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FAQ - Add-On Services

Why should I purchase SYOP?

Purchasing SYOP will allow you to control the retail price of your book to a much greater degree than was ever previously possible. In many cases, authors with SYOP will enjoy much lower retail prices than Xlibris has ever offered in the past.

Authors will also be able to set their royalty amounts to any dollar amount they desire, starting at one dollar. There is no limit to the dollar amount you may set your royalty amount to.

Can anyone take advantage of SYOP?

Yes! All authors may opt into the SYOP program. Picture book and Short book authors may want to note that doing so though may result in higher retail prices of their existing titles.

How does the service work?

SYOP pricing works on three main factors, Your book's final page count, the type of book - Black & White or Full-Color- and finally whether it is a paperback or hardcover version of your book. If you do not know how many pages your book has, that is ok. Based on the number of words in your manuscript, we should be able to estimate your book's final page count. Before a book is published, someone will contact you to confirm the final number of pages, retail price and royalty amount.

Royalties will always start at 1 dollar earned per book sale. This is true no matter where the book sale is made, whether it be through the Xlibris bookstore or online in the "channels" such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. For each extra dollar you want to earn per sale, the retail price goes up by two dollars.

For example: You have just ordered a Premium Package for a Black & White book and it is determined that your book is going to be 299 pages long. A 299 page paperback with SYOP will retail for $15.99 and the hard cover for $22.99 with base royalties of one dollar. If you wish to raise the royalty amount to two dollars for each book sold, the new retail prices would be $17.99 for paperback and $24.99 for each hardcover.

SYOP is included in my publishing package, do I have to take advantage of this service?

Not at all. Set Your Own Price is included in the Executive and Platinum Packages as an option. You have until you sign the final approval for your book to determine whether you would like to utilize this program or not.

How often can I change my SYOP book price and or royalty amounts?

As often as you like. One very important thing to note though is that each change will immediately reflect on the Xlibris book store. It will however take up to 6 weeks for any updates to books available through online retailers such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble to reflect on their websites, this is because of their processing and upload time. As such, it is not recommended that you change your pricing more than once every 6 weeks to guarantee that your book is always being bought at its desired price.

Do my hardcover and paperback royalties have to be the same amount?

No. You are completely free to set royalties earned for each book type independently of one another. If you want to earn $5 for each paperback sold and $3 for each hard cover. Then feel free to set the royalties for these amounts.


Why am I required to complete a Custom Illustration Submissions Form (CISF)?

A Custom Illustration Submissions Form (CISF) is essential for the Xlibris Illustration Design Team to effectively manage your Custom Illustration project. One of the advantages of self-publishing is that you maintain total control of the content of your book—you are the owner and the director. And as such, it is your responsibility to supply us with the ideas and concepts for your illustrations. No one knows your story and its characters and settings better than you do. If you have questions about the CISF, please contact your Illustrations Coordinator for assistance.

Do I get to talk with my illustrator?

Your Illustrations Coordinator handles all communication surrounding your illustration project and acts as a liaison between you and your illustrator. By speaking to your coordinator, your illustrator is able to complete your project on time and stick to what he or she does best—creating beautiful pieces of art for your book.

Will my illustrator read my manuscript?

Illustrators need to have a clear understanding of your manuscript in order to create your artwork. The most effective way to communicate your book’s story and message is for you to highlight or pull excerpts from your manuscript for the illustrator to use as a resource for creating the art.

How do I submit or communicate my illustration revisions?

All changes to illustrations must be submitted in writing. We accept written changes through e-mail, fax, or postal mail. These should be sent directly to your Illustrations Coordinator.
Should you have any revisions or changes related to the illustration service that you purchased, please note that you will incur addtional charges/costs.

What happens during the illustration process?

1. Once we receive your completed CISF form, the Illustrations Coordinator reviews it and assigns an artist who best fits your project.

2. Within two to three weeks, you will receive copies of the initial sketches for your review. (This is the best time to make revisions to your illustrations.)

3. If you request revisions to sketches, your project will be put back into queue in the order it was received and will take two weeks for completion. (You are limited to 1 round of complimentary revisions at the sketch stage.)
Sketch revisions are limited, depending on the complexity and time required to make such changes. For example, changing the length of a character's hair or adding or deleting a character or item in a scene constitutes a reasonable sketch revision. However, starting over with a completely new concept is not considered a sketch revision; it is considered a brand-new illustration, and you will incur charges to completely create an entirely new sketch.

4. Once we receive your approval to go to final art, it will take approximately four weeks to complete your final illustrations.

5. You will receive copies of your completed illustrations for review. You will be required to sign an Illustration Approval Form before your book moves on to production. (You are limited to one round of complimentary color revisions at the final art stage.)
At this stage, if you want to make revisions to the final art beyond color modifications, you will incur additional charges to make those changes, or you may be required to purchase a completely new illustration. We reserve the right to make that determination based on your requested changes.


How long will it take to complete my illustrations?

On average, we will complete your illustration project in 6 to 12 weeks. However, more time may be needed as deemed necessary by the artist, and/or you, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Creating custom artwork is something that cannot be rushed, and we want to ensure that the product is of the highest quality for your book.

Please note that the illustration process is separate from the production process of your book’s interior and cover. The book production stage will begin once your illustrations have been completed and approved.

If you have other questions, please contact our Customer Service hotline at 1800 455 039 and look for your Illustrations Coordinator or e-mail us at


General Questions

How does the ‘Add-On’ list work?

Xlibris has designed a comprehensive range of book publishing packages to make your choices easier and to include everything you need to publish the book of your dreams. The Add-On services are designed to give you even more flexibility and truly customize your publishing experience. Simply choose the package that best fits you, and then if you would like to add features that are not included in your publishing package, you can select them from the Add-Ons list. It's that easy to design the perfect publishing experience. We even have experienced publishing consultants standing by to answer your questions and provide you with a free consultation to help you choose the package and services that are right for you.

Will my books be registered for a copyright certificate?

When you wrote your book, you are automatically asserted copyright ownership. Registering with the U.S. Congress Copyright Office, which records this ownership more formally, gives you better recourse in case of infringement. Registering your book with the U.S. Copyright Office involves providing a fee and requires you to supply two copies of the best edition of your book. Simply contact the Copyright Office for instructions, forms and a fee schedule. Xlibris can provide this service for you as an Add-On with our U.S. Copyright Office Registration service. This service is included in certain publishing packages, so please don't hesitate to ask your publishing consultant.

Will my book have a Library of Congress Card Catalog Number?

With the purchase of our Add-On service for the Library of Congress Card Catalog Number, Xlibris will contact the Library of Congress to obtain a unique catalog number for your text. Xlibris will also supply the copy to be placed in the library's collection. Please note that the Library of Congress does not supply a number if the book is less than 50 pages unless it is a children's book. They also reserve the right to refuse cataloguing.

Who can avail of the e-book Upgrade?

E-book availability can be availed by both new authors and previously-published authors as an Add-On service for $249. Due to the file sizes and the inability of most eReaders to properly convert color books, the e-book format upgrade is limited to Black & White books only.

What are the advantages of e-book availability?

Electronic book publishing is fast becoming the “now” in the industry, and with the launch of the Amazon Kindle and other e-readers, it opens up a whole new universe of readers to you as an author. By upgrading, your black and white title gains automatic distribution to the following digital devices and eRetailers:

  • Amazon Kindle
  • nook
  • Google Play Books


What is the author’s royalty percentage?

The author receives 50% of the digital net payments received from sales of the e-book. Royalties will not be paid on copies provided free of charge or sold to the author. You will always receive 50% of the digital net sale when sold. Therefore, if sold on at $3.99, you will receive $2.00. If sold in the retail channel at $3.99, the channel discount (varies by partner) will be deducted from the sales price and you will receive 50% of what is left.