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Xlibris

 

  Find out  about self publishing and POD publishers before you choose...

 

 

Xlibris

 

According to a New York Times article published on January 28, 2009, Xlibris, along with AuthorHouse, Wordclay, iUniverse, Inkubook, and Trafford are now all owned and operated by a single company, Author Solutions Inc.  Author Solutions is capitalized by Bertram Capital Management.  They seem intent on buying up as many POD publishers as they can.  They use "economies of scale" to provide self publishing, which basically means the work is outsourced to the Philippines, India, and other third world nations.

 

Xlibris was previously owned by Random House. Under Author Solutions, Xlibris still charges a lot more than most POD publishers, anywhere from $299 for very little to $12,999 for a book. One difference is in the quality of the cover: For $299, $499, and $899, writers get a generic cover made from a template. For $1599, you get a custom cover. Packages lack flexibility, and all too often you cannot buy a less expensive option and complement it only with the services you require.

 

Their website is huge and fully automated. Writers can choose interior fonts and cover styles from templates depending on which package they choose.

 

Xlibris takes anything that comes in, maintaining no editorial standards. In addition, their books are priced significantly higher than books of the same type and page number found in bookstores, and they've lowered their discount to wholesalers as well, making their books even more unattractive in terms of price.  They do offer what they call "copyediting," but this consists of what is usually termed "proofreading."  It's priced at $.012 per word. They don't tell you the cost until you fill out the form to buy the service.

 

Some of the key points in the contract include:

The author's discount starts at 40% of retail on paperbacks and 35% of retail on  hardcovers. For 25 books the discount is 49% on paperbacks and 44.75% on hardcovers.  But because the retail prices are high, the cost of books to the author is also going to be high.

 

Their royalties are low (10% for books sold through third parties and 25% of retail sales directly through their web site). 

 

Distribution is through their site and most on-line bookstores.

 

In Summary:

 

              On the plus side:
-Non-exclusive contract.
-Large automated site.

-Marketing services are comprehensive (but costly).

-Copyediting available (really proofreading with comments).

-Custom publishing service available (cost: $1600)
             

                On the negative side:

-Well known as a vanity press
-All services are expensive

-High retail prices on books
-Publishes anything
-Low royalties (10% - 25% of retail)
-Author's discount sounds good but is based on high retail pricing.

-Little or no flexibility in their packages

-Large company: Authors can get lost in the "system"

-No returnability option through Ingram

 

C

 

 

 
 

 

 
     

 

 

 

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Writer's Resources

 

- SPECIAL REPORTS -

 

- 2010 Publishing Update

 

- Ten Questions to Ask Your Publisher

 

- Top Ten Self Publishing Myths

 

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Copyright 2004 Michelle Thomas