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Report: #737907

Complaint Review: Xlibris Corporation - Bloomington Indiana

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  • Reported By: Gary — Santa Rosa California United States of America
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  • Xlibris Corporation 1663 Liberty Drive Suite 200 Bloomington, Indiana United States of America

Xlibris Corporation Xlibris Publishing in business to make money from writers, not readers. Bloomington, Indiana

*Consumer Comment: You're right. Xlibris made its money from its authors

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Recently I had my first book published by Xlibris. I would not recommend this company's "services" to any writer. It became obvious to me (after they had my money) that the staff knows almost nothing about the art of writing and even less about the English language.

The twenty-four phone calls that occurred between me and company representatives during the publishing process were torturous exercises in excruciating futility. I could not understand what they were saying as they fumbled about with both my language (English) and the script from which they were reading. If I had a dollar for each time I had to say, "I'm sorry, I didn't understand what you said.", I would now have back the money that I naively handed over to them. 

Whenever I tried to explain my work conceptually or attempted to express my desires for my book's appearance, I received a "That's great!" from my representative, and the whole time I was thinking that it was not great because you do not have a clue about what I just said. I thought I was going to develop a working relationship with a company that cares about artists and their works, but was sadly disappointed. I guess I should have known better than to try to mix art with capitalism. 

When I originally researched Xlibris before beginning my book project, I discovered that the company had as its president and CEO, Kevin Weiss, a 1979 graduate of Princeton University. This impressed me and I thought that Xlibris must be a company based in value and integrity. I think my impression of the Ivy League and the kinds of people it produces is deteriorating by the second.

I was led to believe that I would have "full control" over the creative process. I asked if this included book pricing and was again told that I would have "full control" over my book project. I guess once you get a sales person off-script, she will tell you anything to get your money. Xlibris book-pricing is absolutely ridiculous and I had no control over setting the price. The books are priced not to sell and this is not a company concern because Xlibris is making its money off of writers - not readers. Xlibris is in the business of exploitation. For an artist, having a dream can be a costly undertaking. I am proud to be an artist and I don't pretend to understand business, but I have to hand it to Mr. Weiss - brilliant marketing strategy.


I don't have a recommendation for fellow writers about how to pursue your dreams professionally. I can only definitively tell you not to waste your hard-earned money on Xlibris. However, I'm not going to give up on my dream and you shouldn't either. Keep exercising your craft. Write something every day even if you don't think it's any good. Express how you feel and at the end of the day I promise it will make you feel better. There has to be someone out there who still cares about art - even in America. Write on!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/07/2011 12:47 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/xlibris-corporation/bloomington-indiana-47403/xlibris-corporation-xlibris-publishing-in-business-to-make-money-from-writers-not-reader-737907. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

You're right. Xlibris made its money from its authors

AUTHOR: Sophronia felix - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, September 01, 2011

Xlibris has now been sold to another company that also makes its money off its authors, but the principle remains the same.

I can teach you two basic tests for whether a publisher actually makes its money by selling books to readers, or whether it just leeches off its authors. No publisher does both. They're all pretty much one or the other.

First test: Go to a good big bookstore in your area. See whether you can find any books from that publisher on the shelves. (If the bookstore employees have time, they can probably check that faster than you can.) It's best if you check for books by more than one author, because sometimes a local writer will talk one bookstore into carrying a few copies of their work. If you can't find any, or can only find a few copies by one local writer, you should assume that the publisher makes its money off its authors, not its authors' readers.

There are a tiny number of exceptions to this rule, like Ellora's Cave, which publishes narrowly specialized varieties of romance, and only publishes them as ebooks, but is in fact a commercial outfit. On the other hand, there are literally thousands of publishers who never have and never will make any significant sales to readers. Every one of them will tell you that they're a real publishing house. 

Now for the second test, which is even simpler than the first, and covers just about all known circumstances. It's known as Yog's Law, and it states that Money always flows toward the writer. Any deviation from that pattern is a sign that you're dealing with a shady publisher.

And one last tip: never sign a publishing contract that doesn't have a clear provision in it whereby you get full rights to your book back if things don't work out, your publisher disappears or goes out of business, your book isn't being made available for sale, your book isn't selling, or any other lapses occur in the general commercial arrangements. Make sure this doesn't depend on the publisher saying okay -- you wouldn't believe how many of these outfits vanish without leaving a forwarding address.

Sorry you found out the hard way. Better luck with your next book.

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