Xlibris did not just stick with the initial three publishing packs they had on offer last year! At least the add-ons were more bulked together in the available packs.

The Premium pack adds on full interior and cover customisation, (for $2999, I’d expect it and more!), author alterations, paper galleys, indexing, full industry registration, including Library of Congress and US copyright. Many of these services are available for 50-100 bucks with other POD publishers and are included in far more basic packs. Finally we get something really worth it, copyediting! Also a CD archive (I’m not sure what the benefit of this is, Xlibris could simply give you ownership of all the book files instead), a press release and opt-in email campaign and pro book review campaign.

The Executive pack adds on ‘set your own price’, author copies significantly step up to 75 paperback and 25 hardback copies, a step up on the marketing materials and the press release outlets. We are now at $5999 bucks!

The Platinum pack offers additionally, book returnability, New York Review of Books and Newswire advert. Free author copies are set at 250 paperback and 25 hardback, again, there is an increase in the press and marketing outputs. The price, $12999.

The Xlibris website is well developed and reads and runs well with most information easily accessible. There are plenty of charts and graphs to view when you are comparing publishing packages. For June 2008 Xlibris are offering a number of deal discounts, including a 2 for 1 publishing offer.

Overall in the scheme of POD publishers, Xlibris would be one of the bigger players. Like many of the leading players, their income comes directly from the sales of author services. They offer a wide range of book options including full colour picture books and specially leather bound books.

Where Xlibris really fall down on the opposition is their book retail prices, with the average paperback coming in at $15.99 to $19.99 and hardback books at $20.99 to $29.99. Also, by standards, author royalties are on the low side.
“On all sales made directly through Xlibris, you will receive 25% of the retail price as your royalty. If the book is sold through one of the channels like Amazon.com, you will receive a 10% royalty based on the retail price.”

Author discounts are as follows;

“Xlibris offers author discounts ranging from 30% to 60%, reseller discounts up to 48%, and discounts on direct sales. We try to make it as easy as possible for you, your customers, and book retailers to purchase copies of your published book.”

While Xlibris offer a wide range of marketing add-ons, as part of their packs, as well as purchased individually, I think the move to expanded service packs has not been a step in the right direction. It really is hard to warrant a publishing fee of $5999 to $12999 for what you actually get. The lower end Advantage and Basic packs are at least reasonable value for money, but there are other POD publishers who offer the same at a cheaper price.

It is worth pointing out that Xlibris come with a strong reputation. They topped this sites POD publisher poll. I said I had a forthcoming book of prose that I was considering placing with a POD later this year, and on a personal basis, Xlibris would not suit my own needs. Just to get paperback and hardback publication, I’d be looking at shelling out $899, and another concern for me was the limited cover templates on offer. For this kind of money many POD’s offer custom covers. You have to shell out $1599 for that service with Xlibris, unless of course you have your own pre-prepared and designed cover.

I think for the less experienced authors, publishing for the first or second time, they may feel that Xlibris fills their needs. I cannot help feeling that the experienced POD author who likes to get involved with the real nuts and bolts of ‘self-publishing’ would choose a different publishing service provider.

RATING: 5.8/10

Authors

75 Comments

  1. Anonymous said:

    Thank you for your impressive research and review of Xlibris.

    I have been counseled to never publish with a POD. I have been counseled to never turn my material over to anyone but a POD!

    I was accepted by a publisher but it all appears to bog down in marketing and editorial. After awhile, what I wrote wasn’t what I wrote!

    You supplied a bit of clarity amidst the confusion.

    MN McLaughlin

  2. Anonymous said:

    I signed up with Xlibris when their representative said on the phone that I could publish my book for $299. That was just the first of many phone calls encouraging me to upgrade to better publishing packages and more and more services. I finally had to tell my publishing consultant to stop calling me.

    Two months and $899 later I finally found out that Xlibris doesn’t even publish full-color books in a 6X9 inch format. The artist designed the illustrations for these particular dimensions. I was clueless until I received the first electronic galley and the book looked awful in an 8.5X8.5 inch size.

    My credit card refund is pending.

  3. Mick Rooney said:

    Anon,

    The base $299 deal is pretty limited in its parameters and what it offers authors.

    My concern too often with very large POD services is that the enthusiasm to up-sell authors add-ons seems to far outweigh the endeavor of companies to advise authors on the right package for their book.

    Your experience is sadly very common and why I advise authors to firstly reach a personal ‘point’ or ‘goal’ plan as to what the want from self-publishing, then rate those goals or point in importance and research and choose a service which best matches what you want.

    Anything short of this approach loads up the chances that you are going to be either disappointed in the customer service, quality or sales of your book.

  4. Nessie said:

    I am a first time author, just recently published through Xlibris. I am grateful to them for the book which I am now proud to call my own, but in truth the process with them was taxing and, at times, I felt like I was bound in a contract with telemarketers. I bought the Premium package at half price because of the copyright feature, but have turned down every other offer them have made since…which have been both enticing/flattering (offering to go international) and discouraging (finding out I don’t have return-ability unless I purchase it, etc… My husband and I have decided not to invest any more money into the book through xlibris, but realize we are now stuck in marketing it out beyond our local sphere. Where you saying that even though I own the copyright, if someone else chose to purchase it that I would have to start from scratch, in terms of design (it is a picture book)? Or does that mean I can not seek out an alternate publisher to submit it to now? I will write more books, and would like advice on the best way to to go now that I have tried Xlibris…and where to go with my current book to help make it successful. Could you expand on these things please…I would be so grateful!
    Blessings,
    Venessa Knizley

    • M Rodz. said:

      Vanessa, I have the same story. Let me know if you received any guidance on getting a second editing on your book. I would appreciate the advice.
      Sincerely,
      Mrs. M. Rodz

    • Ryta Lyndley said:

      I self publish my website http://www.rytalyndley.com but going out every weekend selling books is hard work but I can see no other way as I am not good on a laptop. The quality is excellent and my printer prints David Attenboroughs books so if is good enough for David it is good enough for me !! Te He
      PS total sales of 6 books 4000

  5. Anonymous said:

    I regret ever publishing with this company. They ship me the wrong books, take my money and take 5 months to respond why they can’t put my book on amazon or bn. My aunt called to order they can’t find the book. Sent me posters that say available at amazon that I can’t use. I spent 1000 and got nothing.

  6. Christine Leov Lealand said:

    Xlibiris are a scam. Don’t waste your time or money on them. You can’t review em without actually USING them. Mr blogger you are letting your readers down promoting scammers. Check out writer beware website for more info on Author Solutions Ripoffs for writers.

  7. Mick Rooney said:

    I don’t promote scammers, I review services, good and bad. Were you actually familiar with TIPM you might actually know our stance on ASI run brands. We have covered extensively the on-going court case in New York against ASI/Penguin and have hosted guest posts from several disgruntled ASI imprint authors.

    “You can’t review em without actually USING them.”

    Do you need to put YOUR finger in the fire before getting burned?

  8. existentialcoma said:

    I’ve read a lot of different things about xlibris, but most of it is negative, from being harassed by sales reps to not being paid for months at a time. If you Google them, their bad side shines much much brighter than anything good. I would use them with extreme caution.

    • Kurt Malerich said:

      Just saying, if you go to a complaint site that is what you’re likely to see is negative complaints.

  9. Mick Rooney said:

    Xlibris, being a part of the Author Solutions empire, is a nightmare for marketing emails and phone calls, whether you publish with them or not!

  10. Nikki Ah Wong said:

    I have just got off the phone with another Xlibris representative and I am annoyed. Three years ago I contacted them for some information on their packages and they began phoning me, even though I said I was not interested. They made a call to my husband on his personal phone and then to the land line at my previous address in New Zealand. (How did they get those numbers I wonder?) I have again asked to be put on a no call list. This is the third time I have had a series of phone calls from them. I agree with the above two comments. Their marketing is close to harassment and a nightmare. I have no intention of using them and after reading the above, I am glad. Thanks for the review.

    • Marj said:

      Similar story with me. I was left wondering exactly the same thing – where did they get my phone number??? A couple of years ago during a spate of phone calls, I told them straight out I wasn’t interested in publishing anything with them. So that, I thought. was that. But give them 6 months and the phone calls start again. This time I ignored them and they stopped. Just recently, the phone calls began again – 7 in 2 days. And this time, emails as well. So I responded to the emails reiterating I was not interested in publishing with them and to please stop harrassing me. In return, I received a very rude email claiming I had signed up for this and it was my own fault if I didn’t respond to repeated requests. Tempting as it was to hit back, I have marked this email as spam and let it go. If the phone calls begin again, I think it will be time to involve authorities.

    • Sarah P Barrett said:

      Unfortunately I do not know where you live. In UK this could be reported as cold calling and cold calling is illegal in UK. You can take steps to have the company stop this.

    • Widden Tuchit said:

      I sent an email asking for more information and they started ringing me daily at work and while I’m driving. In the end I asked them not to calling me anymore and they still kept calling. Had to yell to get them to stop calling me, and a few months later, they call again. When they demanded to know why I don’t want to use the service, I told them it’s because they are too pushy.

  11. Kathy Davis said:

    XLibris UK has scammed my poor demented mother for $130,000. They keep upselling her. Beware of these creeps. The work they publish is poorly edited and illustrated and terribly expensive. Once they get their hooks into vulnerable would-be authors, they will never stop calling. For the record, my mother has mental illness. The figure I quoted is accurate. She is selling her investments to pay for her vanity publishing mania.

  12. Ukachukwu Chidube said:

    Please all…I made the mistake of publishing with Xlibris…now I want to end my contract and they are delaying everything. Please how can I do this? Which authority can I report this abuse? Thank you.

  13. Sarah P Barrett said:

    Hello Mick
    I wasn’t surprised to read your report on Xlibris, however my experience with Xlibris was much worse. Apart from making a mess of the first book submitted in early August 2013. They would not give me a refund of my second book that they never even published.

    I am 80 years of age. When I received the first ‘phone call from Lee Summers in August 2013regarding my book I stated I was not adept at working with the new I.T. he was speaking about. He assured me there would be no problem as I would get help every step of the way- I DID NOT. Xlibris staff will only work within their remit. When they consider their job finished, you are on your own.

    My first book title, “Crying for Joy” was not even half way to the publishing stage, I received a call from Mr. Summers regarding my second book. I stated I was having great difficulty with the progress of the first one and little technical help was given. He promised me he would have it all rectified and I was to notify him personally with any queries that I may have. He was quite confident about that and added I was getting a special offer at £530 because it was my second book but it had to be paid that day.–foolishly I paid for it

    Chaos ensued trying to work on the first book. Mr. Summers never answered ONE of my emails for help. There is no member of staff with good English, it took ages before a staff member answered any query that I submitted. After six emails I convinced her to stop using the word Ireland in the address. She did not know there was such a place as Northern Ireland which is very different from Ireland. Also the trigger words she gave me were totally irrelevant, such as Murder, Domestic abuse, Belfast, all these words brings one to sites where people seek help- not fiction at all. I asked for them to be changed and eventually was told I was too late to do that, and the errors continued, my lack of I.T. did nothing to enhance it.
    I asked for a refund of the £530 on the 2nd book. Mr Summers replied after several emails that he was contacting their Finance Dept, he did no such thing. I sent numerous emails to every section of Xlibris I even wrote a personal letter to Mr. Andrew Phillips C E O. U.S.A. I received no reply.

    I could go on and on about this rogue company with the slick talking salesmen including Scott Perry who rang me to say for another £2,000 he could guarantee my book would sell better. I didn’t fall for that one.
    The final insult was that Mr. Summers rang me early December 2014 to state I was not entitled to a £530 refund as I was OUTSIDE the six months period. I had been requesting it for EIGHT months. During those eight months I received an email from Mr. Summers saying and I quote “Your book is brilliant and should be read by the whole world” He then had the audacity to advise me that I should submit my second book to them.

    With substantial help from Amazon I was able to cut all ties with Xlibris.
    I wouldn’t recommend Xlibris to my worst enemy- if I had one!
    The entire Company not only robed me of money, the hurt went much deeper.

    It destroyed my dream of having accomplished something in my lifetime!

  14. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    I feel very sorry for the people commenting on this page, they have definitely had a raw deal with Xlibris. My experience has been quite the opposite. I published my autobiography last year (Ice Cream on Thursdays) and I cannot fault the procedure at all. I waited quite a while for my posters and book marks but the finished book was excellent. The proof reading and editing is second to none. I have just submitted my first novel to them for publishing and hope for the same excellent service. Watch this space.!

  15. Monica Joseph said:

    I agree with Jeanette and had the opposite experience too. The production of the book was excellent. The margins, font and layout was really good. Two booksellers I know picked up on that. Xlibris also did a wonderful job with the book cover. What I don’t like is their pushiness with the marketing. This could be a real money trap and I have had to be very assertive in not getting overly sucked in here. Initially I did invest in a newswire and an ad in the Australian book Review, international book fair and a review to give the book a chance but that has been enough. My personal efforts at selling my book have been more successful than the initial expensive marketing outlay which I doubt has done much. Xlibris continue to persist with pushing me to buy into more of this but I just let them make the international phone calls and waste their time.

  16. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    Hi Monica. Thank you for your comments. Yes I would agree their marketing strategy leaves a lot to be desired!. Constant phone calls etc. However I was just interested in the final product which I couldn’t fault. I do my own marketing and have my book for sale in my local coffee shop and museum as well as a couple of independent book sellers. I launched in our local library and with the costings for a few sandwiches and Sparkling wine had a very successful event. I charged £3 a ticket and gave proceeds to our library and at the same time sold loads of my books and made a fair profit from them. I have also had a call from the States to say my book is their book club read of the month and how much they are enjoying it and have a cheque from them to forward four more copies. This resulted from a talk I gave to a group of American tourists when they visited locally and some bought my book to take home. You never know where your copies will end up. My novel is due out soon so here I go again. Great fun!!.

  17. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    Just to follow up on my last post. I now have my novel “The Shack” which has a beautifully illustrated cover and inside graphic. It is posted (by Xlibris) on all booksellers websites and now the fun starts for me. Marketing is the thing I enjoy the most. We have a library festival where I live in June and I will give a talk and hold a book signing. Its the old adage “we reap what we sow” if we want to make a success of our time as an author we have to put in the hard work. I have become adept at ignoring Xlibris calls. Now I have my book I can order the amount I want at a price I want to pay and go from there. Don’t get drawn in by the heavy marketing ploys of Xlibris. You have written your book and you have the right to do with it what you will. Jeanette Voyzey

  18. Cynthia B Huntington said:

    I had a nighmare publishing with Xlibre. Their representative changed weekly, at one point I was persuaded to go to Los Angeles Book Fair; when I arrived they had no table or site representing them. On the book’s published cover, which I designed, they did not add any of the reviewers who supplied recommendations to the bookcover. Many things that were promised were left out and they were totally unreliable and each time I called I got a different “manager.” Also, I have only received one check in two years and no statement showing how many sales occurred. Many letters have been written, both emails and postal service, but none have been answered. I would like to make a group of disgruntled Xlibres customers because they are keeping our rightful money blatantly, and will not give accounting.

  19. RJ said:

    Xlibris is a ridiculous scam, and harasses anyone who has EVER requested information from them with endless marketing calls. They refuse to stop calling no matter what you do or say. Google it, it’s well known and widely publicized. They should be run the f*ck out of business.

  20. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    Thank you RJ (I think) Who would think at my age I would learn a new word. Shill how interesting!. Now I know what the word means having looked it up. Firstly I don’t think I defended Xlibris at any time. I gave an honest account of my dealings with them. If you google my name both the books I have written are on Amazon and other booksellers websites. Everybody is entitled to their opinion but to be honest I do not have the time or the energy to be as you so kindly put it A Shill. Thank you again for teaching me a new word. Jeanette Voyzey.

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  22. Kev Mac said:

    With so many complaints, what is the solution? What companies have any of you dealt with and had better success? Another thing that I find startling is not one person who gave a good review anywhere that I’ve searched on the WWW has actually mentioned lots of sales or any royalties over $6 over a four year span. Ha!

    Is there anyone that has published through Xilbris had huge sales or royalties worth bragging on?? All I keep reading regarding royalties are all bad, extremely bad, like robbery and scam bad??

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  24. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    Hi Kev. I understand your comments regarding Royalties, however, Xlibris post published books on a number of websites, both of my books are listed and have done extremely well. Not earth shatteringly well I grant you but it isn’t a case of writing, publishing and forgetting. You have to get out there and promote your work on your own behalf. I give talks and have my books for sale in my local coffee shop, book shops (sale or return) and museum. It may also be worth remembering (dare I say it) vanity publishers work on the money we pay to have our book produced and to be perfectly honest some of these works are not good and are never going to sell. They may be our little treasures, but, as the mixed reviews I have on Amazon show we cannot please everyone. The Shack (my lasted novel) has a 2star and two 4star reviews proving my point. As I said before Xlibris produce a good product, ignore the pyramid selling they employ, say thanks a bunch and get on with your own marketing. Jeanette,

    • lisa jones said:

      Hi Jeanette,

      I have just signed with Xlibris and now are wishing I hadnt after I have read all the reviews!! As I understand your experience with them has been positive, Do you just use them to promote the book and print it ? So you order so many copies off them and distribute and sell them yourself is that correct? I am a beginner and they make things seem quite easy or shall I say seem supportive to start. Now Im terrified as the package I have payed one payment for is worth $1500. Please help I await your advice??

      • Jeanette Voyzey said:

        Hi Lisa,
        Sorry I have only just seen your post.
        First of all well done for getting to the publishing stage with your book.
        I felt just as you did at the outset, extremely nervous and worried but nothing replaces that feeling when you hold the book you have worked so hard to write.
        As I have said before I only used Xlibris to edit and publish my books (although they have listed them on every book sellers website) The only issues I encountered is the pyramid selling tactics they employ. You need to be very strong and just say all I want is a sample of my book in its finished state which is usually free with your package and then decide how may you want to order. Only you will know how many books you will need for your launch and signing. I am sure you have friends and family to support you in this. I bought sparkling wine and did a small buffet and charged £3. a ticket which went to our local library and sold over a hundred copies of Ice Cream on Thursdays. I didn’t do this with The Shack as I had pre-sold most of the copies I ordered. What was left I put in my local coffee shop and museum, these are now all gone and I am thinking of my next project.
        1. Don’t be persuaded to order more books than you need.
        2. Ignore the pyramid selling tactics and that goes for all of them. Don’t be selective just say “No Thanks”.
        3. Have faith in yourself. Remember you have a written a book which is something most people only dream of.
        4. Choose your cover with care as this goes some way to selling your book.
        5. The only decent money you will make is through selling the books yourself as most people download a Nook or Kindle which is quite cheap and we just get half as a royalty.
        Good luck Lisa.

        Jeanette

        • Michele Francke said:

          Hi Jeanette, I have signed with Xilibris and have the dream package. I have written my first childrens book , and i am in the process of illustrations.The company has offered me the 100% royalty program for $1200 and also an e blast childrens book marketing program that reaches 31,000 people for $1400 I would like your advise as to whether I should accept or decline this offer .Can you help

          • Jeanette Voyzey said:

            Hi Michele,
            To be honest I would refuse any offers made outside the normal publishing remit. Xlibris will post your book on all the selling websites, Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc so you will reach thousands of people without paying extra for the privilege. Please be aware they are pyramid sellers and will catch anyone unawares to get more money from you. As I have said in the past, just pay for the publishing, order the quantity of books you think you will need and do the marketing yourself. Its good fun and cheaper. Good luck Michele and well done for getting this far.

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  26. Luis Basurto said:

    Can you share a little about the problem you had with your content and their guidelines?

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  28. vivian probst said:

    Traditional publishing has other challenges not the least of which is getting their attention. Regardless of who publishes your book, YOU must become it’s ambassador. It’s worth the aggravation if you know what to purchase and you believe in your book. I expect every self-publishing company has similar issues.

  29. Vinay said:

    I am reporting my experience with Xlibris to the Cyber Crime Authority in the UAE to atleast prevent other “innocent” authors from falling into their trap.

    Vinay Benjamin – Dubai

  30. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    That’s interesting Vinay. Please let us know how you get on. As I have said before I had no problems with Xlibris but I keep an open mind and am always interested in peoples experiences. Jeanette Voyzey

  31. Bettygardner said:

    I sure wish I had read these comments before I made my first down payment,did not sign the contract thank God, I may just be out of 200$,who can I get to publish for me?without being scammed?

  32. Anna Clare said:

    I am NOT an author. I have never expressed interest to any publishing company nor contacted anyone for information. Somehow they got my cell phone number and WILL NOT STOP CALLING. Daily. Multiple times in a row. Nothing will dissuade them from calling. If I block the number, they call from a different one.

  33. andy said:

    Why did I not see any of this mess until I turned in my manuscript? I have given the people in the Philippines 1200 bucks for a a package. Other than the Language barrier, they have been pleasant, and helpful. My goal is to simply sell enough books to pay for my investment. I want to leave something original that my kids and grandkids can enjoy. I sold some of the things that I had no time to use anymore, and used the profits for the book to be published. I hate the high cost of the books, as I would love to give away hundreds of copies. I guess we will see what happens? I will try to find this page again and let you know How I feel I made out. Blessings to all Andy

  34. jan cameron said:

    jan cameron
    God, how unsettling reading all this😕
    i have nearly entered in package deal wth Xlibris, aftr being recommended the $2000 package. I had some queries about the conversation held wth the consultant, all sounded too good. So iv looked into it futher n read these comments, which has confirmed
    the doubts i had. i will not continue wth this company but im not sure of position i may b in now. Aftr talking to consultant i said id just email my books to him. Two kids books, only pages, but full story n all illustrations done by myself. i also sent rough copies n drawings of couple other books. And ( how dumb am i) four completed cartoons posters😕😕
    Do i need to feel uneasy about naively doing that? Can that stuff end up in someone elses hands?
    Obviously i hv no idea…
    Does anyone else?? Thanks Jan

  35. Barbara Titus said:

    I had my first book published with Xlibris. I mostly dealt with Travis because he was the only one I could understand. I agree, there is a language barrier with these people and each consultant has a different position. However they stayed in touch with me throughout and answered my phone calls/emails promptly. I was really excited when I received mu authors copy. It was beautifully done. However the Amazon copies that most of my buyers purchased was done in poor quality plus a mistake on the 2nd page where a huge bold black stripe covered up the bottom of the page, cutting of some of the illustration and script. Come to find out, there was a “go between” printer between Xlibris and Amazon. Amazon offered to replace the books with the black stripe for no charge to the buyers but how were they to know this was actually a mistake that should not have been there. The ones who did return the book still got a chinzy version.

  36. Cindy said:

    I am truly freaking out after reading all these reviews. I am ashamed to not have done more research. But I signed up this morning for a premium package and hope to everything I don’t get screwed over. If it gets to be to weird, I will try to stop the pay plan and cut my losses and get out of the contract. Some of the comments here have managed to get through the ordeal and are offering some good advice. I think I will keep monitoring this page and let you all know how it is going. Thanks everyone for your time and input.

    • Robert Truloff said:

      Hi Cindy,
      How did you get on? I’m thinking about going with them as I honestly haven’t found anyone else worth going with. If you look at any of the self publishing companies they all have bad reviews! I’d like to know for all the bad reviews how many good ones there actually are? If you can post an update of your experience it would be very helpful to me. Thanks for your time.
      Robert.

  37. andy said:

    Hey all, andy here again, as promised. You will know that I am real by going to amazon and looking for my first book, titled Poetry in Devotion, by elliot sexton fuller( my pen name). It is cool to finally see it somewhere for sale. I notified all who who have been asking about getting a copy for over a year, and they are ordering. It is a bit frustrating that i can go on line, and buy my book before xlibris is even able to send me the author copies for approval, but my friends think that it is a hoot that they will have one in their hands before I even get mine. All that I have so far is an electronic copy on my computer, but if the book looks as good in real life, i will be ecstatic. A rep from xlibris called yesterday to sell me copies. He said that he can send me 200 copies for 1800 bucks, or 100 for 1300. When I was hesitant to shell out the money immediately, (that is a chunk of change for something that I already have invested 1300 dollars in), He dropped the cast of shipping the books and I can get 200 books for 1500, but the deadline to decide is tomorrow by 11 oclock am. This price would drop my cost to .8 dollars per book. Mama (my wife} wonders if we will ever be able to sell 200 books. I would be willing to shell out the money, because I really believe that I can move them. I will press xlibris to give me more time to sell some more of my tools, so that I do not have to rack up balance on my card. If they cannot give me a month or so, then I will probably only order 25 at a time, at 14 dollars each. I will see how it goes, and get back with you all. Blessings andy

  38. andy said:

    andy here again with a couple more thoughts. I never really felt pressured at all during the experience. I did get a bit aggravated that xlibris put me through an entire rewrite to give everyone fictional names, but then changed their minds at the last minute. they said that i needed a pen name, so no one would be able to identify me. I told them that this would really be silly, since I will sell books at speaking engagements, so they relented after i sent in written permission from 4 of the people mentioned. Even though there was a bit of a language barrier, Kevin Laguno did a great job of navigating me through much of the process, and I am thankful for his attentiveness. Alyssa Richter did a good job guiding me through production, except that I could never get her to call me during the hours that I repeatedly told her to call. this was frustrating because we were always playing phone tag across the Pacific Ocean. Everyone who tried to sell me a marketing package, freely admitted that they could not guarantee the sale of one book because of their marketing, and stressed the importance of me getting out there and selling. on a scale of 1 to 10, I would have to give my experience a with xlibris so far, an 8 plus. Blessings to all, andy

  39. andy said:

    andy back again. I got my first copy, but it was because a friend ordered it on amazon prime. It is beautiful, and exceeded my expectations for quality. I mentioned in the last post how the company put me through a rewrite because they said that all the names needed to be changed. One of the poems has a person’s name, that I must have forgot to change back, and the cost to correct things, is 175. base with 2 dollars additional per correction. I may correct it, or just give the family of the deceased person who I wrote the poem for before they died, a profuse apology. Do not pay for editing, as everything that I wanted to say with a play on words,kept getting corrected, and I had to bring it to their attention, before they put it the way that I wrote it. As stated previously, my book is a beautifully crafted book, and is of the quality that meets or exceeds anything else that I have seen. Blessings andy

    • Robert Truloff said:

      Hi Andy. I’m looking at publishing with them. You sound like you’ve had a pretty good experience with them?

  40. Samantha said:

    I am currently talking to them, and I realized just now that I shouldn’t anymore. For one thing, I never even started the communication. So I am unaware as to why or how they have my personal number and email. They only keep asking about my money and not my manuscript. Every phone call. I haven’t agreed to publish with them nor have I started any package with them. They even tried to get my credit card info over the phone. Even saying they’d take it just so they could start a free trial of some sort on a website.

    • Robert said:

      This all sounds extremely familiar. I have no idea how they got any of my contact details in the first place! Even though I have told them not to contact me anymore they still keep trying to call me and email me. I block one number, they ring from another. I just don’t answer ‘Unknown Numbers’ anymore. Their emails, well I have a bit of fun there, I just punch random keys on the keyboard for about two minutes and then send that. Hopefully it’s messing with their heads…

  41. Gary Maske said:

    Why publish with Xlibris when you can publish for free on createspace? Yes, I’ve done both. Four years ago I published with Xlibris and it cost me about $800. Since then I learned of createspace and I can edit my book any time I want, and receive a copy of the book usually within a week. Copies of my book cost me about $3.50 while at Xlibris they would cost me at least $14. Well, at least so far as I can tell that’s what it would cost me at Xlibris. They are unresponsive four years after publishing one’s book whereas at the time they were very aggressive and I remember the experience as rather stressful. On createspace I have never even spoken with anyone, and this despite the fact that I have revised my book umpteen times. I know, I know, Amazon is going to take over the world. But createspace is faster, simpler, and cheaper ($800 vs. $0) by far. I do not work for createspace. Oh, and by the way, the tone of voice of the woman whose recorded voice is on the main line at Xlibris tells you pretty much all you need to know.

  42. Tim T said:

    I published two travel/photo books with them. Total mistake. They’re full service and I worked with them for the entire process and discovered they have only one expertise — in upselling. At my initial consult with their rep, he promised to get me a $20 price point if each book was under 100 pages. Turned out he could only give me that if I payed an extra $500 for one of their special pricing offers. But I didn’t find that out until the books had already made it to production, and I only found that out because I asked the production folks. I had to make major cuts to both books and use tiny fonts to get a $28 price point.

    The production cycle itself was nightmarishly slow. The first proofs they sent me had 30 copy errors that their own people had created in production (10 of my own that needed fixing). Turnaround time 3 weeks. The next version they added a new set of 20 new copy mistakes– plus they missed a bunch from that first cycle. All their fault but I got sent to the back of the line again for 2 weeks. By the fourth time, I gave up. I realized it would be better to accept their sloppy work or the book would never get printed.

    Another issue. These are POD photo/travel books but they would only give me PDF proofs. Once the books were printed, I saw just how mediocre their printing system is.

    They are a full service company so I also tried their PR service. $400 to send the PR notice out to their full list of 1000+ media outlets. I got one nibble. They tried to upsell me on a dedicated PR person to do follow up, if I wanted to pay $5000 or so. I could see that was a waste.

    I did try to use their search engine marketing — another $500. I supplied them a list of keywords to bid on. When the campaign was over, they sent me a spreadsheet with the number of hits each keyword had gotten. It turns out my keywords, “photographing Zion,” “photographing Bryce Canyon,” etc. didn’t get enough action so they substituted more general keywords without telling me. Keywords like “photography” that are totally useless for a book about photographing the Utah national parks. Later I talked to them to figure out why my keywords didn’t pull. Xlibris was paying Google so little per bid that my paid keywords were showing up on page 3 or 4 of the search engine results. No wonder on one was clicking on the link.

    They were generally nice folks but deeply clueless. I’ve never met folks from any company that were so inept; an awful experience from beginning to end. One note: I thought about reporting them to the Indiana Attorney General but realized it wasn’t worth my time.

  43. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    Hi all.
    Well things have certainly changed for me since my glowing reports on Xlibris. My novel The Shack has sold over 400 downloads and Xlibris owe me £388 up until the end of March 2017. I have been trying to get my money for the last six weeks. They have several excuses as to why they cannot pay me. It is there in black and white in my log in details but they still refuse to send a cheque. They are saying the sales are not validated so why are they listed?. I cannot believe they have let me down so badly. I will never recommend them again. The cheque they sent last October for £39 was refused by my bank three times.

  44. Robert said:

    To potential Authors, steer clear of Xlibris. I was so close to publishing with them and am very, very glad I didn’t. Their services can only be explained as stalking and bullying tactics. They are only interested in taking your money and giving you what THEY want in return. Even the emails I recieve are full of spelling mistakes and incorrect grammer! What’s my book going to contain if they can’t even get emails right? So, once again, I find myself looking for a decent publisher…

  45. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    Robert
    You did well to avoid. They now owe me nearly £500 and taken the joy out of the sales I achieved. I am not afraid to say I was wrong to sing their praises in previous posts. I did have a blog on their website which I have now taken down. I just wish I could get the money owed to me and (which by now is probably a lot more) and say good riddance.

  46. Barbara said:

    Xlibris is calling me within the hour to discuss the possibility of publishing my novel. Thank you all for giving me the information and experiences I need to make a wise decision. I will decline their offer.

  47. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    Barbara, I hope you did decline the offer from this company. They now owe me nearly £500 in royalties. My book sales have made them £2,000. I have yet to see any money. I have sent email after email but have not received a penny. I don’t know where to go from here. Someone suggested joining “The Society of Authors” a kind of trade union for writers but they don’t cover anything outside the UK so that doesn’t work either.

  48. Lukason said:

    Wow! Lots of bad experiences. Lots of bullets been dodged by reading them also. Are there many decent alternatives available?

  49. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    Just an update. I have now been informed by Xlibris that unless I provide my Bank details I will not be paid my Royalties. This is theft in the extreme. I am owed nearly £500 and will never get this money. Please all, avoid this lot at all costs. They have told me they cannot issue cheques which is absolute rubbish.

  50. Byron Marchant said:

    Independent,

    After publishing twice with Xlibris, I have discovered they do their best to see that their authors don’t get many 25% royalties (my plan offers 25% for books sold to customers by Xlibris directly and 10% if sold by a jobber like Amazon or Barnes and Noble). Of course, the Xlibris shipping of a book is more expensive than the shipping by their jobbers (therefore, for most small buyers like individuals, if they check out the total purchase price, they will most likely make their purchases at the 10% author royalty).

    Xlibris shipping (S&H), it seems, is between $5.80-$6.80 for a single book purchase and ca. $12 for two (my latest publication with them is a 2 volume set) books. Almost all books from Amazon ship for $3.99; Barnes and Noble offers free shipping for purchases above $25.

    So, authors, beware. Their offer (of a 25% royalty) may be true, but Xlibris has a way with words. I’m obviously looking for another, similar, service for my next publishing project.

    • Byron Marchant said:

      After publishing twice with Xlibris, I have discovered they do their best to see that their authors don’t get many 25% royalties (my plan offers 25% for books sold to customers by Xlibris directly and 10% if sold by a jobber like Amazon or Barnes and Noble). Of course, the Xlibris shipping of a book is more expensive than the shipping by their jobbers (therefore, for most small buyers like individuals, if they check out the total purchase price, they will most likely make their purchases at the 10% author royalty).

      Xlibris shipping (S&H), it seems, is between $5.80-$6.80 for a single book purchase and ca. $12 for two (my latest publication with them is a 2 volume set) books. Almost all books from Amazon ship for $3.99; Barnes and Noble offers free shipping for purchases above $25.

      So, authors, beware. Their offer (of a 25% royalty) may be true, but Xlibris has a way with words. I’m obviously looking for another, similar, service for my next publishing project.

  51. Pradeep said:

    A matketing or sales consultant named Castle called up and kept on presurrising me for more than an hour to become a writer and to set up an acvount evn when i said I dont need it..Its a scam.beware

  52. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    Unfortunately it is too late for me, however, any potential authors out there please do not even consider Xlibris. They now owe me nearly £500. I have sold a considerable amount of downloads almost 600 and they will not pay my Royalties unless they have my Bank account details which I refuse to give. This company is a scamming set up. Please avoid at all costs. Any company that cannot produce a cheque has to be bogus.

  53. steve saunders said:

    I made an even bigger mistake than all of you. I gave a manuscript to a steve warr . He then published it in his own name. IN SEARCH OF NEW MAGIC ..This is a book iam asking you not to buy n35steve@outlook.com steve saunders The true author. xlibris would not put a stop to it.

  54. Jeanette Voyzey said:

    Hi Steve,
    Surely this is illegal. How on earth has he got away with this one?. I wonder how many times this has happened?.

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