This is the worst experience I've ever had with a self-publishing company. I've written books before and had them published with less trouble than this.
The most insidious thing about the situation is that these people had hunted me down for a year and I finally decided to give them a chance. The problem with most of these self-publish companies is that they want the writer to be a typesetter. I don't typeset, I write. After I finally decided to let them publish my book, they wrote back and said they would take the book if I agreed to change certain things.
Listen to this: First of all they were talking to someone who obtained a degree in Professional Writing at Distinction level, from a university overseas at which the professors were British. Now you don't get a standard higher than that, unless you are attending a university in England. What this company wanted me to do was change the locations, situations and names of the people mentioned in my --get this--autobiography. Now how ridiculous is that?
Obviously, whoever was reviewing my book had know knowledge whatsoever when comes to literature, particularly when you consider that you cannot change locations and individuals in a non-fiction book. I had previously changed or disguised the names of everyone in the book--including my husband. The book covers my travels and experiences in France, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Rome, Malta, Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Southwest Africa, Senegal, Paraguay, Israel, Gaza, Iran and Jordan. Now seriously, how can I substitute the names of those countries, with others?
Where would I get the others? There are hardly any "others" left. Next they didn't want me to mention the people or places I worked. That's a little ridiculous when I've worked for Kenya Parliament, Actor William Holden, U.S.
State Department, Foreign Affairs Department, Australia, United Nations, and many other notable organizations. What would I replace these with?? I pointed this out to Xlibris, so they refused to publish my book. I don't mind, because having judged what they were requesting I realized that the people who are making decisions are novices when it comes to literature and a bit shaky when it comes to honesty.
What they did was to ask for an initial deposit and then when I broke with the company, they continued to make withdrawals from my bank, when they were providing no service at all. I call that 'theft' I'm writing this to warn people. I'm going to try to see what I can do about it.
I would enjoy hearing about the problems that anyone else had with this company. I noted on scanning the internet, there are 316 complaints about this company.
Product or Service Mentioned: Xlibris Publishing Service.
Reason of review: Several things: poorly trained staff, theft of my money, with no service provided..
Monetary Loss: $300.
Preferred solution: Full refund.