An Overview of Self Publishing Services by Xlibris
Xlibris is a self publishing service that enables independent authors to publish, sell and distribute their books. The service claims to have over 28,000 titles in print for 25,000 authors. Any author can submit the book content like manuscript, images etc. to Xlibris.com for printing the book. The printing service is available on demand which means that the author is not required to invest in printing and inventory costs upfront as the book can be printed and delivered as and when a buyer orders it.
The Need for Self Publishing
To be able to sell the books in market, authors either have to go with established publishing houses to get their books published or publish their books themselves. Going with a publishing house involves finding a publisher who would be interested in publishing the book, negotiating for the amount of royalties, surrendering all rights on the book to the publishing house, and then wait for the publishing cycle to get over to see the book finally arrive in the market. The option to publish books themselves is not feasible for most authors as it requires huge upfront investment in printing, inventory, marketing, distribution and other costs.
Services offered by companies like Xlibris Corporation enables such authors who don’t want to take the traditional publishing house path to self publish books in a cost effective manner. By self-publishing books, authors retain full rights on their work, get the book out in the market in a shorter period of time, and distribute the books across the globe. Since publishing houses only print books if there is a huge demand for that your books run a risk of going out of print if the publisher loses interest in that. By self-publishing books, authors can rest assured that there book will be available all the time and will never go out of print.
Services Offered by Xlibris
Xlibris offers different packages to authors ranging between $449 and $14,999. Depending on the package chosen, authors get some of the services as part of the package and an ability to purchase additional services by paying for them. A brief overview of some of the services provided by Xlibris is as follows:
Black & White and Full Color Publishing
Xlibris provides two types of publishing options. If the book is less focused on images and more on content, for eg: fiction, poetry or non-fiction then Black & White publishing option is ideal; however, if the book is more focused on images, for eg: recipe books, catalogs, photo albums etc. then the full color publishing is the option to go with.
The marketing services offered by Xlibris help promote the book through several marketing channels. The services include writing and distribution of press releases, email campaigns, book reviews, online banner and classifieds campaign, social media marketing and marketing kits that include bookmarks, postcards, business cards etc. One interesting service that Xlibris provides is early book reviews service that gets reviews before the book is published and those reviews can be included in the book cover.
Xlibris has tied up with Ingram to distribute books to bookstores. The Returnability program ensures that bookstore can stock the book without worrying about the stock that remains unsold. This increases the probability of more bookstores ordering the book and making it available on the shelves thereby providing more exposure to the book.
Distribution & Availability
The books published with Xlibris Corporation are listed on Xlibris.com online bookstore and can be ordered worldwide. Xlibris also provides a service to distribute books through Ingram Distribution using which a book can be made available for order at several bookstores worldwide as well online stores such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc.
Set Your Own Price
Using this service the author can control the selling price of the book and the amount of royalty earned per sale to some extent. The books published via Xlibris always have a base price that is dependent upon the number of pages, whether it is paperback or hardcover and whether is full color or balck and white. The base royalty amount is also set by Xlibris at $1 per sale. If the author wants to increase the royalty per sale, the retail price of the book is increased by the double of increase in the royalty amount.
U.S. Copyright Office Registration
Xlibris provides a service to register the book with the U.S. Copyright Office. Successful registration protects the book’s copyright for the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.
Both new and published authors at Xlibris have the option to upgrade their package to include ebook publishing. The ebook publishing feature provided by Xlibris is only available for Black & White books. The ebooks published via Xlibris are made available for the digital devices like Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, The Nook and ebook stores like Scribd and Booksonboard. The authors get a 50% royalty from the proceeds of ebook sales.
While the Xlibris eBook program is a good option for authors as it provides another channel for selling the book, there is a $249 upfront fee for enrolling in this program and the royalty that the author gets is only 50%. PayLoadz is an alternative service to sell ebooks with some great features. The authors can choose to sell any type of ebook i.e. Black & White or color. PayLoadz provides an option to sell the ebook anywhere - Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Websites, Forums and also on PayLoadz Store. The pricing structure offered by PayLoadz ensures that authors don’t spend much to get started and also get to keep most of the money from sales.