Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Memo to Xlibris: you don't have to publish crap. Some of your competitors insist on editing.

Yesterday I blasted Xlibris for publishing a book that needed a lot of editing, but did not get any from Xlibris.

I preached that companies like Xlibris need to stop behaving like crack whores who will provide service to anyone who can pay the price. I also said that self-publishing companies need to develop some pride, and to grow some balls. They need to be able to say, "I'm sorry, but your manuscript is just not good enough to be published unless it gets professional editing."

At the conclusion of my blog post I commended Vantage Press, a self-publishing company that does have standards and a conscience. Vantage Press says, ". . . we insist on reviewing your manuscript . . . before deciding whether to accept your book for publication . . . and "each Vantage title receives a thorough copyediting."

I just learned of another, apparently new, self-publishing company, which is concerned with the quality of the books they produce.

Pedernales Publishing says, "Before offering a contract, we review your manuscript to diagnose the level of edit necessary, if at all.  Most authors come to us already professionally edited.  Pedernales will only request that an author go through the editing process if the work does not meet industry standards.  We cannot, in good faith or in a highly competitive market, accept money for a project we know is not yet viable."

The company also says, "We provide a money-back guarantee, and when your book is released for publication, we give you the digital files containing your cover and book interior.  We thought there was a need for an honest company that authors can trust, and that can offer a solid set of professional services for a few hundred dollars." 

I have not published through Pedernales, nor have I spoken to any of their author-customers. (Here are some testimonials.)  I have not even seen any of their books. However, I do like the Pedernales attitude, and I hope the company and its authors will be successful.

It would be wonderful if Xlibris would follow Pedernales' example. A brand name should evoke an image of quality. If I ran Xlibris, I'd rather be thought of as BMW-like, not Yugo-like.



  1. Yeah....I just had a book published through them. Initially they promised me a good deal. As time has elapsed however....I find them scumbagging out on me. Not trying to give me everything they agreed upon now that they already have the money.
    I also question their honesty in regard to the amount of copies they claim I have sold next to the copies I know that I have sold.
    Xlibris....I am glad you guys published my book.....but you get two thumbs down.

  2. @ Daniel Lee Wilt
    Your comment initially confused me because I thought you were talking about a bad experience with Pedernales Publishing. But I read further and saw that you were referencing a bad experience you had with XLIBRIS.

    Count me as a satisfied client of Pedernales Publishing. After much research, I decided to go with Pedernales because a)they had the most creator-friendly contract; and b)I sent them an email with a list of questions about how their business differed from their competitors. They were the only one to respond (the three I sent to their competitors went unanswered...so that should tell you something). They outlined exactly what it is they do and how they differ from the multitude of POD publishers out there.

    Bottom line: They are upfront, honest, do exactly what they guarantee they will do, and they treat your book with the same care and consideration that you would treat it yourself. How many other companies can state the same? Very few, in my opinion.

    You want your book to look professional? You want your book to be treated as if it was going to be seen by millions of people (because you never know, maybe it will be...)? You want your opinion to count in regards to the look of your published book, and be guided by people who know what they're doing and not just looking to "upgrade" you to a higher costing "publishing package?" Then I highly recommend Pedernales Publishing.

  3. I echo the positive sentiments here regarding Pedernales Publishing. I've given them three books to design, format and upload to LSI, Amazon and others. Throughout, they were hands-on, personal and dedicated to customer satisfaction. And, yes, they are picky as to whom they'll take on as clients -- another good sign.