Publishing with iUniverse — Yea or Nay?

Almost forgot! I recently decided to get my act together and write up a brief review of iUniverse. Read on!

Before we get into the nitty gritty details of this topic, let’s begin with establishing what exactly iUniverse is, and what makes it different from traditional publishing and self-publishing. In a nutshell, there are three types of publishing:

publishing chartSo there’s the breakdown. iUniverse is an assisted/vanity publisher, meaning you pay them money and they publish your book for you. Assisted/vanity publishers have a God-awful reputation amongst self-published authors, due to their tendency to squeeze authors for every penny they have. There have also been all sorts of lawsuits filed over missed/inaccurate royalty payments, publishing books without the author’s permission, etc. On the other hand, many authors have gone with assisted/vanity publishers and been perfectly satisfied.

So … iUniverse — Yea or Nay?

The Good

  • The friendliness. Every employee I have ever spoken to at iUniverse has been incredibly polite, friendly, and eager to assist me in any way they can…

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Categories: Random | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Publishing with iUniverse — Yea or Nay?

  1. Ugh. NEVER publish with a vanity publisher. There is no reason to, and I’ve only heard awful stories about them. With a little time and elbow grease you can get everything they’ll offer for cheaper by self-publishing.

    • I think part of the problem with vanity publishing is that it’s hard to get a read on them. When I looked up iUniverse, the reviews were either glowing or scathing. And it’s hard to figure out which side is correct when there are no middle-ground opinions. That’s why I’m hoping my review here will get some internet traction. It’s like with book reviews — when the book has only 1 and 5 star reviews, with nothing in the middle, you’re left torn over which to believe. The 3 star reviews are the ones you can really trust 🙂

      And yes, your thoughts on vanity publishing are pretty much the conclusion I’ve reached, lol. Too bad I had to go through the whole vanity publishing process before I figured that out!

  2. I self-published my first book through CreateSpace, and published the eBook through SmashWords and Kindle Direct. Your experiences with iUniverse and the experiences of others I know who used other companies convinced me I did the right thing.

    While I had a few hiccups (you can see my blog for details), it was relatively painless and cheap. I think my final cost was less than $70 ($35 to register copyright, $25 for expanded distribution network, less than $10 for proof.) I priced my book at $9.99 since it was less than 100 pages. My author’s copies are only about $2.15 each.

    Drawback: No hardcovers.

    Still, I’m getting ready to publish my second book next month, and I will mostly follow the same route I did the first time.

    The one thing I wish I had was your talent for promoting your book. I’m just not as outgoing as you are, I guess. 🙂

    • When I saw how cheap it was to publish books through Createspace, I actually couldn’t believe it at first. Less than $6 for a book? What madness is this??? 😀 Note on hardcovers — apparently you can actually get a hardcover format from Createspace — you just have to order the copies directly for yourself, you can’t get the hardcover listed on Amazon or anything.

      My talent for promoting books? Why, thank you 🙂 I’m not sure how talented I’d call myself, lol. I’m completely incapable of promoting myself face-to-face — people will ask me what I’ve been up to, and I’ll go, “not much”, until my friend gets frustrated and exclaims “Don’t listen to her — she wrote a book!” And then I’ll stand there looking really flustered while she explains how great it is, and mumbling answer any questions directed at me.

  3. I published my first two with iUniverse and had the same thoughts as what was mentioned here.

    • I get the feeling a lot of authors end up feeling like this. Question for you — after you published your first with iUniverse, what made you decide to publish your second with them? Did they offer you a great deal? Or were you just satisfied with their service and decided to go with them again?

      • Honestly, I wanted to give them a second chance to redeem themselves, I guess you could say…but I am looking for other options for future books. The charges for things and then the royalty issues…yeah, I am looking into other self-publishing options. If I’m going to do all the marketing, which is fine, then I should get all of the profits

  4. Gwen

    This is very educational — I’m learning so much about publishing here in the blogging world. I know your sequel is due to be released in early 2014. Which publisher will you use?

    • I will definitely be self-publishing. So, I suppose the publisher would be myself? My current plan is to publish the ebook through Kindle Direct Publishing, and then the paperback through Createspace … but I’m not 100% certain yet, as I’ve only done preliminary research at this point. 🙂

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