We'll have a half-booth all to ourselves at the fair. The cost for the booth is modest--less than $500--plus we'll invest in a few marketing materials to liven the place up.
Pity, then, the poor self-published authors who are shelling out between $4000 and $10,000 to Xlibris Press (with whom we self-published) for the opportunity to "optimize" their book's "exposure to the multi-ethnic community of Miami." The gory details are HERE.
This has got to be the biggest rip-off in the self-publishing industry, and book fair officials aren't too happy about it either.Xlibris, which can get an entire booth for $650, is charging an outrageous sum to self-published authors who simply don't know better. Our experience with Xlibris is that it is a lot better at promoting itself than promoting its authors.
For $10,000, an Xlibris author will get the privilege of a 2-hour book signing slot at the Xlibris booth. (The Curmudgeon will get three whole days at his little booth.)
For that $10,000, the Xlibris author will have to give away his/her books. They're not allowed to sign them. Fortunately, 150 paperback books come with the package--but those books would cost the author $1500, and cost Xlibris even less. And the author could sell them--for a profit--if he had his own booth, instead of giving them away at the Xlibris booth.
The rest of the package isn't worth much. There's an email marketing campaign that Xlibris normally charges $599 for--and that's pretty inflated as it is (and largely worthless). Xlibris also promises a few bookmarks and posters, as well as an "author video" and press releases before and after the event. None of that is worth much.
For about $3000, the author could easily get his/her own booth, print up some very nice posters and other handouts, shoot a video and then sell his/her books at a profit to offset those costs. The author would still have plenty of money to fly down to Miami and stay in a very nice hotel.
Of course, for Xlibris, this is the deal of the century. They're making several grand on each author they can dupe into signing up for this boondoggle. Maybe they should change their motto to "Xlibris: YOU Write OUR Own Success!"