Xlibris Review: Are They Your Best Option for Publishing in 2024?

Scott Allan
January 10, 2024 | 11 mins

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You’ve made the decision to write a book, and now you’re researching if Xlibris Publishing is the right choice for you. Researching the leading self-publishing companies is a smart and necessary action that many first-time authors, unfortunately, don’t spend enough time doing. So it’s a good thing you’re here!

Like many other first-time authors, you probably landed on Xlibris Publishing through a quick internet search, and the services on the company’s website piqued your interest. But is it the right publishing company for you? 

As part of our efforts to help empower authors to make educated decisions, we’re taking a close look at Xlibris so that you can make an informed choice.

A Note To Our Readers:

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.

We’ve exposed everything there is to know about Xlibris so you can decide how to move forward to write and publish your book!

What is Xlibris Publishing?

Xlibris is a self-publishing and on-demand printing company that produces hardback and paperback books. They also publish eBooks in several formats.

Xlibris states three promises to authors:

  • To create and deliver a first-class quality book
  • To deliver to your timetable
  • To suit your budget

Who owns Xlibris Publishing? 

The company, founded in 1997, was acquired by the self-publishing company Author Solutions, Inc., in 2009. Before that, 49% of the company had been owned by Random House, one of the big five publishers.

Author Solutions is the parent company of several of these self-publishing companies and imprints, including AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford Publishing, and Xlibris.

Why is this important?

Author Solutions is renowned for publishing scams and being the umbrella company for the numerous vanity publishers in the market today.

Yes, Xlibris is one of those companies. But before you make up your mind, we want to make sure you have an in-depth overview of the company, what they do, and what to expect before deciding to invest.

So what type of services do they actually offer? And more importantly, how much is the investment? 

Xlibris Publishing Packages and Cost

Like all book publishers, Xlibris has many publishing packages to offer potential customers. These packages range in service, pricing, and quality depending on what you need.

You’ll notice on the Xlibris Publishing service page that they have four tiers of services. 

Here is a breakdown of the packages offered. 

Classic Package: $1,999

The Basic Publishing Package includes what you’ll need to turn a manuscript into a quality paperback book.

Your book will be listed and available for order on Xlibris’ network of online retail outlets worldwide, including Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and the Xlibris online bookstore.

The Basic service includes:

  • Design features: Choice of Eight Book Cover Templates, Choice of Five Interior Templates, Cover Images and Author Photo
  • Production features: Paperback and eBook format
  • Other features: Book production tracking, electronic galley, 1 round of alterations and corrections

Prime Package: $4,999

The Prime service combines Xlibris’ publishing features into a more robust package.

It includes all the services of the Basic Package with expanded publishing and marketing support. Plus more books, a hardback option, and press release to 100 media outlets.

Expert Package: $9,999

The Expert Publishing Package combines all features of the Basic and Prime services, plus customization options for your cover, extensive inside pages, enhanced meta data with keywords, and advanced marketing tools.

Signature Package: $14,999

The Signature package is the top-tier package from Xlibris. 

The additional features included are:  24/7 ultra-personalized service, multi-platform promotional opportunities,  a book video with professional voice-over, a social media set-up guide, display space at one book exhibit, enhanced online exposure, and more. 

Note: This is where you get into spending some real money. If you are publishing one book, you’ll need to sell a boatload to recoup your investment.

While Xlibris claims to provide you with tons of marketing tools, most new authors don’t know how to use these tools effectively to begin with.

The package looks like you have enough here to launch your book out of the universe, but without a proper coach to navigate you through this, you’ll be spending money on materials and resources you won’t know what to do with. 

But just know that without a book coach to walk you through the marketing distribution, you’ll struggle figuring out how to implement any of this.

Also, Xlibris is charging double, if not triple, the price they should for several of these services. 

To give you one example of how these so-called “special services” are marked way up, Xlibris charges $249.00 for your book to be copyrighted. This is because they send in all the “special forms.” 

There is nothing special about this. You can register for your own copyright at copyright.gov. It will cost you $55.00 and takes 10 minutes to fill out the online forms. If you aren’t sure how to do it, we have a handy guide for how to copyright a book that will walk you through the steps. You will see how simple it is, and be shocked that Xlibris charges four times more for the same thing you can do yourself.

Questions to consider when choosing an Xlibris Package

Now…I know these packages (especially the most expensive) look impressive. It’s offering you everything except for a movie deal.

But ask yourself these questions before choosing Xlibris:

  • How much of it do you really need, and:
  • Will you recoup your money back?
  • What support does Xlibris provide to put all this into action?

Let’s take a look at what the real customers are saying. Reviews from past authors can tell you a lot about a publishing company.

Online Reviews of Xlibris

We encourage authors to ALWAYS do their own research when it comes to self-publishing. 

Spending just five minutes checking reviews online could save you from making a costly mistake.

First of all, the most reliable source you can utilize to check on any self-publishing company is found on the ALLi website: Alliance For Independent Authors. ALLi cares about the industry and its authors by providing real, up-to-date information on the best, worst and everything in-between when it comes to book publishing.

In order to monitor the self-publishing companies out there, and to prevent authors from falling for the scams, ALLi created its own watchdog desk to research the market. By providing up-to-date information on customer reviews and service satisfaction, the watchdog desk has proven to be a trusted source of information. 

What does ALLi say about Xlibris?

It’s clear that Xlibris is NOT recommended by ALLi. It has a poor reputation, the lowest rating, and has a “Watchdog Advisory” notification for authors. 

Xlibris Review Rating

To be honest, if ALLi, the industry’s leading expert and watchdog advisory, is warning authors to stay away, you don’t have to look any further for more evidence.

This rating is based on the collection of reviews and comments from extensive data gathering based on product quality, service, customer communication, and delivering on expectations.

Here are additional reviews, not just in terms of the imprint itself but of its parent company, Author Solutions: 

Other Reviews

And here:

Author Solutions Review

There are hundreds of negative reviews to be found by authors who claim they were ripped off, overcharged, or oversold by Xlibris.

Here are a few more examples:

Xlibris Scam

In this post, authors have gathered to try and file a class action lawsuit against Xlibris:

Xlibris Review Lawsuit

Derek Murphy, founder of the top-notch site for authors Creative INDIE, made this video explaining why authors should avoid Xlibris:

Don’t just take our word for it when deciding whether or not to work with Xlibris – do your research! 

There’s an abundance of reviews online, so take a look yourself and use what you learn to make the best decision. 

Our best advice to you: Determine what your specific needs are in a self-publishing course or program before you commit to one company, and do plenty of research to make an informed choice.

Xlibris Review: Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to almost every publishing company, Xlibris Publishing included.

 Here is what we have found for Xlibris…

The Pros of Xlibris

These advantages were compiled based on our research and online reviews from past customers of the Xlibris Publishing company. 

  • Done-for-you-service: If you’re looking for a done-for-you service, don’t need full creative control over your book, and can afford the fees, Xlibris might be for you. BUT, you still have to market the book yourself. 
  • Versatility. Wide range of publishing packages and services to choose from means they likely offer a printing package to meet your needs.
  • Customized timetable. This means that you can choose a specific timeframe for publishing.
  • Multiple genres. There are publishing capabilities across multiple genres: Memoirs, fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, or cookbooks.
  • Full-color capability customized to suit your needs, especially if you are publishing a specialty niche book. 

The Cons of Xlibris

The cons are taken from customer reviews and our own research into comments posted from past customers.

  • Poor quality control. Authors have reported numerous mistakes with book content after editing and proofreading.
  • Author Solutions. Since Author Solutions is the parent company and has a ton of negative reviews, we wonder what that means for this company if the same people are in charge.  
  • Not an educational resource. This publishing company is not a good fit for those looking to learn the process on how to write and publish a book.
  • Worthless marketing packages. The packages include marketing tools that you can’t use unless you already have a solid audience and readership. The most important point these companies fail to tell authors is that you can’t market a book to an audience that you don’t have. Make a movie out of your book? Don’t fall for that one.
  • Upsell harassment. Many have complained that Xlibris representatives are relentless in harassing upsell offers.
  • ALLi Advisory Warning: Listed as a company to avoid by the Alliance of Independent Authors watchdog Desk advisory.
  • Poor customer service: Customer service is rated “poor” after signing up.
  • Weak royalty payout: Very little royalties paid out after the big promise of “loads of books sold.”
  • Additional publishing costs: Even after paying thousands of dollars for their program, you get hit for more money, especially closer to publishing (as reported by reviews).
  • Negative public reviews: They have a bad reputation as one of the companies under the umbrella of Author Solutions.

Alternatives to Xlibris Publishing

Xlibris is not the only publishing company out there offering publishing packages and services. And looking at the prices they are charging, we are confident that you can do better without having to fork over your next three paychecks to publish your book.

We want you to be well-informed about what is out there so that you make the best decision on how and where to invest your money. Your future as an author is important to us and we want to equip you with the best solution for becoming a self-published author.

To be totally transparent, we offer author education programs through Self-Publishing School, an online education company for authors and entrepreneurs looking to write and publish a book.

If you’re looking for a program similar to Xlibris Publishing, our Become a Bestseller program taught by Chandler Bolt and his team will walk you through the self-publishing process step-by-step, in a way that gives you total creative control over your book, and helps you write and publish the right way, while saving you thousands of dollars.

How does Xlibris compare to Self-Publishing School?

Here’s what Self-Publishing School offers aspiring authors for less investment than Xlibris Publishing (and way more value): 

  • Specific learning paths tailored to fit your publishing needs. 
  • Bestseller guarantee. We have helped thousands of authors become bestsellers through our proven framework.
  • 1-1 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.  

And, if after publishing, you want to learn advanced marketing strategies, create an online course to accompany your book, and land speaking gigs to increase your reach, Self-Publishing School has personalized programs for all of that. 

Xlibris Final Rating

Our Rating
Based on our research into Xlibris (and Author Solutions) we give Xlibris 1.5 out of 5 stars.
1.5 Review Rating

Here is why we scored Xlibris with this rating.

As a new author, if I stumble across Xlibris, download their full color publishing guide and then book a call with one of the sales reps, I might be tempted to throw my money down on this publishing company. They seem to have a very impressive suite of publishing packages, including plenty of color and font options to make your book look highly professional. I’ll admit that, on the surface, it looks like a solid company that really understands the business of book publishing.

But, diving further into our research (remember what we said at the beginning: Always do your homework), not everything is as it seems. They are on the watchdog advisory list of publishing companies to avoid at all costs, according to ALLi. 

If this isn’t warning enough, we don’t know what else is.

In connection with the negative reviews posted online and the class action lawsuit against their parent organization Author Solutions, our conclusion is that this is another vanity publisher set up to grab your cash and leave you hanging.

Because our mission is fully centered around helping authors find the best solution for publishing their dreams, we strongly urge you to pass on dealing with Xlibris as the answer to publishing your book. You could be throwing away hard-earned cash better invested in a company with a solid reputation that gets results.

Always do your homework before signing and go with your gut on the best options for your book. This is your dream to become an author and bring your story to the world: Don’t sell it short!

Like this review? Here are some other self-publishing companies we have reviews on:

If you would like some extra help with writing, marketing, or publishing your book, feel free to reach out to our team for a free fifteen minute strategy call to help you understand the best route for success.

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