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 to turn your story into a high-quality, successful book?
MAY 2023 UPDATE: Scribe Media recently collapsed and is in the process of being acquired. Read on for more info.
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 was a self-publishing company that provides done-for-you services following a specific book writing and publishing framework.
UPDATE: In light of recent events, it's important to note that Scribe Media, the renowned ghostwriting and publishing services firm, abruptly laid off of 90 employees on May 24, 2023. The company began selling off its assets and has announced plans for an acquisition. For more detailed information about this surprising development, please refer to our recent article about Scribe Media here.
Scribe Media, originally named Book in a Box, was co-founded in 2014 by Tucker Max and Zach Obrant. They later changed the name to Scribe Media to reflect the company's maturation and what they do as service providers, including ghostwriting, editing, designing, publishing, and marketing books for its customers.
For the purposes of this review, you’ll find that we use the term “Book in a Box” and “Scribe Media” interchangeably.
The company claimed that they are against the elitism of traditional publishing, and also against the low-quality standard previously accepted in the self-publishing world.
Their solution? Their Scribe done-for-you self-publishing services for aspiring nonfiction authors.
More about Scribe Media's 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. Since then, he has been involved in writing, editing, publishing, and marketing over 22 New York Times or Wall Street Journal bestsellers that have sold over 15 million copies combined.
He was also 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 who, 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 people realize their dreams of becoming published authors 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. It provides a step-by-step process that shows people how to publish a book, designed specifically for aspiring authors, successful entrepreneurs, and innovative thought leaders who want to publish a book.
It enables people to speak their book rather than write their book, which the Scribe Media team claims to help people get their book done faster.
The Scribe Method includes eight steps:
- Prepare to write your book. This step focuses on mindset, such as expectation management and overcoming fears.
- Position your book. This step will help you crystalize your book’s objectives and audience.
- Outline your book. This step takes you through 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. After completing your rough draft, this step teaches you how to edit it and ask for feedback.
- Finish your manuscript. This step is where you'll generate a book title, subtitle, and front and back matter.
- Design and market your book. This step involves tasks like writing a book description and author bio, getting a book cover designer, and pricing your book.
- Publish your book. The final step goes over your publishing options.
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, our Scribe Media review will dive into the products and publishing packages offered by the company.
Scribe Media's sales process, packages, and pricing
Our Scribe Media review will address their four different service program offerings. As with any publishing company, they have a list of products available to serve customers no matter the stage they are at with their book.
But before you commit to a package, you can sign up for a free consultation call with Scribe Media, where you'll be prompted to discuss your book idea, your goals, the investment you are willing to make, and the impact you want to have with your book.
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.” Your writing skills, time, author goals, and of course, budget, will all influence the kind of package you are a good fit for.
It's also important to note that Scribe Media only writes and publishes nonfiction books (not fiction books or memoirs).
If you are deemed a good fit, you will be able to select one of the packages offered by Scribe Media after the salesperson has helped you to identify your needs, goals, and budget for writing your book.
You should know that Scribe's programs have historically began at a minimum $15,000 investment. The two most popular Scribe Media programs are Guided Author, which is $18,000, and Scribe Professional, which is $40,000. As you can see by the pricing, only serious inquiries need bother applying.
As an author, you do have other options for self-publishing your nonfiction book quickly.
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.
Let’s break down and review the four core packages Scribe Media offers to authors.
- Publishing Only: $15,000
- Guided Author: $18,000
- Professional: $40,000
- Elite Ghostwriting: $120,000
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 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.
This Scribe Media package 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:
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. Self-publishing a book on your own could save significant amounts of money, but it takes time and effort.
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. This program holds your hand every step of the way so you’re guided through the publishing process with coaching, editing, and marketing support.
This Scribe Media package includes:
- A 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
If you want to write your own book, but need some accountability and hand-holding with the entire writing, publishing, and marketing process, this 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)
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.
This Scribe Media package includes:
- 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 book idea will be validated before you begin writing. Your Scribe coach/book professional helps to structure and position your expertise 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 the largest package, the most inclusive package in our Scribe Media review, and it is customized to fit your specific needs. Because of the personalization, there also 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.
This Scribe Media package includes:
- Custom pairing with an award-winning ghostwriter or “Scribe”
- Complete publishing and distribution
- Full marketing and book launch package
- Audiobook creation and distribution
- Full ownership of rights and royalties
This is a high-ticket service for authors, entrepreneurs, innovators, or public speakers who want to build authority, transform a career, create a platform, and take their business to the next level.
There are many scammy publishers and vanity press publishers out there that are trying to provide a done-for-you publishing experience, so it is very important to thoroughly research any company you work with. Our Scribe Media review is designed to help you know if they are a good fit for YOU – and the company does have a track record of successfully getting authors published.
Many of these writers become bestselling authors on multiple platforms.
However, there are also many authors that were dissatisfied with the quality of services they offered, especially in terms of the manuscript produced. And recent developments at Scribe Media have many questioning what the future holds for the company.
Scribe Media isn’t cheap, and depending on the product services you are interested in, could cost a minimum of $15,000 and upwards of $100,000+.
Reviewing other Scribe Media resources
In addition to their core packages, Scribe actually delivers quite a bit of free content as well.
The 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.
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 its 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 customers.
The free publishing 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 and effectively marketing your book.
Is Scribe Media For You?
You’re reading this Scribe Media review for a reason, and it all boils down one question: 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 Scribe Media review, they did 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.
- You’re not a writer at heart. If you’ve never particularly been skilled at writing, or if it’s particularly laborious for you (for 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 and become an authorpreneur? 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 Media review summary
In this section, we'll break down the pros and cons that we found as we researched and reviewed Scribe Media.
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 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 a large 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.
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 people who want to use books to grow their businesses.
- 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 Scribe Media reviews there is additional information you can peruse online.
From customer testimonials to book reviews to Scribe Media employee reviews, you can do some more research on your own before deciding whether or not this company is for you or not.
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, 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 create Robin Inc.
You can check out more of the success stories here and see for yourself:
Scribe Author Success Stories
Book reviews for Book in a Box and 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 some three-star 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.
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, 54% of employees approve of the CEO and only 36% would recommend Scribe Media to a friend.
This may inspire you to seek out alternatives to Scribe Media.
Alternatives to Scribe Media
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.
Scribe Media vs 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 Media 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 sales 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. 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.