On November 28, 2016, Xlibris agreed to publish a book for me and accepted a payment of $949 via credit card. Before production could begin, they decided that the manuscript did not meet their guidelines and imposed unrealistic and unreasonable conditions for changing it. Their representative told me that all publishers would impose the same conditions. As the conditions were unacceptable to me, I checked with two other publishers and found that the conditions were in no way standard. One of the other companies, Outskirts Press, has since published my book without changes and without incident.
Xlibris has refunded only $549 of the $949 it charged me. It is retaining $400 as a "manuscript evaluation fee." Before I signed on with Outskirts, they provided a thoughtful manuscript evaluation for $35 and assured me that the issues flagged by Xlibris were not, in fact, valid issues. Though it's true that the Xlibris contract says that they can withhold $400 if the manuscript does not meet their guidlelines, I feel that it's unfair for them to withhold it in this case. The price they put this "service" is far in excess of the time they spent on it (an hour, at most), and the result was not, as they claimed it to be, consistent with the standards of the self-publishing industry.