Friday, August 13, 2010

Self-publishing with Xlibris

I've seen a couple of people talking about self-publishing lately so I thought I'd make a post about my experience. I'll try to keep it short.
So a major problem in my search was the fact that I had to try to find a self-publisher that would accept a book with less than 32 pages and full-color. That significantly narrowed my search and I thought I was going to have to cut out the dedication page to make it 24pgs to make print requirements. Turned out they could do even page numbers beyond 24.

I was mainly putting the book together for myself and my family so I didn't care too much whether it was available on amazon or not. I wanted to spend the very least amount of money I could buying enough copies for my family. Xlibris was the best option for that costing only about $240 to set it up. The cost per book was surprisingly high with each copy costing a buyer $22. Way too much in my opinion but I'm not used to buying print-on-demand books. As an author though, you'll be able to buy copies at a decent discount.

I could have just gone to a printer and ordered copies for my family but I chose to go to a self-publisher to give the book opportunity to potentially make more plus it meant that I didn't have to deal with layout and graphic design. Now I realize that using Xlibris was kind of a joke as far as making any sales through their site. Any time I post on my blog,forums or website google alerts notifies me immediately.  To get any search engine hits you have to type in my mom's entire name and the title of the book. If you use the search box on their OWN website then you get NO HITS NO MATTER WHAT you search for. It's like they've made an effort to make it difficult to find books on their site. Or it could be that I haven't paid for advertising so they go out of their way to make my book invisible. On that subject, they hassle me a lot trying to get me to buy advertising. Some of their advertising packages means getting your book featured on the front page of the book store. Most of the time that page normally contains the most embarrassingly bad books you've ever seen in your life. So I'm sure a million people do their book shopping by looking at Xlibris' bookstore.  Other advertising packages are basically them putting your book in their catalog for trade shows. Again, based off the books I've seen them advertise, I find it hard to believe any book sellers or movie people are looking at what books their advertising.

So that's my experience with Xlibris.

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