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jd2000
07-06-2005, 05:18 PM
Hi Everybody,
Has anybody here published a book with Iuniverse? Have you had any problems collecting royalties due from sales made on the internet?

wardmclark
07-07-2005, 01:08 AM
I did one in summer 2001. Honestly, I wouldn't use them again now. My reasons don't involve payment issues; I've just learned more about writing and publishing since then.

I've never had any problem being paid. I'm still selling a few books here and there, my statements always match up with my own feel for what's happening, and I get my quarterly checks all right. They delivered exactly what they said the package involved - no more, no less.

edfrzr
07-09-2005, 04:48 AM
Is there anyone her on the iUniverse train? If so, why? I have done some research and they seem to stack up pretty well. I've got one getting ready to go to press. Before I make a final decision, any thoughts?

veinglory
07-09-2005, 05:23 AM
Have you visited the websites that compared all the POD services? I don't feel iuniverse is anywhere near the best value or services.

edfrzr
07-09-2005, 06:40 AM
No, I haven't. What are the sites and why do you say that?

PVish
07-10-2005, 08:49 PM
On the iUniverse web site, you can read any of their books. I've read a couple all the way through. Tedious, but doable. Is this a positive or a negative? I haven't bought any of iU books, but I've read some. I've heard that iU can keep selling book for a year after returning rights to an author. Anybody know anythig about this?

IUniverse books look very nice. I've known several people who used iU.

Check Infinity Publishing. Set-up fee is less; customer service is good; toll-free number answered by a live person. Cover price of books is reasonable and--if you order 20 books--you don't have to pay shipping. Authors receive a monthly royalty statement (are paid each time they accrue $20 in royalties). Authors can get rights back on a few days' notice. Infinity does its printing in-house.

For whatever POD you select, all you want is the basic service. You don't need to buy all the promotional items, press releases, etc. Compare cost of set-up fee, author's price of books, cost of shipping. Also consider royalty, how often you receive a report of royalties/books sold, and how easy it is to get in touch with the company. And can you actually visit the company--do they have a street address?

edfrzr
07-16-2005, 08:23 AM
hey PVish. I checked out Infiinity. The only downside I found was they don't do hardback. Everything else looked good.


thanks for the tip

Beast
07-20-2006, 01:20 PM
Hi people. Thought I'd share my iUniverse experience thus far with you. I've found that the editorial evaluation output is superb, and the most valuable element of the process thus far.For me, it served as a writer's finishing school and was worth every last cent.

After the 1st review, I re-wrote my manuscript, taking on board the advice from the iUniverse reviewer - note - I did this myself and did not use their editing services.
The result was acceptance into the Editor's Choice program (after the second review).

Now this doesn't get me into the stores, but it is the first time I've benefited from a professional, objective review process and as such, it's provided me with a quality stamp to take forward into my marketing and sales plan.
In general I've found iUniverse really accommodating and easy to work with so far.

Incidentally, I've taken the POD route due to my own enormous impatience in soliciting an agent - we're pretty remote here in South Africa, and life's too short to wait for the many agents who still require snail mail - will they EVER arrive in century 21?

I wish you all success.

Film Writer
07-24-2006, 06:52 PM
Someone posted up this link in another thread a while back,

http://online-book-publishing-review.toptenreviews.com/

IUniverse seems to be the best of those listed, at least according to this site.

veinglory
07-24-2006, 07:14 PM
Yes but that's a terrible comparison site IMHO (as I said in that thread too) try: www.booksandtales.com for a good comparison of the pros and cons of various services.

james1611
07-24-2006, 07:30 PM
If I were to self publish and I almost did...I would use LULU.com because its free to use.

You may have to format and get your own cover, but by the time you've paid for these services and "setup fees" which is fancy term for free money to the vanity press (LULU.com has no such fee)--then you have paid a lot of money for something you didn't need to.

I investigated IUniverse, Infinity and a host of others and they all seemed to charge for things I wouldn't have had to pay for at LULU.com

So I could never justify paying the money...and do they really do the editing they claim at those other places?? head over to publish america's never ending thread and you may learn something about what they really do at vanity presses.

Or you could put off self pubbing and continue to submit your book for traditional publication--I'm glad I waited!!

--James :D

Film Writer
07-24-2006, 08:16 PM
Hi,

I can't get that Booksandtails link to work.

As far as Lulu goes, I looked into them. While it is free to use, you don't get an Amazon or Barnes and Noble listing for free. You have to pay extra for that, and most other services that are included in the basic Iuniverse listing.

Plus, I recently got a book that was published by Lulu, and the cover was crooked. It was one that I had ordered from Amazon. So, I don't know how their quality control is.

As for Iuniverse, it SEEMS like a good deal. For $500, it is set up, you get 5 copies, listed on all the sites and then you get a cut on each sale. That doesn't seem like much of a rip off.

If you think about it, all the time, and all of the postage you would use, as a writer without an agent, or any contacts, trying to get an agent, or a publisher interested, it makes you wonder why you should even bother going the traditional way. In five weeks, you can have something published.

I'm still working on my project and when it is finished, I was thinking going the self publishing route, rather than even attempting the traditional way.

veinglory
07-24-2006, 08:20 PM
The link should be back soon, it's still in google cache

Lulus ISBN-plus is thirty dollars--you could buy your five books and still have a lot of change form $500.

If you are going to the trouble of paying a fee it should do two things -- 1) get you a much lower cover price and a larger profit margin if you sell well (like over 75 copies), and 2) get you a name that not every man and his dog knows is self-pub/vanity.

Iuniverse, borderline on 1) fails on 2)

Try Aventine. Do find a good side by side comparson site.

Kate Thornton
07-26-2006, 06:12 PM
I have a friend who published her first books with iUniverse and was very pleased.

Sue Ann Jaffarian, author of 'Too Big To Miss' now has a traditional publisher (Midnight Ink) for her next book 'Curse of the Holy Pail' and for reprinting 'Too Big To Miss' and for the third book in the series. TBTM was recently optioned for TV, too.

She has only good things to say about iUniverse. I have a copy of TBTM and it is of very good quality. Good story, too!

Here's her website if you want to check it out: http://www.sueannjaffarian.com/

Beast
08-25-2006, 04:42 PM
Hi Guys and Gals,
I promised I'd keep you posted.
I've just completed the author proofing stage on the book block. The proofing form was functionally professional and usable, and the corrections were made promptly and as specified. There were a few errors introduced by iUniverse, which they also corrected (free).

I also received the Author Marketing Toolkit, with which I'm pretty impressed (PDF posters, bookmarks etc as well as html coded 'buy' button and icon for my website).

Now the work begins! I investigated South Africa's major book chain, 'Exclusive Books,' and to my surprise found that they do have 1 (and only 1) iUniverse book listed for their stores - maybe this can be a starting point.

Best wishes to you all in your endeavours.

Beast

MOON GODDESS
08-26-2006, 09:29 PM
I know someone who published with them, and although I've never asked her about sales and such, she seems happy with them.
I received some of their literature, and they seem OK to me, too.

James D. Macdonald
08-27-2006, 01:50 AM
Please write down your goals and objectives now, so you can see in a year if you've achieved them.

Don't forget to itemize costs as well as income.

Beast
08-27-2006, 01:26 PM
Thanks Uncle Jim - wise words indeed.

In keeping with the spirit of this forum, and to prevent unintended encouragement of others on this difficult road, I'd like to reiterate a few key points:

1) Printing your book via any POD or vanity press does not equate to being published - if you go this road, keep right on looking for a bona-fide publisher - the rewards and achievement are immeasurably greater. Keep your eyes open and don't take your eye off the final goal. The iUniverse contract permits this.

2) I am fortunate enough to be able to afford this experiment without worrying too much about the loss of a thousand dollars or two - if this is not applicable to you then hang back - you are more than likely going to be tremendously disappointed and resentful of the financial loss.

3) The number of real commercial successes achieved by this method are miniscule, and occur mainly through an aspiring author grabbing the attention of an agent or bona-fide publisher - and this will only happen if you have the time and resources to market and sell your work in the face of tremendous (and justifiable) resistance from retailers and reviewers.

4) Do the sums - there are many examples on this site. Include not just the cost of book purchase, web-site establishment and maintenance, travel, printing etc, but also the OPPORTUNITY COST of spending your time and money in this way - you could be using that same time to pitch agents and publishers, so you are diminishing your chances in the bona-fide publishing world by spending your time on this.

4) Having said all of that, the following points are worthy of consideration:

a) If you can achieve the iUniverse Editor's Choice award as an initial step with iUniverse, it MIGHT (and I'll tell you how it goes) enhance your crediblility in the market. It might also assist you in improving your work - remember, if you are struggling, then it might just be that you are simply not publishable - YET. iUniverse (as far as I know) is the only POD staffed by publishing professionals that provides quality controlled programs for authors. But this alone is certanly NOT guaranteed to result in success - it's entirley up to you and the odds against you are high.

b) In my case, the iUniverse editorial review process was invaluable. Email me if you would like to discuss this point. I honestly believe that I benefited sufficiently from this to justify the cost, no matter what else might happen. There may be other, less costly ways to achieve this.

I wish you all every success, and thank you for the privilege of being a part of this forum.

Beast

maestrowork
08-27-2006, 02:56 PM
If you think about it, all the time, and all of the postage you would use, as a writer without an agent, or any contacts, trying to get an agent, or a publisher interested, it makes you wonder why you should even bother going the traditional way. In five weeks, you can have something published.

But how many copies can you sell? iU is not going to sell books for you. Being listed on Amazon or BN doesn't mean it's going to sell. You will have to do the selling. Also, if you pay iU $500 and you only get royalty (I think with iU you can get up to 20%)... but without the ability to get books into book stores, how many copies you need to sell before you can recoup your cost?

Yeah, getting it "published" is the easy part. Getting it distributed and sold is the difficult one.

If you do want to go this route, like Vein sald, why not get Lulu's ISBN-plus for cheap instead of paying iU $500?

huw
08-27-2006, 03:02 PM
Please write down your goals and objectives now, so you can see in a year if you've achieved them.

Don't forget to itemize costs as well as income.
Excellent advice, though I would make it more time-general: Write down your goals and objectives, including timescales, so you can see at the appropriate time if you've achieved them.

With that tweak, it becomes applicable to just about any enterprise you can imagine--including the pursuit of any type of publication success, not just vanity.

GHF65
09-11-2006, 05:08 PM
I went iUniverse with my first book. I won't say I totally regret the decision. The quality of the finished product is excellent, and the process was simple.

BUT . . . though iU does, as promised, get your book to Amazon, B&N, and on a page of your own at the iU site, I have had no luck at all getting brick-and-mortar stores to carry the book. I was offered signings, and the stores backed out when they discovered it was a POD title. The discount isn't low enough for them. I've had enough luck selling the book myself (at a significant discount below the cover price) to have covered my expenses and a little more, but that's only because I have good friends who loved the book, had lots of contacts and literally took it on the road with them in batches to sell to their clients. It also helped that I had a platform at the time it was printed, so I sold a bunch right off the top.

Would I go iUniverse again? No. I wouldn't go POD again unless I had some overwhelming need to throw money to the wind. I'd just go directly to Lightningsource and self-pub before I'd POD. The end result is cheaper and the profit higher, though sales would probably be just as difficult. If my price comparisons are accurate, I could offer a better discount if I self-pubbed, and with my own imprint on the cover could possibly wind up with books on the shelves of actual stores.

On the up side, if you're sure you've got a hit on your hands, iU does offer all sorts of co-op advertising opportunities in the NY Times. It's not cheap to go that route, so the book had better be good. A co-op ad can run $2500 per author. It's tough to make that back if most of your sales are to family and friends.

They also put out a monthly newsletter that lists current contests for which POD books qualify. There are sometimes cash prizes or publication contracts awarded, so there is a little bit of opportunity there for making back some of the initial cost.

My final word: Think twice, publish once.

huw
09-12-2006, 12:08 AM
Would I go iUniverse again? No. I wouldn't go POD again unless I had some overwhelming need to throw money to the wind. I'd just go directly to Lightningsource and self-pub before I'd POD.

I understand the distinction you're making and agree with the sentiment 100%, but technically Lightning Source is a POD. The difference is that you're closer to the metal with LS, meaning more skill and work is needed, and you have more control over every aspect of the process including pricing, discounts and returnability.

acousticgroupie
09-12-2006, 09:28 PM
i'm using iuniverse to publish my book. yes, they do cost, compared to LuLu, but if you READ the lulu site it says even with the global distribution it doesn't guarantee listing on amazon or bn.com. and yes, that doesn't guarantee sales, but i'm trafficking people to those sites and i need my book there. i wouldn't risk not having it there, since i'm doing a lot of marketing online for my book. at least with iUni, a BN shopper can order my book in store, too.

huw
09-13-2006, 04:16 PM
i'm using iuniverse to publish my book. yes, they do cost, compared to LuLu, but if you READ the lulu site it says even with the global distribution it doesn't guarantee listing on amazon or bn.com. and yes, that doesn't guarantee sales, but i'm trafficking people to those sites and i need my book there. i wouldn't risk not having it there, since i'm doing a lot of marketing online for my book. at least with iUni, a BN shopper can order my book in store, too.
Is iUniverse associated with Amazon in some way, for them to be able to offer such a guarantee?

The reason I ask is that Lulu books get onto Amazon (and BN.com, in my experience) via the Lightning Source/Ingram route. The arms-length nature of the arrangement is, I think, the reason they don't offer a guarantee: they don't have their hands on the levers, so they can't promise the desired outcome. Worst case: Amazon could even pull out of taking POD books from Lightning Source/Ingram altogether (as they have recently done with ebooks).

Unless iUniverse has some iron-clad deal with Amazon meaning the latter _must_ list the former's books, then their guarantee is moot--they're in a similar position to Lulu, but with less clarity.

I would have thought that Booksurge is your best bet for guaranteeing a presence on Amazon. As an "Amazon Company" they are less likely than any of the others to be dumped.

I would certainly query the real nature of iUniverse's arrangement with Amazon before using this as a basis to decide between them and Lulu.

GHF65
09-28-2006, 06:00 PM
iUniverse is owned by Barnes & Noble, so you're guaranteed to be on the B&N site. You get Amazon as well as part of the package. My book hit Amazon within a day or two of my receiving my first copy. It's still there three years later. I check periodically. It hit B&N a few days later. I have no idea why they were slower in getting to their own bookseller, but they were. It has continued to be offered there as well.

I've had no problem with the online distribution options iUniverse offers, including the fact that my book is available on the iUniverse site in its entirety for reading by the general public. I've been told by several people that the print was so small, they opted to just order the book. That works for me.

Here's something new I learned, and everyone considering iUniverse should be aware of this: You sign a three-year contract. I was under the impression that at the end of the three years, the contract automatically expires and your book is no longer available. As my book was published three years ago this November, I contacted iUniverse for clarification and to make sure I had the details of the process right. As it turns out, I didn't. I haven't checked my original contract yet, and I don't remember this being in it, but they told me that unless I write in and cancel the contract (30 days' notice required) or they write to me and cancel (same notice required), the book will be available indefinitely.

Now to some people that may not be a positive. For me, it is. It means I can just leave it alone, not have to change the info on my business card or website, and continue to sell my book. I was concerned that I would need to buy 100 copies before it went out of print so I would have a few for the folks who wanted them. I only sell in dribs and drabs--just sold one on Tuesday, in fact, but before then the last sale was through Amazon in July--not in big chunks, and I really didn't want to invest any more in the process while I debate what to do with that book and try to find out what the mainstream publisher who has my second book is planning. I feel as if I got a bit of a reprieve. POD was a mistake, but I intend to make the most of it that I can.

I still will not go POD again unless something in the status of that printing method changes or I find a dead-sure marketing scheme. A niche non-fiction book is difficult to sell under the best of circumstances. At least a mainstream publisher would (hopefully) have a plan for gettng it into the stores where it's most likely to be seen by the people most likely to buy it. This focus on availability at Amazon and B&N is a little skewed. Unless someone is looking specifically for your book, a search for, say, "The Psychology of Sock Colors" may turn up hundreds of titles, and yours may be near the end of the list. Unless it's a small niche or your book is really special in some way, no one will find it. I couldn't find my own book until I searched the actual title with my name, all in quotes. How many buyers do you think will know to do that with your book? If you're counting on hitting it big on Amazon, you're going to be disappointed. You need a platform from which to hawk your book. The end. :Shrug:

Would I go with Lulu and self-pub? No. There's not enough difference between self-pubbing and POD. Distribution and Marketing are two completely different, though interrelated, parts of the sales puzzle. You're going to do your own marketing no matter which route you choose. Acousticgroupie is right. At least with iUniverse your book can be ordered through B&N stores, but don't count on people not getting frustrated with the waiting period. Only one of my friends tried that, and it took so long for the book to arrive that she canceled the order and I sold her a book through my website. You're actually better off financially buying copies of your book and selling them directly than you are if the buyer goes through Amazon or B&N. The royalty is far lower. You can resell your book yourself at a significant discount and still make more than you will if the buyer goes through any site other than iUnverse.

Just a word to the wise. If your book is good enough to be in print, you really should think about sending out more queries and finding it a mainstream home. You put in the work. It would be a shame to see it languish, and POD or self-pubbing barely count as publishing credits.

huw
09-28-2006, 09:18 PM
I couldn't find my own book until I searched the actual title with my name, all in quotes. How many buyers do you think will know to do that with your book?

Sadly, I think the generality of your title may be hurting you in this regard. Nobody is going to search for any book by title unless they already want to buy it. What they will search for is keywords relating to the subject they're interested in, so it's wise to make sure that your title/subtitle contain the most important of those keywords.

Search for "equestrian humor" and see how trimmed down the result list can be.

army_grunt13
10-03-2006, 12:08 AM
Hello to all! This is my first time on here, so bare with me. I too am going with iUniverse for my first book, "Soldier of Rome: The Legionary." This will be the first in a five-part series covering the career of a Roman Soldier in the 1st Century A.D.

The issues I have had are a bit different than most new writers. I cannot begin to say how many agents expressed interest in my book, some even having me snail mail hardcopies of the first few chapters (do these people not have Microsoft Word??) Thing is, not one of them disliked the story, or were overly critical of my writing style. I've been told numerous times that I do not write like an amatuer. What kills me is that they all told me that the STORY was the problem, not my writing style.

Just about everyone told me that the story of a Roman Soldier's career was not marketable. Huh??? With all the "Gladiator" knock-offs out there, one would think otherwise. There's one series in particular that I see in a number of bookstores. I read a couple of the books and was mildly entertained, however I was turned off because historically it is an abomination. Not only that (ok, this is going to sound pompous, I know) but I kept thinking, "I can write a better story than this!" So I did.

In exasperation, I started looking to other alternatives. And yes, I almost fell victim to the PublishAmerica trap (ok, you can all stop laughing at me!!!). Turns out my Platoon Leader is published with iUniverse, and he highly recommended them. I bought his book, and was rather pleased with it. His sales have been ok, though his book (a fictional novel about the First Gulf War from the Israeli perspective) targets a very limited audience.

I've only just gotten my book to iUniverse, and so far so good. They've been prompt about getting in touch with me, and even before I had a rep working with me, one of their author assistants took the time to answer my questions and was prompt about returning my calls.

In the end I went with iUniverse, not because I am "unpublishable" (a term famously coined by PublishAmerica), but rather because I was unable to find an agent who thought my story was publishable. A question I have is are these agents just high, or am I the one who's clueless as to what the general public wants to read?

soloset
10-03-2006, 02:13 AM
In the end I went with iUniverse, not because I am "unpublishable" (a term famously coined by PublishAmerica), but rather because I was unable to find an agent who thought my story was publishable. A question I have is are these agents just high, or am I the one who's clueless as to what the general public wants to read?

I'd assume that they're not on the purple sparkly stuff and that the market just isn't right for your work right now in the opinions of the agents you queried. After all, a legitimate agent only gets paid if they make a sale.

My first thought in a situation like this, assuming I'd exhausted all the options I could see, would be to put the novel in a drawer and write something else, in the hopes that the market would swing around in my favor eventually.

I'm curious; does iUniverse's three year contract prevent you from seeking a commercial publisher during that time? Or can you break the contract with them if you get an offer?

ETA: Oh, and welcome! And be sure to let us know when your book is available; I'd like to check it out -- I'm not a Rome fanatic but I know several someones who are. ;)

GHF65
10-14-2006, 06:58 PM
Sadly, I think the generality of your title may be hurting you in this regard. Nobody is going to search for any book by title unless they already want to buy it. What they will search for is keywords relating to the subject they're interested in, so it's wise to make sure that your title/subtitle contain the most important of those keywords.

Search for "equestrian humor" and see how trimmed down the result list can be.

Good point! It's one I've made often with my self-pubbed friend who thnks she'll do fine since she has her own website. If no one knows her name, no one will find her site unless they're searching for exactly the type of book she's written. If the searcher knows what the book is about, narrowing the search is definitely a good route to take. Otherwise my title [It's a Horse's Life! (Advice and Observations for the Humans Who Choose to Share It)], for instance, brings forth not only every book with "horse" in either the title or the description, but also a lot of lifestyle books, advice and self-help books on virtually every subject, and a few sociology texts. I'm still partial to the "Whore Poems" result I reported on some time ago.

When people ask me, I suggest they link directly to iUniverse via my website. But they have to know me, which cuts my public down to about eight people, six of whom have already bought the book. I'm sure I'm missing a HUGE portion of the reading public simply by virtue of invisibility. When I was in high school I prayed to become invisible. Apparently that wish was granted. :ROFL:

I've just been offered a contract (finally!) by Bow Tie Press on my second volume of the same sort of book. I'll be very curious to see:

1) how they think they'll position the book in their list and their numbers on projected sales,

2) how they price the book and whether or not they will illustrate it,

3) what they will do in terms of placement in stores, and

4) how quickly I can finish a bottle of champagne without assistance.

Since the two books are as similar as peas in a pod, this will be a very good test of the difference between POD and conventional publishing. I barely broke even on the iUniverse book (though it's still in print as per my earlier post so could possibly, in an alternate iUniverse, experience a resurgence of interest). So far I'm already ahead on the Bow Tie Press book as I haven't had to send them any money. :hooray:

GHF65
10-14-2006, 07:00 PM
I'm curious; does iUniverse's three year contract prevent you from seeking a commercial publisher during that time? Or can you break the contract with them if you get an offer?


Sorry, I missed this comment and wanted to remark on it in my post above. No, iUniverse's contract not only doesn't prevent that, it encourages it. They list on their site all of the authors whose books have been picked up by traditional houses, and they are quite proud of that. You need to give 30 days' notice in writing, and you're done.

huw
10-14-2006, 11:46 PM
I've just been offered a contract (finally!) by Bow Tie Press on my second volume of the same sort of book.


Congratulations!



Since the two books are as similar as peas in a pod, this will be a very good test of the difference between POD and conventional publishing.


I hope you'll keep us posted on the result of this comparison.

GHF65
10-16-2006, 05:23 PM
Will do, of course!

Thanks for the kind words. I should also add, per the question of whether or not POD in the past hurts one's chances in the present, that I did tell BTP in my proposal that I had POD'd the first volume of the book. They didn't even comment on that, and the initial positive response I received was by email the day they received my proposal.

Granted, this is only one case, and that hardly qualifies it as a legitimate study of any kind, but it is one case. There must be others.

army_grunt13
10-31-2006, 03:36 AM
Well I got my author proofs back today. There are a couple of changes that need to be made to the cover art, though I do have to say that I am impressed with the artistic ability of iUniverse's design team. Just have to tweak a couple things and it will be good to go. . .and of course I have to proof the entire manuscript and make any last-minute changes! So far, so good. . .

GHF65
10-31-2006, 07:31 PM
Good luck! I'll be really interested in following your book's progress and hearing what you're doing in terms of marketing.

Speaking of which, I had an offer last week that created a dilemma for me. I was being interviewed (not about my book), and the other interviewee in the meeting suggested that the association doing the article should offer my book through their catalog.

Now, we're talking about a national organization with a catalog that is sent to close to a million people. My book is POD. What're the odds that iUniverse would be able to fulfill the orders should anyone actually want it? In fact, I'm not even sure iUniverse will deal with a catalog. I haven't checked. I did suggest to the interviewer that I could have the book republished (I could go self-pub or through a friend), pleading lack of illustrations (didn't want to get into the whole POD thing as the very mention drew blank stares from everyone at the table).

I'll post later about the upshot of this deal. I have no idea where it will go or where I should allow it to go. It's always something . . !

army_grunt13
10-31-2006, 09:46 PM
Good luck! I'll be really interested in following your book's progress and hearing what you're doing in terms of marketing.

Speaking of which, I had an offer last week that created a dilemma for me. I was being interviewed (not about my book), and the other interviewee in the meeting suggested that the association doing the article should offer my book through their catalog.

Now, we're talking about a national organization with a catalog that is sent to close to a million people. My book is POD. What're the odds that iUniverse would be able to fulfill the orders should anyone actually want it? In fact, I'm not even sure iUniverse will deal with a catalog. I haven't checked. I did suggest to the interviewer that I could have the book republished (I could go self-pub or through a friend), pleading lack of illustrations (didn't want to get into the whole POD thing as the very mention drew blank stares from everyone at the table).

I'll post later about the upshot of this deal. I have no idea where it will go or where I should allow it to go. It's always something . . !

Thanks Joanne, I do appreciate it! I'm no expert, but my instinct tells me that one should never pass up an opportunity to market their work, POD or not. As for iUniverse's ability to keep up, I don't know. I do know that one of their better-sellers (I can't think of her name off the top of my head) has sold over 33,000 copies of her book, though I'm not certain in what time period. I would ask your PSA and see. They're pretty straight-shooters from what I've seen and heard. Since they are in the business of making money, I would think that were there a mass order of a particular title, they would find a way to print enough copies. But again, that is just me speculating. And of course, if you do get picked up by a bigger publisher, your non-exclusive contract with iUniverse will allow you to move on to bigger and better things.

Bottom line, they are NOT PublishAmerica!

By the way, I am curious as to which catalog company this is. Are they interested in historical novels about Rome??? :D

Dave.C.Robinson
11-16-2006, 04:18 AM
I briefly worked at a Canadian Publishing Service with a name that begins with 'T.' My own works will be accepted or rejected by conventional publishers. I simply don't believe that any business model that relies on selling to writers rather than readers is a good financial choice for a writer.

army_grunt13
11-21-2006, 08:22 PM
Actually, iUniverse bills themselves as "supported self-publishing." Personally, I was quite impressed with the level of support their publishing assistance gave, and their cover art department does a pretty stellar job. I've been happy with them, because they don't pull any punches, nor do they make unrealistic promises *cough, publishamerica*. My reason for going with them, like I said in previous posts, is because I just could not get an agent who was willing to take on my works. And it was never because they didn't like the way I write, they just kept telling me that there was no market for my type of books. Heck, I even had a pretty good run going, in terms of agents who expressed initial interest. Of the roughly 100 agents that I panned, about 15 at first were interested in my story. Same end result each time, though.

In the end, I decided on iUniverse, in part because my Platoon Leader (after researching his options) published with them, and has been very happy. As for me, I have not been disappointed. I've finalized all the proofs of my book (they even re-did the cover art twice for me), and am now in the printing phase. Yes, they do move at light-speed in terms of time from submission to time in print. However, if one researches their website, they are very upfront with what they will do for you. Yes, they do use their fast timelines as a means of advertising, however is that a bad thing?

Granted, supported self-publishing is definitely not for everyone, and one has to explore all their options before deciding which way to go. iUniverse simply worked for me. Does this mean I won't still explore going with a traditional publishing house in the future? Absolutely not. One thing I like is that iUniverse's contracts are non-exclusive, and in fact they seem to take it as a mark of personal pride whenever one of their authors gets picked up by one of the big houses. . .just got an email from them, stating that my book has finished final production. Woohoo!

acousticgroupie
11-23-2006, 01:49 AM
i think it comes down to this: people can compare and contrast all they want. when it comes down to it, it's all about how the author markets him or herself. i think people here spend too much time ragging on publishers and POD itself.

for me, having the guarantee that my book would be at BN and Amazon was important. plus, my book is nonfiction so that's going to be easier to sell online, in my opinion.

my book is getting some great press, and more is coming! if you want to follow along, visit www.creativelyselfemployed.com/press.htm (http://www.creativelyselfemployed.com/press.htm).

i just got my author proofs back too. very happy! (i did my own cover!)

jamiehall
11-23-2006, 03:18 AM
Yeah, getting it "published" is the easy part. Getting it distributed and sold is the difficult one.

If you do want to go this route, like Vein sald, why not get Lulu's ISBN-plus for cheap instead of paying iU $500?

Before going this route, research, research some more and then think hard. Make sure you understand all the numbers, and the implications. POD self-publishing is a route where it is easy to make a misstep, and if you make such a misstep, and then realize that you would not have made that mistake if you had researched for another couple months, you'll really wish you had waited and done that research.
There are significant differences between the chance for success in conventional self-publishing (where you own the books the second they come off the printing press, and there are no royalty payments or rights mentioned in your agreement with the company that prints your books) and the chance for success when you pay a POD company to provide self-publishing services (and they own the books and pay you a royalty and do very limited distribution). The differences are hard to see at first, but they affect your potential outcome in a big way, and if you want to improve your chances of winning at what is a very tough game, understanding these differences will be essential.
Make sure you understand the numbers, and the stigma. Never put all your faith in one source of information. Seek out as many different sources as possible, and put more stock in those sources with proof of their claims, rather than those who rely on repeating common adages that "everyone" knows about.
Most importantly, keep track of your expectations and, if you go with iUniverse or another POD self-publishing service provider, see if your expectations are met a year from now, two years from now, and three years from now. I lot of people who go that route get their hopes crushed - and usually not just because they didn't sell many copies, but because the game was stacked against them in ways they didn't even understand until a couple of years later. In other words, even when they approached the game as a business risk, their minimum expectations were often not met - especially in the realm of distribution.
I would suggest you look over this link (http://www.sfwa.org/beware/printondemand.html) in great detail for starters. If you want to read about my own opinions and experiences (which are much better than those had by most people who use POD self-publishing services but still ended in disappointment) you can go here (http://www.jamiehall.org/self-publish.htm) and here (http://jamiehall.livejournal.com/17217.html).

Dave.C.Robinson
11-23-2006, 03:28 AM
One huge thing with POD is that it does not have the same barrier to entry that conventional publishing does. This does not invalidate the work, but usually does invalidate it as a credential. With traditional publishing the people who like your book put their money where their mouth is. They didn't do that for POD or self-published books; the author did.

It doesn't say the same thing about the work. So it doesn't carry the same value. There are books for which it's appropriate. It works very well for publishing local histories. However, it's not the same as getting a deal from a traditional publisher and shouldn't be considered the same.

jamiehall
11-23-2006, 03:53 AM
One huge thing with POD is that it does not have the same barrier to entry that conventional publishing does.

With POD self-publishing service providers, the barrier is just located in a different place - don't let yourself think that the barrier isn't there at all.

Instead of being forced to rely on agents and conventional publishers to give you a go-ahead for your book, you're being forced to rely on a different set of professionals: reviewers, distribution companies and bookstores. This second set of professionals are much harsher toward self-published books (but especially toward POD books that come from self-publishing service providers) than the first set of professionals is toward unpublished manuscripts. Furthermore, this second set of professionals have much less time to devote to you than the first set of professionals.

Can you bypass both sets of professionals and let readers alone be the judge, like things would work if this was a perfect world? You can if your book is really something unique AND you are either extremely lucky or a marketing genius, or if it is the type of book that never ordinarily sells in bookstores anyway (such as a book that only rodeo professionals would want to buy, that is only sold at rodeos). But most people who expect to take their book directly to readers are sorely disappointed by the realities that plague a book without proper distribution (online bookstores alone don't count unless you have a killer website that attracts thousands of people a month and convinces hundreds of them to buy your book).

Dave.C.Robinson
11-23-2006, 04:09 AM
With POD self-publishing service providers, the barrier is just located in a different place - don't let yourself think that the barrier isn't there at all.

Instead of being forced to rely on agents and conventional publishers to give you a go-ahead for your book, you're being forced to rely on a different set of professionals: reviewers, distribution companies and bookstores. This second set of professionals are much harsher toward self-published books (but especially toward POD books that come from self-publishing service providers) than the first set of professionals is toward unpublished manuscripts. Furthermore, this second set of professionals have much less time to devote to you than the first set of professionals.

Can you bypass both sets of professionals and let readers alone be the judge, like things would work if this was a perfect world? You can if your book is really something unique AND you are either extremely lucky or a marketing genius, or if it is the type of book that never ordinarily sells in bookstores anyway (such as a book that only rodeo professionals would want to buy, that is only sold at rodeos). But most people who expect to take their book directly to readers are sorely disappointed by the realities that plague a book without proper distribution (online bookstores alone don't count unless you have a killer website that attracts thousands of people a month and convinces hundreds of them to buy your book).

I was not saying that POD does not have any barriers, but simply that it does not have the same one that traditional publishing does. Among other things the hardest barriers to pass with POD come later in the process

huw
11-23-2006, 06:41 AM
There are significant differences between the chance for success in conventional self-publishing (where you own the books the second they come off the printing press, and there are no royalty payments or rights mentioned in your agreement with the company that prints your books) and the chance for success when you pay a POD company to provide self-publishing services (and they own the books and pay you a royalty and do very limited distribution).
I agree, it's better to control and own everything about the process, including the physical books. In the POD world, that means avoiding vanity outfits like iUniverse and Authorhouse, and instead going with a customer-facing self-service company like Lulu, or a commercial outfit like Lightning Source.

When comparing with "traditional self-publishing" (which I take to mean "not POD") just the fact that Lulu and Lightning Source will drop-ship to your customers (having printed the book as close as possible to the customer's country) is compelling to me. Lulu's print charges are a little on the high side, but there's loads of handholding and it's free up-front so hey, something has to give. For the best pricing, self-PODders can do more legwork and cut out the service-providing middleman.

army_grunt13
12-08-2006, 05:31 AM
Well I got my courtesy copies of my book. I have to say that I was not disappointed in the final product. iUniverse does do a stellar job when it comes to actually producing books. I was also surprised at how quickly it showed up on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com Granted, that has more to do with when the individual vendors update their catalogs than anything. I just got lucky. Soldier of Rome showed up on Amazon just two days after publishing, and on Barnes & Noble about a week after that.

I know many discredit Amazon.com rankings, however it was kind of cool seeing that with over 4 million books on Amazon (at least I've seen rankings as low as that), to have hit the top 50,000 today was kind of cool.

jamiehall
12-08-2006, 06:48 AM
I know many discredit Amazon.com rankings, however it was kind of cool seeing that with over 4 million books on Amazon (at least I've seen rankings as low as that), to have hit the top 50,000 today was kind of cool.

Congratulations! If you want to decipher what your rankings might mean in terms of actual sales, you might want to see this article (http://www.fonerbooks.com/surfing.htm).

LostintheOzone
08-16-2007, 10:25 PM
I encourage anyone who has already published with iUniverse or is planning to release an iU book to visit iUniverse Book Reviews (http://iuniversebookreviews.blogspot.com/), the premier website for legitimate, unbiased reviews of iUniverse books. The site has no official connection with the corporate iUniverse, but only that company's products are reviewed and discussed. Author interviews and articles informative to iU authors and their readers are also featured. iUniverse Book Reviews is a site for people who want to increase their knowledge of the POD experience. It is not for those who want to stroke their personal egos by arguing with each other over the definition of POD or who is a real author and who isn't. Thank you.

LostintheOzone
08-20-2007, 01:22 AM
You can read a review of this book review site at Dave the Novelist (http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com/2007/08/19/the-verdict-on-self-publishing-and-the-thief-maker/). Thank you.

LostintheOzone
09-08-2007, 01:19 AM
iUniverse Book Reviews (http://iuniversebookreviews.blogspot.com/) (the website) has no corporate relationship whatsoever with iUniverse (the company). The submission guidelines of the website for iUniverse book reviews will remain the same as iUniverse becomes a subsidiary of Author Solutions, Inc. Books released under the AuthorHouse imprint will not be accepted for review unless this policy is changed in the future. Thank you.

veinglory
09-08-2007, 02:24 AM
We need some more self-POD review blogs. It's starting to get lonely with just the three of us and only two with comments activated.... :(

birdman
04-12-2008, 06:35 PM
I know I am new here and am probably naive in many things in publishing, yet I would like to share my positive experience with iUniverse.

I signed up December of last year and the process has been very encouraging. My book is a niche book catering to small businesses, teaching them how to market, sell and forcast for better returns on their investments. It also breaks down the many advertising mediums and shows how one can get the best advertising for free.

The input they have given and editing suggestions have made what looked like a good book into a professional and much better book. With the addition of two more chapters and improved continuity I am very proud of the finished manuscript.

Yes, I will do the marketing, but that is what I do. The book will be pitched to Franchises nationwide and I have already lined up media appearances for next months release. "A True Survival Guide for Small Businesses" seems to be timely in the current market conditions businesses find themselves in.

Now why did I self-publish? Because I was ignorant about agents and how to solicit a traditional publisher. I do though think this will turn out better in this case because of my skill set and target market.

I will pursue traditional publishing for my next books, which are geared toward children and teaching them about nature.

The nice thing about having a good experience with iUniverse now is they have been undergoing a merger and moving their facilities, and yet all deadlines were exceeded.

I hope this helps.

Michael

hastingspress
04-19-2008, 08:09 PM
Thanks for posting. It's always good to get feedback on these companies!

birdman
06-11-2008, 06:14 PM
An update on this thread: I have recieved my books and they are incredible, very good quality and can not tell them apart from traditional publishers.

Through my own efforts, sales have started and even recieved an edorsement from one franchise. Self publishing if marketed by yourself is so far a great way to go.

I understand about other comments, but for this genre and for me so far so good.

Take care!

soma
06-12-2008, 02:50 AM
Out of curiosity, what made you decide to go with iUniverse as opposed to, say, Booksurge, Lulu, or LightningSource?

birdman
06-13-2008, 10:12 PM
iUnverse has a close connection to Barnes and Noble, I get 25% royalty through sales on their website, they also will stock my book locally after 500 sales. Barnes and Noble are the largest and most known brick and morter book store, so I thought it would help.

The others you mentioned did not impress me except perhaps Booksurge and their ties to Amazon. The reviews and editing quality I heard about iUniverse proved to be true and I could not be happier with their input and insight to a better book. Their distribution to online retailers has been impressive to say the least, worldwide.

I would recommend iUnivers if you choose to self publish, although as discussed on many threads it may not be the best choice for every book or every author.

Thanks and I am already getting personal responses to my upcoming book signing. :)

ResearchGuy
06-13-2008, 11:38 PM
I know I am new here and am probably naive in many things in publishing, yet I would like to share my positive experience with iUniverse. . . .
Congratulations, and more power to you.

FWIW, I know a writer in this area whose iUniverse book was well done and seems to be succeeding.

Nice to hear your first-hand observations.

--Ken

soma
06-14-2008, 02:10 AM
iUnverse has a close connection to Barnes and Noble, I get 25% royalty through sales on their website, they also will stock my book locally after 500 sales. Barnes and Noble are the largest and most known brick and morter book store, so I thought it would help.

The others you mentioned did not impress me except perhaps Booksurge and their ties to Amazon. The reviews and editing quality I heard about iUniverse proved to be true and I could not be happier with their input and insight to a better book. Their distribution to online retailers has been impressive to say the least, worldwide.

I would recommend iUnivers if you choose to self publish, although as discussed on many threads it may not be the best choice for every book or every author.

Thanks and I am already getting personal responses to my upcoming book signing. :)

Glad to hear it. I occasionally refer clients to iUniverse so it always helps to get an update on their strong points.

III
06-14-2008, 02:18 AM
An update on this thread: I have recieved my books and they are incredible, very good quality and can not tell them apart from traditional publishers.

Through my own efforts, sales have started and even recieved an edorsement from one franchise. Self publishing if marketed by yourself is so far a great way to go.

I understand about other comments, but for this genre and for me so far so good.

Take care!

Thanks for sharing your experience. I've been very happy with iUniverse as well and it's so gratifying to finally get that first printed book in your hands. Best of luck to ya.