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Xlibris General Information

What does Xlibris mean?

The name is a derivation of the Latin term ex libris which means “from the library of”. This term was traditionally used on the bookplates with a name to distinguish the owner of the book. We combined the two words into one term and dropped the “e” in order to create a unique name that seemed appropriate for both the field we are in and the technology associated with what we do.


What do I need to know about Xlibris?

Founded in April 1997, Xlibris is one of the pioneers of supported self-publishing services. Unlike traditional publishing houses, we do not take the rights to your book; our publishing services enable you to become your own publisher. When you publish with us, you are essentially self-publishing in the most efficient way possible.


What is a supported self-publishing services provider?

A supported self-publishing services provider allows you to publish your book. You are the publisher. We provide the support and infrastructure necessary to accomplish this goal. Acting as a "back office," our staff handles the design and layout of your book. Once finished and approved, we traffic and fulfil all book orders while calculating and issuing royalties. We also provide marketing, editorial, and distribution support.


What is print-on-demand publishing?

Print-on-demand means exactly what it implies: we print books as they are ordered. We use modern technology to store and print your book in electronic form, removing the need for a warehouse and large print runs. This method reduces two of the greatest costs in publishing, allowing more authors to publish and to have their books remain in print forever.


Is this vanity publishing?

Definitely not. Vanity publishers will charge you thousands of dollars to print box loads of books they will not help you sell. Xlibris does not require you to purchase any books. Furthermore, since vanity publishers use the printing technology of traditional publishers, their costs are inherently high. Xlibris uses modern computer technology to keep costs down, freeing up resources to provide a wide array of services. Vanity publishers provide a one-time service, while Xlibris provides continual support before, during, and after the publishing process. Xlibris does a number of things that a vanity publisher does not. Here are just a few:

  • Process book orders and fulfil them
  • Distribute your book
  • Payment of royalties
  • Indefinite availability
  • Lifetime support
  • Marketing support
  • Editorial support


What are the reasons why I should self-publish?

There are many good reasons to self-publish your book. Here are six reasons why self-publishing may be perfect for you.

  • Time Traditional publishing takes too long; most traditional publishers work on an 18-month production cycle. Choose to self-publish and your book could be ready for the market within three months.
  • Your book—the way you want it A book is a reflection of the author. Self-publishing gives you complete control on the direction of your book. The decisions are exclusively yours and not limited by third parties with intentions and interests different from your own.
  • Retain all rights As a self-publisher, you own all rights to your book. If you use a traditional publishing house, they will own all rights. If they lose interest in your book, you will not be able to print additional copies unless you purchase those rights back.
  • Testing the market Because your book may fill a niche that has not been met, you can test the market by self-publishing. Find out how well your book will sell, and how successful it will be.
  • A limited market Your book may appeal to a limited market and, therefore, may not be of interest to a large publishing house.
  • Legacy Each of us has a unique life story to tell, complete with ordinary incidents, moments of brilliance, tragedy, and humour. Your book is an expression of yourself and a great legacy to leave behind.


If I self-publish, do I still have a chance of getting a contract with a major publisher?

Yes, of course. In fact, many large traditional publishing houses now scour the shelves and the Internet for self-published books that could fit into their publishing programme.


Who are some well-known authors who have self-published?

Many amazing authors have chosen to self-publish at some time in their careers: Rudyard Kipling, Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Carl Sandburg, James Redfield, Mark Twain, and Walt Whitman, just to name a few.


Do I have to be a certain age to publish my book with you?

You can be of any age to publish with Xlibris; however, if you are a minor, you will need to have a parent or legal guardian to co-sign your Publishing Agreement and authorise payment for your publishing services.


How does the Xlibris publishing process work?

Xlibris offers a complete service, including book production and design. Beginning with your free consultation with one of our publishing consultants, you will be treated with professionalism and courtesy and provided with all the self-publishing help you need. Once you have chosen the publishing package that is right for you, the publishing process begins. This process starts with the submission of your publishing materials, which consist of:

  • Your ordering information
  • Your interior and cover text in a word-processing format
  • Your interior and cover images in digital format or as hard copies

From there, we create the full design of your book. Once completed, you will receive interior and cover proofs for your feedback and approval. Changes made during this stage of the publishing process may have a fee associated and add time to the process, so please ensure that you submit the final copy of the manuscript to us for publishing. When you are satisfied, we will print a copy of your book and send it to you for you to review the printing and binding of the book. Once we receive your signed approval form we will make the book available to the world and you receive royalties on every copy purchased by your audience.

Xlibris has developed a template-based design system that enables us to build books quickly and efficiently (at a cost savings to you). It's comprehensive enough to fit any application. Although Xlibris designers ultimately decide the final design, you can make suggestions and design choices from the beginning to the end of the publishing process. We will do our best to accommodate your needs and encourage your feedback.


What can I expect during my publishing experience?

Publishing a book can be a daunting prospect. At Xlibris, we make your publishing adventure easy because we are available every step of the way. Our knowledgeable and professional staff is responsive to your needs—many years in the publishing industry has taught us that your success is our success. We view the publication process as a collaborative effort that requires your participation. Such an author-oriented approach to the publishing process ultimately leads to a fulfilling experience and ensures that together we will produce the best book possible.


What is the importance of goal setting?

Goal-setting is a fundamental aspect of achieving success in any endeavour, and publishing a book is no exception. You simply cannot go somewhere if you do not know where you want to go. With goals, you can create the future in advance. With goals, you can literally create your own destiny.


Which important questions should I ask to determine the goals for my book?

When you establish the goals you have for your book, you can better customise your publishing experience and better choose the Xlibris services that best fit your vision of success.

To establish your personal goals, try asking yourself questions like:

  • What is the vision I have for my book? Am I publishing for commercial success, personal satisfaction, or professional recognition?
  • Do I have any specific requirements or strict formatting instructions?
  • Could my manuscript benefit from editorial services?
  • What is the best way to market and promote my work?
  • Who would be interested in buying my book?
  • How many copies do I hope to sell?

If you can answer these questions and communicate them to Xlibris from the outset, it makes the publishing and marketing processes so much easier.


How long will my book be in print?

As long as you want. When you publish with Xlibris, you obtain permanent publication—your book will never go out of print—and we will always be here for you.


Where can I post recent news about my book?

The Xlibris Author's Lounge is a great forum to post recent news and information about your book, feature your story, or learn from the experience of other authors. It also gives you access to a list of upcoming events and relevant articles about publishing and marketing your work.


How does Xlibris make money?

We make money by providing services to authors and through book sales.


Why are we different?

  • Experience and expertise
    The definition of success is different for every author. Whether you want to be the next bestseller or would just like to leave a legacy for the next generation, Xlibris has the experience, expertise, and extensive service requirements necessary to make it happen.

  • We wait for you approval
    We provide a galley after initial cover design, after initial interior design, and after every subsequent set of corrections. We do not move ahead until we have your expressed approval.

  • You retain complete control
    With Xlibris, you retain complete control of your work. We are non-exclusive, which means you can self-publish with us and still offer your work to agents and publishers. We're not interested in taking your rights away from you. After all, we didn't write it.

  • Around-the-clock customer support Our customer service representatives are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to provide around-the-clock support.

  • Publicity and marketing support
    Xlibris offers an extensive list of marketing and publicity tools to support our authors toward the ultimate goal of selling books. You may contact your Marketing Consultant on 0800 056 3182 (or +44 20 3014 4095 if calling from outside the UK) for your free consultation or send an e-mail to

  • Leather-bound editions
    Xlibris is the first print-on-demand publisher to offer elegant leather-bound editions of your book. They are perfect to keep or to give away as gifts, and custom-crafted to last a lifetime.


Contracts and Agreements

Once I’ve published my book with Xlibris, who owns the rights?

You do. Forever. The rights to your book will always be yours. Because we have the technology to store your book digitally and to manufacture as many (or as few) copies as needed, your book is always available and will never go out of print—for as long as you choose.


What do you mean by “rights?”

As the author, you own all rights to your work. If you enter into a contract with a book publisher, you are usually required to grant some of those rights to the publisher—usually the right "to print, publish, and sell the work in book form". Subsidiary or secondary rights are often shared by the author and publisher. Subsidiary rights comprise every other form of publication—electronic, Braille, translations, audio, film, and TV, etc. This granting of rights may lapse after a book is considered out of print, or at the end of some fixed term.


Can I still publish my book elsewhere?

Yes. The Xlibris Publishing Agreement is non-exclusive. While producing your book with Xlibris' publishing services you can continue to publish or print your book elsewhere, with as many publishers, agents, and other firms as you like.


What would happen if an agent or editor saw my book and wanted to publish it?

Your publishing agreement with Xlibris is non-exclusive. You are free to enter into any other agreements at any time. However, other publishers may ask you to sever your agreement with Xlibris and grant them exclusive rights.


Can I come back to Xlibris when my book goes out of print?

By all means. Please ensure first that the rights have reverted to you before republishing your book with Xlibris.


What do you mean by an open-ended, non-exclusive contract?

The Xlibris publishing agreement is open-ended and non-exclusive. This means that there is no set term for the contract, but that it can be cancelled at any time at your discretion. Because it is non-exclusive, it means that you can pursue publishing contracts with other publishers and actually have another contract with another publisher or agent regarding the same work without violating the terms of your agreement with Xlibris.


What happens if I want to cancel my contract with Xlibris?

You have the right to cancel your contract at any time, for any reason. Simply inform us in writing and your agreement with Xlibris will be terminated.


Are there any fees to discontinue my Xlibris editions?

There are no fees to discontinue the Xlibris edition of your book.


What happens if I want to cancel my service?

At Xlibris, we are so confident that you will be satisfied with our services. If at any time, for any reason, you are dissatisfied with a product or a service, just let us know, and we will work with you to come to a reasonable and satisfactory resolution. If no resolution is deemed satisfactory for both parties, you can opt for a refund. Our Refund Policy can be found in the Terms and Exclusivity section in our Agreement Form.


What protection do I have that my information will be kept private?

Xlibris respects your right to the privacy of the personal information you provide us on our website. To that end, unless we state otherwise, at the time information is collected, or within our Privacy Policy any personal information you provide to Xlibris will be known only to two parties: you and Xlibris. The following policy is intended to explain how your personal information will be treated as you make use of our site and its features. Personal information includes your name, street, and email addresses, billing information, click-through activity, and any other personal information you may provide. Feel free to read more about the Xlibris Privacy Policy.

If you have any further questions or concerns about the Xlibris privacy policies and use of personal information, please send them to


Reliable and Credible: Why Authors Work with Xlibris

From our start in a basement office to the present day, we’ve always taken what we do very seriously. Please contact us at 0800 056 3182 (or +44 20 3014 4095 if calling from outside the UK) if you have any concerns about our services, and we’ll gladly and comprehensively answer your questions.

Xlibris’ Long-Term and Dependable Services
We have been helping writers become published authors since 1997. We’ve published more than 75,000 titles by over 50,000 authors, and these numbers are growing each and every day. Xlibris is also a BBB-accredited business. If you have any questions, please contact us at 0800 056 3182 (or +44 20 3014 4095 if calling from outside the UK).

Our authors often raise questions about how royalties work, and we’re more than happy to answer those questions. Please visit our FAQ page or contact us at 0800 056 3182 (or +44 20 3014 4095 if calling from outside the UK) to know more about your royalties.

Sales Figures and Reporting
We also receive many questions about our authors’ sales. You may visit our FAQ page or contact us at 0800 056 3182 (or +44 20 3014 4095 if calling from outside the UK) to learn more about sales figures and reporting.


MyXlibris/Author Center

What is MyXlibris?

When you publish with Xlibris, you can submit a unique username and password to access the My Xlibris website. This website is linked to the Xlibris homepage and is your interactive portal to all information about your book. You can check the progress of your book's production, and once published you can use your My Xlibris account to check your book sales and royalties, change your author biography on the Xlibris online bookstore and learn about specials only available to Xlibris authors.


Author Learning Center

What is the Author Learning Center?

The Author Learning Center (ALC) is an online education resource designed to help authors succeed in writing, publishing and marketing their book projects. One of the publishing industry's largest collections of content, the ALC offers guidance to enhance writing style, help writers set deadlines and goals—and stick with them to the end—guide writers toward book completion, expedite the publishing process and plan effective marketing. Until now, the path from writer to author has been a complicated—and often frustrating—affair. The ALC can help writers reach their publishing goal through education, motivation and inspiration.


What are the benefits of the ALC?

  • Education tools in multiple formats: Our growing library of content means authors choose the type of material that fits their learning style, whether they prefer to read articles, watch videos, attend webinars and workshops or interact with other learners.
  • Social community of peers: You gain access to a social community of peers, the Author's Circle, to provide feedback and support
  • Accessible 24/7: Online access means you can learn at your convenience.
  • Access to industry experts and professional authors: Can join the conversation and learn directly from the pros during live online webinars or by viewing our unique "Ask the Expert" and "Ask the Author" segments.


How often is the content on the ALC updated?

Fresh content is added weekly.


Who are the ALC experts?

  • Traditional and self-published authors
  • Literary Publishers
  • Editors
  • Literary Planners
  • Marketing Brand Managers
  • Experienced Literary Marketing Executives


How can I become an ALC expert?

If you are an expert in writing, publishing, and/or marketing, you may e-mail us at to learn more about becoming one of our experts.


What is the “Author’s Space” on the ALC website?

The Author's Space is your personal homepage on the ALC website where you can manage the following tasks:

  • Keep track of all of your books in progress, including at-a-glance updates of any writing, publishing and marketing learning resources.
  • Customise your Author's Space with a photo and brief biography.
  • Organize your personal list of ALC resources. The key section of the Author's Space is the Author Development area, a portal to a library of educational content. The ALC recommends the type of materials you may find useful, based on where you are in your author journey, as well as previous searches.
  • Flag favourites in My Resources


What is the “Book Launch Tool” on the ALC website?

Because accountability is one of the keys to achieving any goal, you will be asked to set a date for your publishing goal when you first visit the ALC. Every time you visit the ALC, you will have gentle reminders of each upcoming deadline in your book writing journey. This will help you keep track of your progress and make sure you are on track to meet your deadline.


What is the “Author’s Circle” on the ALC website?

The Author's Circle is a mentoring resource with the following features:

  • Specially invited guests can review and comment on work-in-progress or simply offer encouragement to help you reach publishing goals.
  • Each book has its own Author's Circle.
  • Each Circle can have up to seven members.
  • You are in control of who gets invited to join your Circle(s), and in turn may be invited to help mentor other authors by joining their Circles.


What topics are covered on the ALC?

The topics covered on the ALC are writing, publishing and marketing.


In what formats are the educational resources delivered?

  • Videos featuring industry experts, which fall into two categories:
    • Ask the Expert: An up close and personal seat with publishing industry experts as they share industry secrets and advice.
    • Ask the Author: Lets writers peer into the minds of established authors looking to share their expertise.
  • Podcasts available for download
  • Webinars, both live and on demand
  • Interviews
  • Articles


Who should I contact if I’m having issues logging into my ALC account?

You can contact an ALC representative in the following ways:

Phone: 866-697-5312

Postal Address:
Author Learning Center
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403


Why do I have to give my credit card number?

Entry of your credit card number is required in order to complete the registration on ALC.



What is offset printing?

Offset printing is a method of mass-production printing in which digital book files are converted into film negatives that are used to etch the pages of a book into custom metal plates. After ink is added to the plates, large rollers pick up the ink from the plates and then transfer it to paper. Offset printing is commonly used in traditional publishing, allowing authors to print their books in bulk. Typically we use Print-On-Demand (POD) fulfilment, where books are printed one at a time after each book order is placed.


What are the benefits of offset printing?

  • More design and print flexibility. You’ll have more options than what is supported through POD printing, such as the following:
    • The ability to print at a higher resolution, meaning sharper and cleaner book covers and interior type than POD because of the printing tools used.
    • Additional cover and paper stock options, such as gloss or matte-coated paper stock.
    • Additional trim size and design options (example: embossed text on the front cover).
  • Lower author price. Each book costs less for the author to print when compared to POD. The cost to print each offset is individually quoted depending on volume and the book’s specs.


Why would I want to do offset printing?

There are several reasons why some of our authors choose offset printing. If you’re considering offset printing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have special print requirements—such as unique formats, paper options, binding or cover treatments—that are not supported or available through POD?
  • Do you have a large reach and ability to process a large number of orders? Do you want the opportunity to sell a large number of books directly to customers?
  • Do you want to lower your print cost to maximise your return on books you sell?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, offset printing might be right for you. Call your Book Consultant to discuss your options.


What are the disadvantages of offset publishing?

Offset publishing is certainly not for all authors, as most are satisfied with the POD advantages. Offset publishing requires a large upfront investment that authors may not wish to spend, and it does not guarantee that bookshops will pick up your book.


Is there a minimum print run that offset is available for?

Yes. To benefit financially from your offset investment, we suggest that you plan to print a minimum of 1,500 units. Please contact your Book Consultant for more information.


How much does it cost to do offset printing?

The cost of offset printing is quoted on a case-by-case basis, depending on your book’s format and the volume you wish to print. Please contact your Book Consultant for more information.