Xlibris Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

From Everything.Sucks

Xlibris is a self-publishing and on-demand printing services provider, founded in 1997 and based in Bloomington, Indiana. In 2000, The New York Times stated it to be the foremost on-demand publisher. The current chief executive is Andrew Philips, who was formerly the president of Penguin Books.


Tell the world why Xlibris sucks!

I certify that this review is based on my own experiece and is my opinion of this person or business. I have not been offered any incentive or payment to write this review.


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Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"- no internet even for inhouse web developers - fires you immediately without warning - you work 6 days a week if you don't get target - only Caucasians get promoted - no career path and chances of getting promoted is next to impossible"

Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor says

"No guarantee on the success of your book"

Marketing says

"Low salary and an oppressive working environment."

English says

"Had to train the people who were taking our obs overseas"

Freelance Copyeditor says

"Specific expectations for editing reviews and comments that were not made explicit No system of training after initial hire"

Former Employee - Layout Designer says

"Some of the management staff are not good in handling their people."

Published Author (Current Employee) says

"Xlibris is an excellent company for self publishers but you have to have money of your own to invest because it does require a substantial amount of money for advertisement"

Outbound Sales Supervisor (Former Employee) says

"Working in an American company and dealing with local bosses was difficult. There was a cladh between culture and practices and we the employees were the ones affected especially when at that time they were very new in the philippines. Co-employeesBenefits such as commissions were not laid out clearly."

Independent Author (Current Employee) says

"While they are very helpful, I wouldn't recommend them unless you are very confident your manuscript will make money. Otherwise I would self-publish through Amazon or a similar entity."

Bud Hunton says

"If anyone is considering a class action lawsuit, please let me know. My phones calls have not accomplished anything. According to their accounting pages, my total sales from January 1, 2017 was only $1380.81 and my current royalties due are $99.11. That is only 7%. They keep telling me that I need a minimum of $100.00 per quarter to receive my payment."

Bud Hunton says

"I have only received one royalty payment since my book was published in 2019. They keep giving me excuses why they keep moving the payment back another quarter. I now believe that they are intentionally scamming me and withholding my royalties. Anyone know a good attorney?"

James says

"This place is a scam. They're thieves. I signed up but, changed my mind and they never gave me my money back. No book just robbed me of thousands of dollars in cash. My advice go to reputable company."

customer says

"I had many bad experiences with this company. I could write a book on how bad it has been. It just too much to write. I have read other review ( that Unfortunately I didn’t see before I signed up with this company). I agree with their reviews. I would not recommend this company to anyone. It was a really bad experience"

customer says

"strongly advise self publishing instead"

John Fields says

"Worst company ever. THEY Messed up MY FIRST ROYALTY CHECK THAT I NEVER GOT.....SINCE 2019


Cheick Ahmed Touré says

"NB: I published with Xlibris in 2012 and cancelled my contract in 2020. So this is my experience over 8 years. And perhaps royalties and such have change since then. I am seeing reviews stating that they've dropped the royalties from 25% to 10% though.

I still remember how it all started. I was 16 years old and had been thinking of self-publishing since I was 12. I was never really into the traditional idea tbh. When I found Xlibris and sent them a sample, they replied telling me just how much of a masterpiece it was. I think they even compared me to a classic writer or something. Looking back, publishing with them did more harm than good. They exploited the lack of confidence of a young writer and made sure they profited from it. I think once the agent who first called found out I was a teenager and the son of an ambassador, he felt he had pinned the perfect target.

I began getting calls quite frequently, and after I finished my last instalment, I began sensing that something was terribly wrong and my book was not ready. Yet they kept pushing and pushing and telling me just how great the book had become. It was 2012 now, and we had been in the process for over a year. I edited the book as much as I could but back then I had very limited experience in editing books, and they weren't much help.
Look, I get that you're happy that you'll be published but don't kid yourself. Having a collection of books stockpiling in your basement is not worth the money you've spent. You could very easily just pay for the entire process independently and get a superior product. What they call editing is proofreading. The covers they make could be bought for a fraction of what they charge.
Let's not forget the royalty deal. The royalty deal is like shooting yourself in your own foot. Not that traditional publishers are much better but just how dumb is it to walk away with 25% (Royalty rate when I published 8 years ago) of your hard work and still have to do 99.99% of all the marketing efforts. Let me explain:
Say your book goes on Amazon, and is priced at $5.99 for the ebook. Amazon takes 70% for most markets. That's $4.19 royalties for that copy. Don't jump yet, that's not your cut. Your cut would be $1.04. And to be frank you might not even get that much. My first book was priced higher than $10, which I had no say in, and I sold a single copy of it during one quarter in 2013. Guess how much I actually received: GBP 0.42.
All for their logo to be affixed to your book and the privilege of paying them a few thousand dollars. Then the upsell of $10k+ to get a nebulous movie deal.
I know this isn't my call but if you have 10 thousand dollars to spare. You are better off registering your own LLC and launching your books from there. You could get a decent editor and have some money left over to actually market your books. That's what I did.
These vanity presses are strange creatures. You pay for all the work and what do you get? A quarter of the benefits, after they probably tax you for some unknown hidden fees.
Maybe your story will be different and you'll be so good at marketing that your measly cut grows in value. But if that's the case why not do it yourself and spend your money wisely on publishing education and doing things right. Rather than earn pennies you could walk away with a bigger cut. Self-publishing under these sorts of companies just seems wasteful to me. At the very least your royalties should be more than 50% and their marketing services needs to improve drastically.
I'm no Bezos, yet, but that just seems like bad business to me.

PS: My book was sold to a number of people but for some reason, I only got a single check in 2013. I even purchased my book just to be sure and I never made a penny from them beyond the 0.42. Since starting my own publishing company I have sold thousands of copies, and actually made money.

PS 2: Don't give them your number to get more information. If they already have your number here is a very simple trick. Do pick up if you aren't sure who is calling but hang up the minute they've identified themselves. I did that a few times and I think they got the message. Otherwise, they will hound you and manipulate you into buying stuff you don't need. Years after publishing with them they still called me to sell me my own book. Just how messed up is that?

PS 3: I just remembered something from 2011. When I did a drawing of how I wanted my cover to look. Guess what their amazing illustrators did. They copy pasted my amateurish drawing with a very weird superimposed fire and just sent it back to me. I was under the impression that an illustrator's job was to make it professional and come to life, but hey this wonderful company has thrived on deluding authors for a while now they know what they're doing.
I wish using foul language was allowed here. Xlibris made me waste so much time."

Tanua W says

"I was talked into buying the Hollywood package but it said you can cancel at anytime.I made the 1st pymt...went back to work...got cut off of unemployment which made my monthly income substantially lower so a week later I called and cancelled the Hollywood program and called every week after that to make sure it was cancelled which I was told that the request was put through. The following month I was expecting a refund into my checking account instead $300 more was taken stolen from me...I dont trust my own publishing company and thats a shame...a month layer...still waiting for that refund"

Wicksler says

"very disappointed with quality of print of illustrations in final proof despite assurances when I queried this in an earlier -so called low resolution - proof - that the final print version would be more robust - but the final print version was just the same low resolution quality as the earlier proofs - when i compared the original pdf scanned copies of the lllustrations i sent you you can see the book copy illustrations just don't have the same depth of quality/ colour as the reproductions in the book.
Also, the pricing of the book - I had no say in the retail price of the book and was surprised to see it priced at £12,99 /$18.99 - which is about twice the price of most children's books on the market - many of which are much larger than my book so i don;t see how my book can compete and sell in such a big market at that price.
And i also feel a lack of effective communication as i have been bounced around between three or four different contacts in the publishing process - early contacts were keen to chase me for my money to push various promotions but didn't reply to requests for more information about the process going forward.
Overall, very disappointed with the service.."

Carrie B Harrell Winns says

"I am not going to recommend Xlibris to anyone because I'M so disappointed with my last book."

Shashi Shah says

"I was most impressed by almost all the people that I dealt with. They were very courteous, and cooperative. They were always willing to help the customer. However, all this goodwill turned sour when it was time to contractually determine the number of copies owed to me. Apparently, one of the reps that I dealt with had slightly miscalculated the cost when I first entered into a contract with Xlibris. I learnt that not only her manager reprimanded the lady, but passed the cost differential to me resulting in a net loss of hard bound and paperback copies of my late wife's book. I consider that a poor customer policy and poorer still mean spirited management!"

Brandy Coepsbarr says

"First, you definitely get less than you pay for, but they will publish your book. You will need to ask yourself where you see yourself in five years. Second, the editing and review process is so bad it is basically non-existent. I had to pay to get my novel fixed even though they assured me it would get done correctly the first time. Lastly, customer service is mostly a good experience and most employees do know what they are talking about but they lack the necessary rapport needed to make the experience enjoyable. Advice, feel good about your creation because everyone else involved can only see dollar signs."

customer says

"I had nothing but problems from the very beginning.. They did not like the manuscript in PDJ which is what all my other books were published by. I had to write for proof of ownership of my cover, personal photo. The formatting did not go well and last but not least the cover was not what I requested. Then they went on with the publishing before I was allowed to have a copy of the final draft. Also I made an error in the on the back page and their editor made no mention of it or offer to make a one word correction.
Am I pleased...NO Would I use this company again...Probably not.
This is my honest opinion. Sorry it couldn't be better."

Kenny Silberberg says

"Xlibris was cheap and reasonable. However they did not edit my work, and I still am waiting on product."

customer says

"Overall service was good but there were a number of disappointments.
1) During the initial discussions with the Xlibris representative, I was told that Xlibris had a worldwide network through which anyone anywhere could access my book; this turned out not to be true. For example I was told that my book would be available through the Indigo/Chapters/Coles bookstore chain in Canada, which turned out to be false. 2) I was told that Xlibris had partner distributors in Bangladesh through which my book would be advertised; when I asked for their name(s), I never got a reply.
3) I submitted a book cover design that showed the global map with airport entry-exit stamps of some of the countries I worked in; Xlibris couldn't produce that. I had to settle for the next best option which was a global map with names of countries instead.
4) I was asked to choose three cities where the press release for the promotion of my book would be concentrated. As of this writing, promotion of the book took place in two cities only. I'm not sure whether promotion in the third city is in the works.
5) Xlibris did not meet many of the action deadlines mentioned to me, except for the deadline when I would receive the editor's edits/comments, which was met.
6) I enquired about translating my book into my native tongue, Bangla, and I was told that Xlibris can help with that. After the book was published in English, I enquired about the translation service; there was no response. I made an appointment to discuss that and no one was available to talk about that at the appointed time.
In short, I felt there was oversell by the representative I spoke with initially and I didn't get what was promised to me. A good business is always honest with their customers, but in my case that was not so.
I am, however, happy with the quality of the final product. Thank you."

Rene Dansereau says

"for the most part they seem to be competent, and meet their deadlines, but sadly depending on who you talk to you may have to stay on top of them and complain to get things done"

customer says

"If I had not had to wait six weeks to receive my books, I would have rated Alibris higher. Everything went smoothly through the rest of the process, with people being helpful and courteous When I did receive my books - six weeks after publication - I was pleased with the result. I did have a question about everyone I talked to being in the Philippines. I don't have any problem with that but I wondered if there is anyone based in Bloomington, Indiana, their supposed headquarters?"

customer says

"I have yet to receive any royalties from my book it depends on the advertising if it goes well I will give you another star"

customer says

"The services are affordable and their advertised reach is impressive but I did not feel supported through the process. It would have helped to be able to think your publisher was on your side during what should have been an amazing step on one's author journey."

Evelyn Heckhaus says

"I was surprised at the many mistakes that had to be corrected. There is still one on the final page with my bio. Last line should read, "Four of her children stories became published books." the word "stories" was omitted. My wish is that someone who is familiar with the English language would be the one to rewrite my information. All was correct when I submitted everything."