Bonus Material: Is Xlibris Profiting More from Selling Publicity than Printing?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

As part of the compensation for her troubles with Xlibris (outlined in our feature article), Joanne Gail Johnson was offered what appeared to be a generous marketing plan, including an offer to send press releases to 100 media outlets (valued at $349) and promoting the book to 100 Web sites (valued at $299). But Johnson felt this was little more than an “inflated promise.”

She told Publishing Perspectives that when she originally started working with Xlibris she was delivered a press release that merely combined a synopsis of the book drawn from the flap copy and an essay she’d submitted about the book for promotion on the Xlibris web site. “There was no indication that the person who wrote the press release had in fact seen or read my book, nor had any professional marketing expertise to warrant such a fee,” said Johnson, who added, “I was being charged for my own efforts!”

Xlibris offers a variety of marketing packages to its customers, ranging from the aforementioned press release and Web site promotions to the full $3,499 “Bestseller Publicity Toolkit, which combines a variety of promotional campaigns as well as 48 “professional review copies,” 300 bookmarks, 300 postcards, 450 business cards, 30 posters, web site design services and a copy of the book on CD.

In addition, the company provides a full range of advertising services with a variety of publications. Packages for Publishers Weekly start at $2,799 and go up to $19,999, which will get you a full page print ad in the magazine, 25,000 impressions on PW’s Web site and an ad in one of PW’s e-newsletters. Xlibris will include a 40 word description of your book in an ad in the New York Review of books for $2,499.00 or show your books at an international trade show and provide publicity for $1,799. The company can also produce and archive podcasts with you as an author (starting at $4,999) or set you up with distribution through Ingram for distribution (12 months for $1,149). Clearly, there’s as much, if not more profit potential in publicity as there is in printing.

VIEW: Xlibris’ range of marketing add-ons.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.