Publishing Confessions from a Xulon Press Author Who Encountered Conservative Hypocrisy
The ancient Greek word Xulon (zoo’ lon) is talking about revelation and I’ve got some profound revelations about Salem Communications publisher Xulon Press for you. Hear ye, hear ye all you authors because this is for you!
Writing a book is one thing, getting it published and enduring the many money-making schemes of publishers is another. I found publishing to be a very expensive and daunting task.
Xulon Press is a “Christian” publisher that published 4 books of my books. I had some major discrepancies in regard to promises unfulfilled in regard to their press releases. I published four books with Xulon Press within a year and encountered some problems, many related to their purported publicity packages – which essentially make or break a book’s success.
I recently received an email blast advert from Xulon Press and Townhall Press (“where your opinion counts”) promoting political candidate Fred Thompson’s new book Government at the Brink.
Xulon Press e-blasts are rare and apparently only given to very influential and powerful people who can sell more books and increase profit margins. I don’t recall getting any other promos for books besides Thompson’s, which of course reveals what a conservative owned publisher is capable of when it really wants to properly promote its authors books.
When I spoke to Xulon’s director of acquisitions and operations about receiving the same kind of E-blast for the 4 books I published and purchased publicity for with Xulon, I was told Fred Thompson’s book was a “special case”. In other words, though I published 4 books with Xulon, I wasn’t important and politics and profits are prioritized over fair treatment of all authors. Thompson, a political candidate with more visibility, is more financially promising and conservatively leaning. Hence Fred, unlike other Xulon authors, got the extra publicity push.
Founded by Christian author and publisher Tom Freiling, Xulon is now a part of Salem Communications Corporation. Salem claims to be the country’s leading Christian communications company with interests in radio, Internet, and magazine publishing. This does not mean you as an author with Xulon or Town Hall can rest, because my experience is Xulon’s connections and publicity never gives you as an author its best. If you’re not a big name or a conservative cash cow like Thompson, expect far less.
Tom Freiling founded Xulon Press and Town Hall Press with a group of Conservative entrepreneurs (perhaps that explains why the little author doesn’t get a fair chance).
Freiling’s political ideology is rather obvious in the books he has written: George W. Bush on God and Country, and Reagan’s God and Country. Incidentally last time I checked God never said he was a Republican or an American. Perhaps that explains the hypocrisy of American democracy and our present failed foreign policy.
Mr. Freiling claims to have published dozens of best-selling Conservative books, selling more than 2 million copies worldwide, and proudly mentions his appearances on CNN, C-Span, and many other television and radio programs. Being connected to Salem Communications has its benefits.
Why than can’t Mr. Freiling and Xulon Press produce the same publicity for me its author of 4 books? Possible reasons could be:
– I’m not conservative enough. Certainly my new book United States of Arrogance attests to that, though I am a registered Republican.
– It’s more fun to adequately publicize your own books when you run a publishing company than the authors paying for publicity.
– Getting paid for books published and publicity promised is more fun than actually producing the finished product.
– Maybe Xulon Press prefers selling the illusion to its authors of getting on Oprah and Larry King even though they have no intention of providing national publicity with PR Web the company it uses to do press releases.
Xulon purchased for my books the cheapest of the four tiers offered for press releases from PR Web (which does not offer nationwide exposure), but made me to believe I was getting a shot at national publicity to be discovered. It takes years to write a book. The 4 books I wrote and published with Xulon (those they lied about adequately publicizing) certainly left me feeling quite betrayed by the Christian and conservative publisher. I do believe punitive damages for the years of my life lost are in order. Before proceeding with that I think it is proper however to give Xulon a taste of what good publicity can accomplish so they never lie to future aspiring authors again. Unfortunately I continue to get emails from disgruntled Xulon authors who agree with me and have issue with various items pertinent to the publishing of their books.
Mr. Freiling claims Writer’s Digest magazine featured him as one of the world’s leading experts on self-publishing. What’s the problem than in generating adequate publicity for his authors?
Interestingly though Xulon Press has an Author Audio Blog page, I have never been asked to be interviewed by Mr. Freiling for any of my 4 books. Xulon Press and Town Hall Press like to sell the illusion of “strength in numbers” belonging to conservative and Christian groups. I have found however none of this really matters once you publish with Xulon because after they collect the cash from you, my experience has been the author is basically forgetten about and provided very poor publicity.
Perhaps the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) and the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) should evaluate the publicity packages Xulon Press sells and reconsider how reputable the company really is or is not.
Paul F. Davis – worldwide minister who has touched 50 countries and author of 14 books
Xulon Press published 4 books Davis wrote: “Supernatural Fire”; “Poems That Propel The Planet”; “Are You Ready For True Love?”; and “Adultery 101”
The fiery minister says of Xulon, “I guess some people don’t see the light until they first feel the heat. Indeed they will feel the fire of the Holy Spirit in me as I have many bones to pick with Tom Freiling and Xulon Press. I shall be heard and will not be silent!”
Interestingly, I found two complaints about Xulon Press here below:
Apr 18, 2008
I have recently used Xulon and I’m overall disappointed. I found the language of services offered for the bestseller’s package was very misleading (bordering on dishonest). For instance, they presented the following when I purchased the more expensive package (a little over $1900 several months back), “We will promote your book at a host of other conferences and conventions, including the annual Book Expo America with Catalogs! You will have the opportunity to spotlight your book at each conference.” (exact quote). In the column where additional fees are stated, NONE are listed — there was only a checkmark indicating that this service is included. A reasonable person would buy this package believing their book would be represented at the convention… however, UNLESS you are willing to pay an ADDITIONAL $149, this is not true. Your book will only be represented in a catalog (and who knows where that will be, under the table??). In the end, it didn’t matter, because my concerns were not addressed in a timely enough manner to take advantage of the program — the rep curtly emailed me stating that all the spots “were taken.”
Other issues I encountered included: 1) not having my book posted on their online store until I called to complain about it not being there (over 1 mth after it was completed) 2) press release accompanied by an excel dump (with over 1,000 listings — many out of date, most just simply websites, but no email addresses) requiring that you notify organizations yourself. 3) Spacing format throughout my book was not consistant. 4) High author prices for book purchases…#100 copies of a 200 page book cost me approx 75% more than another very reputable POD.
They did however deliver a good cover and had the book put on several online bookstores — but stated to me that they only guarantee 4 websites: Amazon.com , Borders.com , Amazon.co.uk ( United Kingdom ), and Btol.com . I’m not certain how they will handle it if Amazon does disable the “BUY” button for POD’s in the future.
Tina – Houston, TX
Thursday Apr 24
My experience was nearly identical to Tina’s in many respects, additionally, it’s been nine months and the book still hasn’t been listed at either Spring Harbor or Ingram’s for retailers to have access. Has anyone considered a class action against Xulon? Their’s is not a Christian way to do business.
Diane – Sitka, AK
Paul F. Davis is a world-changing leadership & diversity speaker who has touched over 50 countries & 6 continents building bridges cross-culturally and empowering people throughout the earth to live their dreams!
Paul is the author of 14 books. Paul has appeared on numerous internationally broadcast radio shows from Oprah & Friends to Fox News Radio to talk about conflict resolution, peacemaking, foreign policy, and diplomacy. Playboy Radio host Tiffany Granath calls Paul an “awesome” relational coach and recommends his books on love, dating, and sexuality.
Academically outstanding Davis was trained in transformative mediation & conflict resolution (Hofstra Law School); strategic negotiations (Harvard Business School & U. of Washington); advanced interrogation (Reid & Associates founders of the polygraph); and NLP & Life Coaching (NLP & Coaching Institute of California).
Paul humorously and elegantly transforms individuals and organizations.
Paul’s organization Dream-Maker Inc. builds dreams, transcends limitations, & reconciles nations.
Paul worked at Ground Zero in NYC during 9/11; helped rebuild a home at the tsunami epicenter; comforted victims of genocide in Rwanda; spoke to leaders in East Timor during the war; inspired students & monks in Myanmar; promoted peace & reconciliation in Pakistan; and has been so deep into the bush of rural Africa where villagers had never before seen a white man.
Paul empowers people to love passionately and live fearlessly.