On 5 July, 2011, I began discussions with a representative of XLibris Publishing to produce my third novel, "Twisted Key". In the initial discussions and before paying for any services I made it clear to the consultant that I needed a cost-per-unit of around $6.00 before shipping costs are figured in for each copy I purchased. That price allows me to make a decent profit on each sale, since I wholesale to indie bookstores at $12.00 per copy and retail to customers at $15.00.
I was NOT given a cost per unit but was assured it would be reasonable and until they calculated their setup and production costs any figure I was given would not be accurate. I liked what they had to say about what they could do for me and going with XLibris would put copies and promotional materials in my hands for the Fall selling season. So I signed their agreements and paid the $1050.00 fee to have the work done.
It was only after the money changed hands that I was given a cost per unit of $13.00 for me to purchase copies for sale, and everyone I spoke with at XLibris said that is their "Standard" fee. Before the shipping charges were added, of course.
Each of my novels requires 2 years of research, writing and editing. I cannot make a profit off of this novel. I cannot even make my $1050.00 back. I cannot afford to purchase copies of my own novel to sell, since nobody in his right mind is going to buy a 6 x 9" paperback for $20.00, which is what I would have to charge to make any money from a sale.
On 27 September I sent an email to their Customer Service department laying out my concerns and their several failures to comply with the terms of the agreements for services (including the provision of an LLC# for the novel. I gave them 10 days to reply to the email. They have not chosen to do so. I am posting complaints and writing blogs to warn others away from doing business with XLibris Publishing.