Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Book Reviews: From political histories to bad comics, to bad comics of political histories. And the occasional rant about fiction and writing.

XLibris sinks even lower

Jerry Stratton, November 16, 2005

When I wrote about the then-big names in publishing services providers in Publishing Revolution, XLibris was only beginning to squander its then-great reputation. Today, they’ve become so desperate that they’re harvesting e-mail addresses from web sites and spamming those addresses.

Since I own my domain name, I can, and do, use different addresses for different purposes. I’ve just received three messages from XLibris, each to a different address, one of which is an address that is only used on my web site, and at least two of which I have never given to XLibris.

Dear Jerry,

My name is Tracey Rosengrave, Marketing Manager for Xlibris Corporation, a Print-On-Demand Self-Publishing company. We are sending you this email because we have either learned about your passion for writing or we have had the pleasure of coming across some of your work. If you are interested in self-publishing, I’ve included a brief description of who we are below.

I do send out follow up messages, so if you are not interested in our company or services please click here and I will send no further correspondence. I completely understand how annoying unwanted email messages can be; if this is the case here, my sincerest apologies.

I’ll just bet you understand.

A quick Google search shows that I’m not alone, although I did (unless it went straight to my Junk folder) have the good fortune not to get spammed by the fictional Mercedes Bournias.

Annoying isn’t quite the word I’d use. If I had gone with XLibris, say, a few months before they started their downhill slide, I’d be extremely embarrassed to be with them now.

In a related note, I’ve been very happy using Lulu.com both for printing my Gods & Monsters role-playing game and for printing up private copies of my latest novel for my copy-editors to read. And with no upfront fee, if they go bad (and there is no indication yet that they will do so) there is no investment keeping authors from leaving, either.

In response to Notes from the Publishing Revolution: The self-publishing revolution is probably just more of the same for authors: yet another hurdle to overcome on the road to “being published”. I see a future where the major publishers will not even look at works that haven’t made a name for themselves in self-publishing first.