Scribe. Scribe Media. Book in a Box. These are all terms to describe one of the major publishing companies in the self-publishing space.
The results look impressive, and there are definitely some big names behind the company’s done-for-you publishing endeavors.
But can you really pay a company like Scribe Media, formerly Book in a Box, to turn your story into a high-quality, successful book?
We want you to make informed decisions when it comes to how and where to invest your money. That’s why our mission is to help educate authors on the various self-publishing companies and services that are on the market today.
Our reviews are meant to be unbiased, 3rd party reviews, but we will speak up if there is a scam or a clearly better option.
Here’s what we cover in our Scribe Media review:
- What is Scribe Media?
- Scribe Programs & Cost
- Scribe Resources
- Is Scribe Media For You?
- Scribe: The Pros & Cons
- Other Scribe Reviews
- Alternatives to Scribe
- Final Rating: Worth It?
What is Scribe Media?
Scribe Media, formerly known as Book in a Box, is a self-publishing company that provides complete done-for-you services following a specific book writing and publishing framework.
Scribe Media was co-founded in 2014 by four-time New York Times Bestselling Author Tucker Max. The other co-founder, and co-author of the book The Scribe Method is Zach Obrant.
The company claims that they are against the elitism of traditional publishing, and also against the low-quality self-publishing world. Their solution? Their Scribe done-for-you self-publishing services.
Related: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing Guide
What is Book in a Box?
Book in a Box is the former name of the company, which was rebranded and renamed as Scribe Media.
The Book in a Box premise and service is fundamentally the same as it was before, but the company changed its name to Scribe Media to better reflect what they do as service providers, and the company’s maturation.
Book in a Box provides the same done-for-you services for nonfiction authors, including the writing, editing, designing, publishing, and marketing of a book (depending on the product you choose).
Related: How to become an author
If you do a Google search for “Book in a Box” you’ll likely find more content and results than “Scribe Media” but that’s only because the name change wasn’t too long ago, and the Scribe Media term simply has to outgrow the Book in a Box term with time.
For the purposes of this review, you’ll find that we use the term “Book in a Box” and “Scribe Media” interchangeably.
Scribe Media Founders
Scribe Media co-founder Tucker Max has written four New York Times bestsellers, three of which hit #1. These four books have come together to spend almost ten years combined on the bestseller list and have sold more than four million copies worldwide.
Tucker Max has been involved in writing, editing, book publishing, and marketing over twenty-two New York Times or Wall Street Journal bestsellers that have sold over 15 million copies combined.
Tucker Max is only the third writer (after Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis) to ever have three books on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list at one time. And if that isn’t enough, he was nominated for the Time Magazine 100 Most Influential list in 2009.
Co-author of The Scribe Method and co-founder of Scribe Media, Zach Obrant is an entrepreneur whom, after setting up Book in a Box, started a mold removal company as a way to prove to other business owners that the success of a company could be built on SEO and internet advertising as a way to solve their business problems.
His “out-of-the-box” thinking worked and he has applied this successfully to the Book in a Box method where he helps authors realize their dreams of becoming published through a systematic process that leads to publication.
What is The Scribe Method?
The Scribe Method is, first of all, the title of the bestselling book by Scribe Media’s founders. It is the foundation for the Book in a Box system that the publishing services offered by Scribe Media are built from.
The book publishing framework and services offered by Scribe Media are based on The Scribe Method, which provides a step-by-step publishing strategy for aspiring authors, successful entrepreneurs, and innovative thought leaders who want to publish a book.
In a nutshell, here’s what The Scribe Method is:
- Prepare to write your book. This goes over mindset, such as expectation management and overcoming fears.
- Position your book. This goes over determining your book’s objectives and audience.
- Outline your book. This goes over the complete book outlining process.
- Write your book. This goes over your writing plan, and how to speak your book or write it the traditional way.
- Edit your book. This goes over how to edit, and asking for feedback.
- Finish your manuscript. This goes over your book title, and front and back matter, as well as testimonials and copyediting.
- Design and market your book. This goes over tasks like writing a book description and author bio, getting a book cover, layout design, and how to price your book.
- Publish your book. This goes over your publishing options.
If you are a business owner, entrepreneur, public speaker or innovator looking for a company that offers complete done-for-you book writing and publishing services, then Scribe Media could be a company you consider.
Many well-known influencers and entrepreneurs have used Book in a Box, such as David Goggins (Can’t Hurt Me), Tiffany Haddish (The Last Black Unicorn), Todd Herman (The Alter Ego), and Joey Coleman (Never Lose a Customer Again).
Next, we will dive into the products and publishing packages offered by Scribe Media.
Scribe Programs & Cost
Scribe has a few different service program offerings. As with any publishing company, Scribe has a list of products available to serve customers (authors) no matter the stage they are at with their book.
Let’s take a look at the breakdown of the platform and the packages Scribe Media offers to authors.
Scribe Media offers 4 core programs:
- Publishing Only. $15,000.
- Guided Author. $18,000.
- Professional. $40,000.
- Elite Ghostwriting. $120,000.
Depending on your writing skills, time, author goals, and of course, budget, this will influence the kind of package you take. Take note that, at this time, Scribe Media does not write, publish or market fiction books, only nonfiction books.
#1 – Publishing Only (Price: $15,000-$20,000)
The Publishing Only package is everything you need to get from a finished manuscript to a professionally published book. It is done-for-you publishing services.
This is considered to be the basic package with a price tag of $15,000.
With this package, you are responsible for writing your own book. What you are paying for is done-for-you publishing, not done-for-you book writing.
Here’s a brief look at what this course includes:
- Full evaluation edit
- Book cover design
- Interior layout
- Distribution and royalty setup
- eBook creation
- Paperback creation and distribution
- Publishing imprint
- Author marketing materials
- First week promotions
There are optional add-ons that include:
- Additional editing—$5000
- Audiobook creation—$6000
- Book launch—$12,000
This can get very expensive so if you were to enroll for everything, you are looking at a price tag of over $20,000. You’d need serious momentum and book sales to recoup these costs.
If you are a busy entrepreneur that wants to pay for the convenience of a done-for-you publishing service, then this might be an option for you.
#2 – Guided Author (Price: $18,000)
The Scribe Guided Author is a proven program that provides you with everything you need to write, publish, and market your book—this year.
Here is what the package includes:
- Kick off workshop in Austin, Texas
- Full guidance and accountability with a professional developmental editor
- Weekly coaching calls
- Private Facebook group
- Writing course and guidance
- Complete distribution services
- Marketing consult and guidance
- First week promotions
This program holds your hand every step of the way so you’re guided through the publishing process with coaching, editing and marketing the book.
If you want to write your own book, but need some accountability and hand-holding with the entire writing, publishing, and marketing process, this Book in a Box package might be for you.
However, it may be worth noting that there are other self-publishing companies that offer this same service, and will cost you significantly less money.
#3 – Professional ($40,000)
Similar to ghostwriting, the Scribe Professional Package is an interview-based book writing and publishing service. This is where you will be interviewed for your book’s content, so you are essentially speaking the content, and a ghostwriter actually writes your book for you. So, your book is written, edited, and published by the Scribe Media team.
The contents for this course include:
- Distribution package
- Published book
- First week promotions
- Completed manuscript
As with the other packages, you get a published book but with the Professional package, your idea will be validated before you begin writing. Your Scribe coach/book professional helps to structure and position your idea into a solid book.
This is done with extensive and comprehensive interviews with the author. The book is then packaged and published, with full rights being maintained by the author.
If you want a complete done-for-you book writing and publishing package, then this is for you.
Some aspiring authors would scoff at the idea of not writing a word of their book, but others would be just fine with it. If you’re of the mindset that speaking is the same thing as authoring, then it’s really just up to preference.
#4 – Elite Ghostwriting (Averages $120,000)
This is Scribe’s Elite Ghostwriting package, and it is customized to fit your specific needs. Because of the personalized aspect of it, there isn’t a set price, but you can request a custom quote. The average investment is $120,000 and it includes a money-back guarantee.
You will be paired with a high-level ghostwriter who will work with you to develop your idea, write and publish your book to completion.
Here is what is included:
- You are paired with an award-winning ghostwriter
- Complete publishing and distribution
- Full marketing and book launch package
- Audiobook creation and distribution
- Full ownership of rights and royalties
These services are high level tickets for authors, entrepreneurs, innovators or public speakers to build authority, transform a career, create a platform, and take their business to that next level.
There are many scammy publishers and vanity press publishers out there that are trying to provide a similar experience as Scribe, but, after researching the reputation of Scribe Media, they do have a solid reputation within the industry.
What’s included with Book in a Box?
On their website, Scribe Media promotes its platform as “the premier professional self-publishing program.” What’s included in each package will depend on which service you choose to go with.
You can sign up for a free consultation call with Scribe, and the call is structured around four areas unique to discuss these topics:
- Book idea
- Book investment
This initial call is a qualification call, to see whether you will be a good fit for working with Scribe. The company’s FAQ states that they, “typically reject 30% of authors.”
If you are deemed a good fit, you will be able to select one of the products offered by Scribe Media after the salesperson has helped you to identify your needs, goals, and budget for writing your book.
Scribe Media’s pricing isn’t cheap by far, and, when it comes to comparisons of other publishing programs available, it is at the high end of book publishing costs.
However, Scribe Media is not considered to have a poor reputation. For the most part, it's considered to be a reputable company that gets authors published. Many of these writers become bestselling authors on multiple platforms.
This is proven by scrolling through the hundreds of books they have helped successful authors launch.
However, there are also many authors that were dissatisfied with the quality of services Scribe offered, especially in terms of the manuscript produced.
How much does Scribe cost?
Scribe Media isn’t cheap, and depending on the product services you are interested in, could cost a minimum of $15k and upwards of $100k. So having said that, it is safe to say you are serious about your book and want it to delivered professionally by the best.
Scribe Media Resources
In addition to their services offered, Scribe actually delivers quite a bit of free content as well.
If you want to research more about the company, we recommend checking out some of these resources.
#1 – Scribe Blog
If you are looking for another area that offers free resources, Scribe Media has a robust catalog of blog posts on the Scribe Blog. Written by both in-house writers and guest post bloggers, the content is top-notch and designed to help customers (and potential clients) navigate through the trenches of book publishing.
#2 – Scribe Book School
One of the best features of Scribe Media is the free book publishing courses offered. These courses are high-quality, full video content, with step-by-step instructions.
Scribe Media prides itself on giving away their courses freely since other publishing companies typically charge money for them. While that’s true, the Scribe product model centers around a very specific customer – the customer who actually does not want to do it themselves, and wants the convenience of the Book in a Box done-for-you services.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see why giving away free course content doesn’t affect their bottom line all that significantly. Those in search of a “free” course on how to publish themselves, are not Scribe’s ideal customer.
The free courses include:
- Scribe Book Writing Course. This is a robust writing course created for people who want to write a nonfiction book.
- Scribe Book Publishing Course. This course walks you through a clear, step-by-step process with a complete breakdown of the publishing process.
- Scribe Book Marketing Course. This course walks you through launching your book to market.
Related: How to Write A Nonfiction Book
Is Scribe Media For You?
You’re reading this Scribe or Book in a Box review for a reason, and it all boils down to this: Should you try to work with Scribe Media for your book?
If you’re a specific type of aspiring nonfiction author with a high budget, Scribe Media might be a service you invest in.
In a nutshell, Scribe Media is best for those with a high budget who want to publish a book in their name, but don't want to do much of the work that comes with writing a book themselves.
Working with Scribe might be for you if…
- You’re an industry expert that knows your stuff. You need to be able to speak about your book’s topic easily.
- You want to write nonfiction. At the time of this review, Scribe does not work with fiction authors.
- You are a busy entrepreneur with capital to spare. Scribe is expensive, and ideal for those with upwards of $10,000 to spend on their book.
- You don’t have the time to write a book. The Scribe Method is ideal for those who don’t have the time to write and publish a book on their own, or who want the conveniences of the done-for-you book services offered by Scribe.
- You’re not a writer at heart. If you’ve never particularly been skilled at writing, or if it’s particularly laborious for you (example: you hated writing essays in school), then Scribe’s framework fits you best.
- You want to write one specific book. You want to write a nonfiction book on the industry or expertise you have ingrained in your mind like the back of your hand. You can talk for hours about your subject, and your book solves a particular problem. You don’t have immediate plans to write and publish multiple books.
Working with Scribe isn’t for you if…
- You want to write a novel or fiction. The company’s framework currently works for nonfiction only.
- You are on a budget. Scribe services are a pretty penny, and you should look for more affordable options if you don’t have the money to spare.
- You want to write and publish multiple books. If you truly want to build a book business, Scribe’s done-for-you services aren’t ideal. Instead, you should invest in a program that teaches you the entire process so. you can rinse and repeat.
- You aren’t necessarily a thought leader. If you need to research your book’s topic, that’s okay. But don’t expect to be able to research your topic with Scribe’s services – they want to work with customers who know their topic from the inside out.
- You have a love of writing. If you’ve always dreamed of writing a book and have a deep love for your writing craft, Scribe isn’t for you.
- You want to learn a proven process to do it yourself. Again, this goes back to your intentions. Do you want to build a book business? Do you plan to publish more books in the future? If so, you’re better off going with a self-publishing company that teaches you a proven framework, and holds you accountable for your own work.
Scribe: The Pros & Cons
In this section, we'll break down the pros and cons that we found as we researched Scribe's programs.
Just note that pros and cons are often subjective to whoever is asking. What some may think are benefits, may be disadvantages to others and vice versa. We tackled this review through the lens of the the general reader who is interested in writing and self-publishing a book.
Scribe Media Pros
Based on our research, there were some key benefits of Scribe's services. We've picked the main pros of the company.
- Transparent. Scribe is very clear with their pricing, and who their target customer is. They make it known from the beginning that working with them will require an investment, and that not every aspiring author is a right fit for their company. They have no problem turning you away if you do not meet certain criteria.
- Money back guarantee. Scribe is so confident in their framework and professional service, that they provide a money back guarantee on all of their core products.
- Results. Their results and customer testimonials are impressive. It’s clear that you are working with a company that has delivered results for their customers. Their results show that this isn’t a fly-by-night company, but one that is invested and intentional.
Scribe Media Cons
Of course, there were some disadvantages of Scribe's services. Here are the main cons that we found:
- Price. The flagship product is $36,000, which isn’t a feasible investment for many aspiring authors. Even at the $12,000 package, the price is steep.
- Specific author type. Scribe Media works with aspiring authors of nonfiction books, who are mainly successful entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and business owners.
- The ghostwriting concept. The concept of speaking about the contents of your book, and having someone else actually write it, is Scribe’s flagship method. That methodology is controversial for some aspiring authors, especially those that take great pride in their own work. Plus, there’s a certain level of satisfaction and pride that comes with publishing a book you strove to create by wrestling with your own words.
- Not for fiction authors. No, Scribe does not work with fiction authors, children's book authors, or the like.
Other Scribe Media Reviews
If you’re on the hunt for other Book in a Box reviews, or even just Scribe reviews as a company, there’s some additional information you can peruse through online.
From customer testimonials to book reviews to Scribe Media employee reviews, you can do some digging for more research before deciding whether or not this company is for you or not.
#1 – Featured Books and Author Success Stories
Scribe Media has worked with many big-name authors, from initial book idea to launching the book, which includes NY Times Bestselling authors such as David Goggins, the NY Times bestselling author of Can’t Hurt Me.
Another big success story is Robin Farmanfarmaian, who by the age of 26, she’d had a total of 43 hospitalizations, six major surgeries, and three organs removed. She worked with Scribe to write and launch her book, tell her story and created Robin Inc.
You can check out more of the success stories here and see for yourself:
Scribe Author Success Stories
#2 – Book Reviews for Book in a Box & The Scribe Method
As we mentioned, the co-founders of Scribe Media published The Book in a Box Method, which later became The Scribe Method after the company’s name change.
So what do the book reviewers say? We turned to Amazon and Goodreads for some insight.
Overall, Amazon reviewers gave the book a 4.4 out of 5 rating, with 88 total reviews.
The majority of reviewers gave the book a positive rating of four and five stars. However, there were of course some three stars and even one star reviews.
On Goodreads, the same book received a lower rating of 3.88 out of 5 stars, with 178 reviewers.
On Amazon, The Scribe Method book received a higher rating, with a 4.7 out of five, and 41 reviewers. The majority of the reviews were four and five stars.
On Goodreads, The Scribe Method received a 4.38 rating, with 56 raters.
#3 – Scribe Glassdoor Employee Reviews
It’s one thing to have testimonials from happy customers regarding customer service and product reliability. But how about the employees themselves?
We did some research and found real testimonials from current and past employees at Scribe Media through Glassdoor. As it turns out, 97% of employees approve of Scribe Media, and would recommend the company to a friend.
Done-for-you publishing services
Alternatives to Scribe
Scribe Media offers a unique service and program offering to specific authors. They make it very known that the authors who use their service are those that want to publish a nonfiction book quickly, and have the budget to do so.
But what about everyone else?
There are plenty of affordable self-publishing companies available for you to consider.
We want you—the author—to be well-informed of what is out there so that you make the best decision on how and where to invest your money.
If you want to write and publish a nonfiction book in 90 days or less, check out our full range of programs and services here.
Or, if you are interested in writing a fiction novel or children's book, we have programs for you, too.
How does Scribe compare to Self-Publishing School?
Here’s what Self-Publishing School offers aspiring authors for less investment than Scribe Media:
- Specific learning paths tailored to fit your publishing needs.
- Bestseller guarantee. We have helped thousands of nonfiction authors become bestsellers through our proven system.
- Coaching with an expert author. All of the book coaches—successful published authors themselves—walk students through the process of self-publishing.
- Online education with step-by-step guidance for self-publishing success, so you can learn how to write and publish a book, and use those skills to continue publishing more books.
- Mastermind community access. There is a community of 2,000+ authors in the Facebook Mastermind group to support each other.
- Full royalties and rights. Self-Publishing School does NOT take any of your book sales or royalty fees. You own all rights to your book.
- Education and resources on which outsourcing services (like cover design and editing) and printing service companies to use.
Final Rating: Is it worth it?
The price is hefty, so right away, this comes down to asking yourself, “Can I afford a minimum of $12,000 to $20,000 to write and publish a book?”
If the answer is yes, and you meet the other criteria we’ve mentioned in this Book in a Box review, then it’s worth a shot.
You can do more research on other Scribe reviews, read some of the books authored by the co-founder, ask other author friends their thoughts, or hop on a free call with Scribe’s team, to help you determine if it’s for you.
If you fit the bill (no pun intended), and are qualified to work with Scribe, then it’s likely that the results will turn out in your favor. After all, their testimonials, author success stories, and overall brand reputation are impressive.
Publishing a book adds immediate and incredible authority and leverage to your work and your life. Scribe can be a convenient, quick way to get your book published, but it does come at a high cost.
There are people who would love to work with Scribe Media, but just can’t afford (or justify) the cost of the done-for-you services.
And there are others who could very well pay for the Scribe Media services, but they want the satisfaction of writing a book themselves, and learning a process so that they can eventually write more books.
Do you want to pay money for done-for-you convenience, or do you want to contribute time and effort to learn how to write and publish a high-quality book yourself?
The choice is yours, and it really just depends on your personal needs and preferences.