Xlibris is a self-publishing and on-demand printing services provider, founded in 1997 and based in Bloomington, Indiana. In 2000, The New York Times stated it to be the foremost on-demand publisher. The current chief executive is Andrew Philips, who was formerly the president of Penguin Books.
|Parent company||Author Solutions|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Key people||Andrew Phillips CEO|
Xlibris is a printing and distribution service that produces hardback and paperback books. It also publishes e-books in several formats. The company was acquired by the self-publishing company Author Solutions, Inc., on January 8, 2009. Prior to that, 49% of the company had been owned by Random House.
It is "non-selective" in accepting manuscripts, describes itself as a "publishing services provider" rather than a publisher, and considers a book's author its publisher. Beginning in 2000, the company expanded its operations globally, opening full-service offices in Europe and Japan.
In 2008, Xlibris was stated to have 20,000 titles in print, by more than 18,000 authors. The name is a derivation of the Latin term ex libris, which means "from the library of".
In a New York Times article, D.T. Max stated that the quality of Xlibris's books was better than its competitors in the self-publishing industry, but criticized the organization of the site, where books were only indexed by an alphabetical listing by title with bare descriptions of the plot and theme. He ultimately phoned a company executive for a recommendation and to place an order.
Roland LaPlante, writing in Harper's Magazine, noted in 2001 that Xlibris's predicted future output of 100,000 titles a year would equal the number of all books published in the United States in 1999, and worried these "mostly dubious" works would "affect American publishing in every worst way and obliterate what remains of a genuine book culture." The company responded that "everyone has a story to tell" and its output preserved the "richness of humanity".
Status as a vanity press
The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines a vanity press as "a publishing house that publishes books at the author's expense". While Xlibris does charge fees up front for authors, it claims not to be a vanity press, on the grounds that ownership of the book remains with the author and that it does not force the author to buy copies of the book. On the other side of the debate, it charges up-front fees without a guarantee of sales and its rates have been reported to be higher than those of competitors.
- Rachel Donadio: You’re an Author? Me Too! The New York Times, April 27, 2008
- "FAQ: About Xlibris". Xlibris.com. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
- D. T. Max (July 16, 2000). "No More Rejections". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
- Maryann Yin (May 3, 2013). "Andrew Phillips Named Next Author Solutions CEO". Mediabistro. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
- Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. (2009-01-08). "Print-on-Demand Publishers Marry As Author Solutions Buys Xlibris". The Wall Street Journal.
- Gayle Feldman (March 1, 2004). "Got a Book in You? More Companies Than Ever Are Willing to Get It Out". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
- Carol Alabaster (2002). Developing an outstanding core collection: a guide for libraries. ALA Editions. ISBN 0-8389-0819-5.
- "Definition of VANITY PRESS". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
- "Self Publishing Your Book". Retrieved 16 September 2018.
- Ask Ron Archived June 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine