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Xlibris General Information

What does Xlibris mean?

The name is a derivation of the Latin term ex libris which means ‘from the library of’. This term was traditionally used on the bookplates with a name to distinguish the owner of the book. We combined the two words into one term and dropped the “e” in order to create a unique name that seemed appropriate for both the field we are in and the technology associated with what we do.


What do I need to know about Xlibris?

Founded in April 1997, Xlibris is one of the pioneers of supported self-publishing services. Unlike traditional publishing houses, we do not take the rights to your book; our publishing services enable you to become your own publisher. When you publish with us, you are essentially self-publishing in the most efficient way possible.


What is a supported self-publishing services provider?

A supported self-publishing services provider allows you to publish your book. You are the publisher. We provide the support and infrastructure necessary to help you accomplish your goal. Acting as a "back office," our staff handles the design and layout of your book. Once finished and approved, we will help you fulfil all book orders while calculating and issuing royalties. We also provide marketing, editorial and distribution support.


What is print-on-demand publishing?

Print-on-demand means exactly what it implies: we print books as they are ordered. We use modern technology to store and print your book in electronic form, removing the need for a warehouse and large print runs. This method reduces two of the greatest costs in publishing, allowing more authors to publish and to have their books remain in print forever.


Is this vanity publishing?

Definitely not. Vanity publishers will charge you thousands of dollars to print box loads of books they will not help you sell. Xlibris does not require you to purchase any books. Furthermore, since vanity publishers employ the same the printing technology that traditional publishers use, their costs are inherently high. Xlibris uses modern print-on-demand technology to keep costs down, freeing up resources to provide a wide array of services. Vanity publishers provide a one-time service, while Xlibris provides continual support before, during and after the publishing process. Xlibris does a number of things that a vanity publisher does not. Here are just a few:

  • Process book orders and fulfil them
  • Distribute your book
  • Payment of royalties
  • Indefinite availability
  • Lifetime support
  • Marketing support
  • Editorial support


What are the reasons I should self-publish?

There are many good reasons to self-publish your book. Here are six reasons why self-publishing may be perfect for you.

  • Time
    Traditional publishing takes too long with most publishers working on an 18-month production cycle. Choose to self-publish and your book could be ready for the market within three months.
  • Your book—the way you want it
    A book is a reflection of the author. Self-publishing gives you complete control on the direction of your book. The decisions are exclusively yours and not limited by third parties with intentions and interests different from your own.
  • You retain all rights
    As a self-publisher, you own all rights to your book. If you use a traditional publishing house, they will own all the rights to your book. If they lose interest in your book, you will no longer be able to print additional copies unless you purchase those rights back—at a price.
  • Testing the marketplace
    Because your book may resonate with a niche readership, or a need that has not yet been met, you can test the market by self-publishing. Find out how well your book will sell, and how successful it will be.
  • A limited market
    Your book may appeal to a limited market and, therefore, may not be of interest to a large publishing house.
  • Legacy
    Each of us has a unique life story to tell, complete with ordinary incidents, moments of brilliance, tragedy and humour. Your book is an expression of who you are and a great legacy to leave behind.


If I self-publish, do I still have a chance of getting a contract with a major publisher?

Yes, of course. In fact, many large traditional publishing houses now scour the shelves and the Internet for self-published books that could fit their publishing programme.


Who are some well-known authors who have self-published their books?

Many amazing authors have chosen to self-publish at some time in their careers: Rudyard Kipling, Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Carl Sandburg, James Redfield, Mark Twain and Walt Whitman, to name a few.


Do I have to be a certain age to publish my book with you?

You can be of any age to publish with Xlibris. However, if you are a minor, you will need to have a parent or legal guardian to co-sign your Self-Publishing Services Agreement and authorise payment for your publishing services.


How does the Xlibris self-publishing process work?

Xlibris offers a comprehensive supported self-publishing service, including book production and design. Beginning with your free consultation with one of our publishing consultants, you will be treated with professionalism and courtesy and provided with all the self-publishing help you need. Once you have chosen the publishing package that is right for you, the publishing process begins. This process starts with the submission of your publishing materials, which consists of:

  • Your ordering information;
  • Your interior and cover text in a word-processing format; and
  • Your interior and cover images in digital format, or as hard copies.

From there, we will create the full design of your book. Once completed, you will receive interior and cover proofs for your feedback and approval. Changes made during this stage of the publishing process may have a fee associated to it, and may add time to the process, so please ensure that you submit the final copy of the manuscript to us for publishing. When you are satisfied, we will print a copy of your book and send it for your review of the printing and binding quality of the book. Once we receive your signed approval form we will make the book available to the world and you receive royalties on every copy purchased by your readers.

Xlibris has developed a template-based design system that enables us to build books quickly and efficiently (at a cost savings to you). It's comprehensive enough to fit any application. Although Xlibris designers ultimately decide the final design, you can make suggestions and design choices from the beginning to the end of the publishing process. We will do our best to accommodate your needs and encourage your feedback.


What can I expect during my publishing experience?

Publishing a book can be a daunting prospect. Here at Xlibris, we make your publishing adventure easy because we are available every step of the way. Our knowledgeable and professional staff is responsive to your needs—our many years in the publishing industry have taught us that your success is our success. We view the publication process as a collaborative effort that requires your participation. Such an author-oriented approach to the publishing process ultimately leads to a fulfilling experience and ensures that, together, we will produce the best book possible.


What is the importance of goal setting?

Goal-setting is a fundamental aspect of achieving success in any endeavour. Publishing your book is no exception. You simply cannot go somewhere if you do not know where you want to go. With goals, you can create the future in advance. With goals, you can literally create your own destiny.


Which important questions should I ask to determine the goals for my book?

When you establish the goals you have for your book, you can better customise your publishing experience and better choose the Xlibris services that best fit your vision of success.

To establish your personal goals, try asking yourself:

  • What is the vision I have for my book? Commercial success? Personal satisfaction? Professional recognition?
  • Do I have any specific requirements or strict formatting instructions?
  • Could my manuscript benefit from editorial services?
  • What is the best way to market and promote my work?
  • Who would be interested in buying my book?
  • How many copies do I hope to sell?

If you can answer these questions and communicate them to Xlibris from the start, it makes the publishing and book marketing processes so much easier.


How long will my book be in print?

As long as you want. When you publish with Xlibris, you obtain permanent publication—your book will never go out of print—and we will always be here for you.


Where can I post recent news about my book?

The Xlibris Author's Lounge is a great forum to post recent news and information about your book, feature your story, or learn from the experience of other authors. It also gives you access to a list of upcoming events and relevant articles about publishing and marketing your work.


How does Xlibris make money?

We make money by providing supported self-publishing services to authors and through book sales.


Why are we different?

  • Experience and expertise
    The definition of success is different for every author. Whether you want to be the next bestseller or would like to leave your legacy for the next generation, Xlibris has the experience, expertise, and extensive service requirements necessary to make it happen.
  • We wait for you approval
    We provide a galley after initial cover design, after initial interior design, and after every subsequent set of corrections. We do not move ahead until we have your expressed approval.
  • You retain complete control
    With Xlibris, you retain complete control of your work. We are nonexclusive, which means you can self-publish with us and still offer your work to agents and publishers. We're not interested in taking your rights away from you. After all, we didn't write your book.
  • Around-the-clock customer support
    Our customer service representatives are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to provide around-the-clock support.
  • Publicity and marketing support
    Xlibris offers an extensive list of marketing and publicity tools to support our authors toward the ultimate goal of selling books. You can contact your personal marketing consultant on 1800 455 039 (or +44 20 3014 4095 if calling from outside Australia) for your free consultation or e-mail
  • Leather-bound editions
    Xlibris is the first Print-On-Demand publisher to offer elegant leather bound editions of your book. They are perfect to have in your personal collection, or to give away as gifts, and are custom-crafted to last a lifetime.


Contracts and Agreements

Once I've published my book with Xlibris, who owns the rights?

You do. Forever. The rights to your book will always be yours. Because we have the technology to store your book digitally and to manufacture as many (or as few) copies as needed, your book is always available and will never go out of print—for as long as you choose.


What do you mean by 'rights'?

As the author, you own all rights to your work. If you enter into a contract with a book publisher, you are usually required to grant some of those rights to the publisher—usually the exclusive right "to print, publish and sell the work in book form". Subsidiary or secondary rights are often shared by the author and publisher. Subsidiary rights comprise every other form of publication—electronic, Braille, translations, audio, film and TV, etc. This granting of rights may lapse after a book is considered out of print, or at the end of some fixed term. These are the rights you own and by self-publishing your book with Xlibris, you’ll continue to own and control them.


Can I still publish my book elsewhere?

Yes. The Xlibris Publishing Agreement is non-exclusive. While producing your book with Xlibris' publishing services you can continue to publish or print your book elsewhere, with as many publishers, agents, and other firms as you like.


What would happen if an agent or editor saw my book and wanted to publish it?

Your publishing agreement with Xlibris is non-exclusive. You are free to enter into any other agreements at any time. However, other publishers may ask you to sever your agreement with Xlibris and grant them exclusive rights.


Can I come back to Xlibris when my book goes out of print?

By all means. Please ensure first that the rights have reverted to you before re-publishing your book with Xlibris.


What do you mean by an open-ended, non-exclusive contract?

The Xlibris publishing agreement is open-ended and non-exclusive. This means that there is no set term for the contract, but that it can be cancelled at any time at your discretion. Because it is non-exclusive, it means that you can pursue publishing contracts with other publishers and actually have another contract with another publisher or agent regarding the same work without violating the terms of your agreement with Xlibris.


What happens if I want to cancel my contract with Xlibris?

You have the right to cancel your contract at any time, for any reason. Simply inform us in writing and your agreement with Xlibris will be terminated.


Are there any fees to discontinue my Xlibris editions?

There are no fees to discontinue the Xlibris edition of your book.


What happens if I want to cancel my service?

At Xlibris, we are so confident that you will be satisfied with our services. If at any time, for any reason, you are dissatisfied with a product or a service that we offer, just let us know and we will work with you to come to a reasonable and satisfactory resolution. If no resolution is deemed satisfactory for both parties, you can opt for a refund. Our Refund Policy can be found in the Terms and Exclusivity section in our Agreement form.


What protection do I have that my information will be kept private?

Xlibris respects your right to the privacy of the personal information you provide us on our website. To that end, unless we state otherwise in this policy or at the time information is collected, any personal information you provide to Xlibris will be known only to two parties: yourself and Xlibris. The following policy is intended to explain how your personal information will be treated as you make use of our site and its features. Personal information includes your name, street and email addresses, billing information, click-through activity and any other personal information you may provide. Feel free to read more about the Xlibris Privacy Policy.

If you have any further questions or concerns about the Xlibris privacy policies and use of personal information, please send them to


Copyrights and Trademarks

Will my books be registered for a copyright certificate?

When you wrote your book, you 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.


Is my book already protected by copyright law by virtue of the fact that I have published it?

Under Australian copyright law, your self-published work is protected as soon as you write it. Copyright is based on your creative authorship and is not dependent on any formal agreement with a book publisher or self publishing company. Although the law affords you protection just for creating your work and reducing it to a tangible form, in many cases it is desirable to officially register your work(s) with the Australian or U.S. Copyright Office.

Copyright protection attaches immediately and automatically upon fixation (reduction to a tangible form) of the work in question. Why go to the trouble of filing a federal copyright registration? There are two fundamental answers:

  • Ability to sue; and
  • Statutory damages.

Although copyright attaches upon fixation, you cannot actually sue someone for infringing your copyright until you have registered your work with the Copyright Office. ‘Timely Registration’ is the key. This means that you file with the Copyright office before any copyright infringement actually begins. "Timely Registration" makes it much easier to sue and recover money from an infringer. Specifically, it creates a legal presumption that your copyright is valid, and allows you to recover damages without having to prove any actual monetary harm.

Xlibris can help you register and protect your work to the fullest extent. We also provide assistance with filing your work with the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress. Find out more about Registering Your Work with the U.S. Copyright Office and The Library of Congress.


Why is there another book with the same title as mine when I copyrighted my work?

Copyright registration protects the content of your work. You can not actually copyright the title of your book.


Do I own the rights to my book or do you, the publisher?

You retain all the rights to your book. By utilising Xlibris' services, you are simply granting us a non-exclusive licence to publish and distribute the work for you.


Who owns the film, television, theatre and other media rights?

With Xlibris, you retain all rights to your book. That includes the film, television and theatre rights.


Who owns the printable files of my book?

Because Xlibris created them, we actually retain the ownership of the printable files, but we do not distribute them.


Can I use trademarked names in my manuscript?

Generally, the use by an author of a trademarked name in a fictional work to describe or identify particular goods or services, such as "driving in my Peugeot," "eating a Cadbury bar," "playing with my Beanie Baby" will not be considered an infringement as long as the use does not confuse the reader with respect to who actually owns the trademark. Trademark law also permits an author of a nonfiction work to include content that is favourable and/or critical of a trademark owner's product or services. In this type of work, the author should only use the trademark to describe or identify the trademark owner's product or service and should be careful not to confuse the reader as to the actual provider of the trademark owner's products or services.


Am I liable if my book contains defamatory statements or infringes on another person's copyrighted work?

Yes. It is stated in the Xlibris Author Agreement Form that you affirm that you are empowered to enter into the agreement and have all the necessary rights to use the submitted material. By signing the contract with Xlibris, you are agreeing to these terms.


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 catalogue 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.


Reliable and Credible: Why Authors Work with Xlibris

From our start in a basement office to the present day, we’ve always taken what we do very seriously. Please contact us at 1800 455 039 (or +44 20 3014 4095 if calling from outside Australia) if you have any concerns about our services, and we’ll gladly and comprehensively answer your questions.

Xlibris’ Long-Term and Dependable Services
We have been helping writers become published authors since 1997. We’ve published more than 75,000 titles by over 50,000 authors, and these numbers are growing each and every day. Xlibris is also a BBB-accredited business. If you have any questions, please contact us at 1800 455 039 (or +44 20 3014 4095 if calling from outside Australia).

Our authors often raise questions about how royalties work, and we’re more than happy to answer those questions. Please visit our FAQ page or contact us at 1800 455 039 (or +44 20 3014 4095 if calling from outside Australia) to know more about your royalties.

Sales Figures and Reporting
We also receive many questions about our authors’ sales. You may visit our FAQ page or contact us at 1800 455 039 (or +44 20 3014 4095 if calling from outside Australia) to learn more about sales figures and reporting.


MyXlibris/Author Centre

What is My Xlibris?

When you publish with Xlibris, you can nominate a unique username and password to access the My Xlibris website. This website is linked to the Xlibris homepage and is your interactive portal to all information about your book. You can check the progress of your book's production, and once published you can use your My Xlibris account to check your book sales and royalties, change your author biography on the Xlibris online bookstore and learn about specials only available to Xlibris authors.


Content Evaluation

What is content evaluation?

Content evaluation is the process in which Xlibris assesses your manuscript to ensure that it meets our standards for publishing. We review manuscripts and materials for copyright, libel and content that contains sex and/or drug paraphernalia.


Why does my book undergo a content evaluation?

We perform content evaluations on all books to maintain a standard of publishing for our authors’ work and to identify areas in your manuscript that could potentially put you at copyright and/or libel risk.


How long is the content evaluation process?

The duration of your content evaluation can fluctuate depending on the length and subject matter of your book, as well as the number of other manuscripts we have queued for evaluation.


What do you look for during content evaluation?

We review manuscripts and materials for:

  • Text and images which are not created and/or owned by the author
  • Statements or information which reveal private information about a living person and/or could negatively reflect a living person’s reputation
  • Content that includes sex and drug paraphernalia


What are best practices to make sure my manuscript and materials meet the standards of content evaluation?

Follow these general guidelines to help ensure that your manuscript and materials meet our evaluation standards:

Copyright and Original Content

  • At least 75 percent of your book’s content must be original and created by you.
  • Quoted poetry and song lyric content cannot be longer than four lines or 10 percent of the poem or song.
  • Quoted article content can be no longer than three sentences or 10 percent of the article.
  • Quoted book content can be no longer than 300 words.

Libel and Privacy

To avoid libel and protect the privacy of living people referenced in your book, you must:

  • Change or remove the author’s name and/or the names of people referenced in the manuscript or materials.
  • Change or remove the names of locations, businesses, organizations, educational establishments, etc. where the events in the manuscript and/or materials take place.
  • Remove images (including front and back cover images) that reveal the identification of people or locations referenced in the manuscript and/or materials.


If U.S. Copyright is automatic, then why do people register for U.S. Copyright?

U.S. Copyright protection attaches immediately and automatically as soon as you fix the work in question in a tangible form. That tangible form might be a printed manuscript, but computer disks (or even your computer hard drive) can also be considered tangible forms. Registering a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office creates a public record of the basic information of your book.


What is the difference between U.S. Copyright protected and U.S. Copyright registered?

U.S. Copyright protection is secured upon creation of your work and provides you the right to stop another person from using your work without permission. U.S. Copyright registration is secured when material is officially registered with the U.S. government. Having your material officially registered with the U.S. Copyright office allows you to take legal action to recover a monetary value if someone uses your work illegally.


How can I tell if content is U.S. Copyright protected?

In most cases, any picture, material, text, information, quote, map, song or illustration that you personally did not create is U.S. Copyright protected by the person who created and/or published the material. Any text or pictures found in a book, magazine or newspaper is U.S. Copyright protected by the publisher, artist, photographer or another individual. Most information found on the Internet is U.S. Copyright protected.


Does citing the source of material clear me of U.S. Copyright infringement?

No. A citation will not protect you in a court of law in a U.S. Copyright case. You must obtain and keep written permission from the U.S. Copyright holder.


How do I obtain permission and what do I do with it?

In order to obtain permission, you can contact the original U.S. Copyright holder and explain what work you wish to use and for what purpose. In order to not be held liable in a lawsuit you must request and obtain written permission from the copyright holder to use the material in publication.