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Xlibris.com offers an extensive range of design and marketing options so that you can really tailor your book and its promotion to suit you. However, this doesn't come cheaply, and this is one of the most expensive online book publishing websites you'll find, with its Platinum package costing over $15,000, and even its cheaper packages costing around $500. It does offer a few “freebies”, though, so if you're happy to pay for the basic packages then you can benefit from free marketing and more.
This is a well organised site that splits its departments simply so that you can easily find what you're looking for. In “services” you can find out exactly what is available, from colour printing to editorial services. There are plenty to choose from, and none of them is there just for show. Xlibris really seems to know what it's doing, which isn't that surprising because it's been set up by authors, for authors. But they aren't doing this for free, and they aren't fools, so you have to expect to pay for this kind of service. The site offers more than most of its competitors, with options such as leather binding, or advanced promotions options focusing on different areas of the media.
The authors centre provides some really useful resources for writers, including lists of events, legal information, directories of freelance services and some author tips. Meanwhile, the book store provides a space for sales to happen (although we tried to access it several times and it was a bit hit and miss, sometimes not loading, which isn't going to help sales). In terms of customer service, there's plenty of information on the site but a search feature would be handy. You can contact the team through email (all of their individual addresses are provided so you can target who you contact), telephone or post. A live chat feature would help to provide quick, accurate advice, and some user forums could also help out, but generally customer service is still pretty good.
The biggest downside of Xlibris.com is the price. Even its cheapest options are expensive, particularly compared with a number of its peers. Its most expensive package, however good it might be, is incredibly pricey. If you feel you really have a big hit on your hands then perhaps it's worth it, but then why wouldn't a publisher want the book? It's dangerous ground to tread because it's unlikely you'd make the money back, let alone turn a profit. However, if you're interested in producing a really high quality book, and you aren't too bothered by how many you sell, this could be a website to consider. With all its extra options for binding and design, you can something very special indeed. Its editorial services are also tailored and may be very useful in developing your writing so that it reaches a point where you're happy to share it with the world.
Xlibris.com is worth looking at, even just for its author centre. However, unless you've a lot of money then you might not be able to afford all the services you need. Their options are varied and all seem very professional, but we just can't get over their price tags. Perhaps you can...
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