iUniverse

Posts about my experience with the self-publishing powerhouse iUniverse.

It’s official! I’ve cancelled my iUniverse contract!

Ladies and gentlemen, the day I’ve been babbling on and on about for the past year has finally arrived. That’s right — not four hours ago, I officially sent in my cancellation form to iUniverse. Once they process it, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It will officially be a free agent!

Woooooooooooo!

Okay, I might be a bit excited. And terrified. But mostly excited.

So, what’s next? Well, it will take iUniverse a few days to take the book down off their website. Then they have to send out the message to Amazon, B&N, Chapters, etc. It will take them 30-45 business days to take down the book. And once the book is officially down from all those sites, I can put the new version up on Amazon/KDP!

In the meantime, I get to play around with something that I think’s going to be a lot of fun for everyone involved — my IndieGoGo campaign. I’ve mostly got it set up — basically, I’m trying to raise a few hundred dollars to repay the costs of the new cover design. And then the prizes range from eBook copies of Imminent Danger to cover art cards to bookmarks to print copies with the new cover (my personal favorite), and then lots more fun stuff.

I’m hoping to start up the campaign in the next week or so (gasp!), so keep an eye out for that. And until then, live long, prosper, celebrate my emancipation from iUniverse, and enjoy the unrelated media!

 

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: iUniverse, My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

iUniverse Royalty Report (Jan-Mar 2013)

Ladies and gentleman, I’m pleased to announce that I have officially received my royalty report from iUniverse for the months of January-March. The report came in on June 7th … a full week after it was supposed to … but still, it’s here! Huzzah!

After cross-checking my meticulous book sales records (a Word doc bullet list), I have determined that the royalties they’ve reported are correct. So props to iUniverse for their accurate accounting department!

I shall now divulge the sales stats for my first three months of sales under iUniverse:

  • Softcovers sold = 68
  • Hardcovers sold = 56
  • Ebooks:
    • Amazon = 33
    • B&N = 3
    • Kobo = 6

Tada! My sub-par yet inspiring stats for January-March. I’m pretty sure I have you guys to thank for those ebook sales, so thank you!!!

As for the softcovers/hardcovers, I know what you’re thinking — Gosh, Michelle, over 100 sold! That’s pretty darn good! Maybe print books aren’t dead after all! Now, that would be true, except that 100 of those were bought by me, for the purposes of re-sale/giving away. On the plus side, that leaves 24 print books unaccounted for — which I think is pretty darn cool!

Are these sales amazing? Goodness, no. Compared to some of my fellow bloggers, who complain when their sales drop under 50 a day, these stats are just pathetic. But hey, that’s cool! First book, crazy fluctuating ebook prices, wrong genre classification, questionably genre-appropriate cover, overpriced print copies, no up-to-date sales records for marketing analysis … I’m quite satisfied with the results thus far. Huzzah!

It does make me wonder how my sales would be if I’d not gone with iUniverse, and instead done something like KDP through Amazon. I suppose I’ll find out soon enough, though — now that Chasing Nonconformity, the sequel to Imminent Danger, is well into the editing stages, I’m starting to make plans to self-publish the sequel, as well as re-release Imminent Danger through KDP. This will likely necessitate splitting from iUniverse, something which I’m trying to feel sad about, but … somehow the emotion just isn’t there. Hehehe …

Anyway, for anyone wondering how I was doing, sales-wise, above is all the information I have. This info can also serve as a benchmark to my fellow self-published writers — if you’re selling better than me, clearly you’re doing something right! And if you feel like letting me in on what that something is, please, by all means, feel free. Live long and prosper, blogosphere!

Semi-related image of the day:

Semi-related video of the day:

I present to you now, “Dirty Cash” by BigBang, who are arguably the most popular boy band in South Korea. (To KPOP fans — I said arguably! Put away your weapons!) As you will gather when they sing the chorus, they don’t want your dirty cash. They’re quite firm on this point.

Categories: iUniverse, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Chapters Book Signing Tomorrow!

With our three-week guest post experiment now over (I think it went pretty well, don’t you?), it’s time to get back on topic — namely, ME!

Ha! Kidding. Except not actually. I think I vaguely mentioned this a month or so ago, but I have in fact scored a book signing at my local Chapters (big Canadian bookstore). In case you’re wondering how such a thing is possible, I shall give you a brief history of how it happened:

A brief history of how it happened …

So the iUniverse package I bought puts 8 copies of my book in a local Chapters store for 8 weeks (I think the 8 weeks will be ending at the start of June). I went into the store on April 1st (first day the books were supposed to be on the shelves), only to discover they weren’t on the shelves. After a half-hour-long search involving several wonderful Chapters employees, we located my book on the shelving manager’s desk — apparently she didn’t know what genre to file the book under, as the back of the book says Young Adult (as it’s supposed to), but it’s listed in their system as Children’s Lit (thank you, iUniverse!). Anyway, it all got figured out, and the book was placed in the teen section. But during this search, I came into contact with one of the floor managers, who was just amazing — when he found out I’d written the book, he asked, without even being prompted, “Well, have you set up a book signing here yet?” And of course I was like, “… um, no. Is that even possible?” And he was all, “Sure! Let me give you the store manager’s email!”

And the rest is history.

So the moral of the story, I guess is either:

  • Ask and you shall receive, or
  • My local Chapters is unbelievably awesome

Anyway …

So the book signing is happening tomorrow, from 12-4 in the afternoon. My best friend and accomplished photographer Rhiannon Barlow will be on-site to manhandle people over to my table, and also to take pictures and video record the event so that all you lovely people can experience the (hopefully) joys of my book signing. Here’s a picture of the aforementioned BFF/photographer:

rhia_2So sassy! That’s my new favourite word. I apply it to many things — awesome people, tangy foods, snazzy convertibles, etc. Anyway, she’ll be prepping all sorts of excellent media for me to conglomerate together and share with you next week. Woo!

Back to the signing …

Chapters ordered in an extra 30 copies for the signing, so fingers crossed I manage to convince people to buy at least half of those. One of the big problems is that iUniverse fails at pricing books cheaply, so the book retails in Chapters at $24. For a softcover. Stupid, right? I asked them to lower their prices to a level that actual humans might pay, but no dice. I’m hoping people will be able to overlook that price in favour of supporting a local author, but … only time will tell, I guess.

I expected to be really nervous about the signing, but for some reason I’m cool as a cucumber. Could be because it hasn’t sunk in yet. Perhaps tomorrow morning I will have a mental breakdown. I should schedule that in, just in case. Does 10:13 AM work for everyone?

Anyway, you’ll be hearing all about how the signing went next week, so there’s no point in me blathering on about it now.  Have a fantabulous weekend, stay cool, and wish me luck!

*********************

Unrelated media of the day:

Today’s unrelated media features a blast from the past.

Categories: iUniverse, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

Camp NaNo + assorted updates

In a somewhat suspicious turn of events, my Camp NaNoWriMo attempts are going extremely well this year. As of thirty seconds ago, I am officially at 8,666 words — 43% of my goal for the month. And it’s only the 6th! Huzzah! I suppose it helps that I actually have a plan for what I’m writing — not an outline, of course, but more of a general “This happens, then this, then this.” I’m really excited, guys. Chasing Nonconformity is going to be epic. Well, as soon as I finish writing the darn thing, that is.

And I have new pictures for you! But first, let’s do a brief iUniverse update …

 

iUniverse update

Remember the pricing issue I was talking about? According to iUniverse, it is impossible to solve it. iUniverse sent out their recommended sales price, and now apparently the online retailers (Amazon, Kobo, etc.) have complete freedom over how much they want to sell the books for. Grrrr. So I said, “Dear iUniverse, if you can’t control the eBook price, can you at least make the physical books less expensive?” To which iUniverse responded that they used a base print-on-demand algorithm to determine the price, blah blah blah, and that the softcover price is fixed at $21.95, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Like heck they can’t.

 

Chapters update

On the other hand, my book is now in Chapters! Check it out:

2013-04-05 19.03.02

HOW COOL IS THAT???

The Chapters people have been absolutely awesome, as you can see from the above image! The only thing they were obligated to do as part of my publishing package was put the book on the shelf, so the fact that they stuck it at the front of the store, on the top shelf, is beyond fantastic. Huge shout-out to the staff up at Chapters North, London!

I’ve also contacted their general manager about doing a book signing — no word back yet, but I have high hopes!

 

Other update

The lovely and talented Ms. Tania L Ramos is currently rocking Las Vegas on a writer’s getaway. She brought along Imminent Danger, and took this adorable, alien-themed photo:

WP_000643

 

Okay, enough bragging for one day. Off to work! But before I go, I shall leave you with your favourite part of my posts, the …

 

Unrelated media of the day

Categories: iUniverse, Random, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Writing Apocalypse Book of the Month!!! + Minor iUniverse Silliness

We’ll start with the exciting bit first. The lovely Ms. Tania L Ramos and the folks at Blackbird LSD run a website, which celebrates well-written books and the people who write them. Naturally, my book is nowhere to be found. Ha! Kidding, kidding. They were kind enough to slap Imminent Danger up on their site a few weeks ago, and to my delight, they’ve actually named it the Book of the Month for March 2013! Wooooo!

Another item of note, for anyone who lives in the vicinity of California: Blackbird LSD will be representing my book at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I will not be there in person, due to my living in the frozen wasteland that is southern Ontario, but they’ll have lots of Imminent Danger swag (bookmarks, stickers, books, etc.).

So if you’re in the LA area April 20-21, stop by booth 214 and claim your swag! Or, if you have a moral objection to the term ‘swag’, you can claim whatever you want — booty, plunder, spoils, etc. *insert pirate joke here*

In other news … some minor iUniverse silliness

I say “minor” because it isn’t a huge deal — more of a “Really, guys? Really?” 

You all know about my struggles to get my book listed under the correct genre, right? I would have thought that, at some point, a proactive iUniverse employee might have put a note on my file mentioning that the book is actually “Young Adult”, and not “Children’s Lit”, despite what the unfortunate book category might say otherwise.

This is apparently not the case. I’ve recently been corresponding with the iUniverse Publishing Programs Department, who are going to get my book into Chapters for 8 weeks as per the publishing package I purchased. So the lady I was talking to whipped up a “sell sheet”, which basically has all the relevant information about Imminent Danger that she’ll send out to the local Chapters store in my area. Here’s a screencap of the top of the sheet she sent me for approval:

sellsheetTime to play Spot the errors!

1. “Children’s” should be Young Adult or Teen.

2. “Juvenile” should be Young Adult or Teen.

3. Romance is fine, but Sci-Fi should really be first. Also, who ever heard of a romance book for children? Is that a thing?

4. Fantasy is just wrong — maybe stick Romance here instead?

On the plus side, they definitely got “Fiction” right. Three cheers for iUniverse! I shall inform them today of their amusingly incorrect first attempt, and advise them on how to actually make it accurate on their second go.

Update: The iUniverse lady was very prompt and professional, and said there was no problem changing the genre to Fiction / Teen / Sci-fi / Romance. So points to iUniverse for fixing this problem ASAP!

 

Unrelated media of the day:

I want to live here …

Categories: iUniverse, My Works | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

My latest attempt to get iUniverse to file my book under the correct genre

You guys are in for a treat, because I have an extra special iUniverse story to share with you today.

As you may already know, my book, Imminent Danger, is having some issues with being filed under the correct genre. If you pop over to Amazon.com and look up my book, you’ll find that the Kindle version is listed under the following categories:

Books > Children’s Books

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Children’s Fiction

This is, obviously, incorrect. Imminent Danger is Young Adult, or Teen. It is not a children’s book. Take one look at the cover and that becomes glaringly obvious. So … what to do?

Back in January, I contacted iUniverse and asked them to fix this problem. They said they would request that Amazon change the genre listing. Fair enough. But over the last few weeks I’ve noticed that other sites also filed the book incorrectly. So I called iUniverse yesterday about the issue, and today they sent me their complete list of book categories and told me to pick the categories I wanted my book listed under. One problem: these are the same categories they sent me back in November, when my iUniverse rep told me that I had to list the book as Juvenile Fiction because a Teen category didn’t exist. According to my rep, online retailers like Amazon would then list the book as Teen. Clearly, they didn’t. So when I got this email today which basically wanted me to repeat the exact same process I went through in November, I got a little irked.

So I called them. After chatting with a customer service lady for about 45 minutes and not getting anywhere, I asked to be transferred to her supervisor. He was a bit more helpful, and after another half hour or so, he promised he would send a request to Amazon and Barnes & Noble that they change my genre to YA / Sci-fi / Romance. Apparently he can’t contact other online retailers (like Chapters.Indigo.ca) directly, and I didn’t understand his reasoning on that at all, but he did say that once the genre listing changes on Amazon and B&N, other online retailers should follow suit. I don’t believe that for one second, but I figure I should pick my battles.

Anyway. During this phone call, I also suggested to him (supervisor guy) that iUniverse add some sort of Teen book category to their book category list. He said it was a great idea, and that I should send an email with my suggestion. I had to ask him about four times who I should send the email to, which was an interesting exercise in patience and repetition, and he finally divulged that I should just send it to Customer Support, addressed to “iUniverse Management”. Vague, but okay. I’ll bite. Let’s see where this goes.

Here’s a copy of the letter I sent them. I think I hit the various points quite nicely, although I worry that I came off a bit patronizing, as I repeated my point many, many, many times. You can be the judge:

Dear iUniverse Management,

As per the suggestion of the iUniverse customer support supervisor I spoke with this morning on the phone, I would like to suggest that you add a new book category to your book category list. This book category would be called “Teen” — as in, similar to Juvenile Fiction, except intended specifically for a teenage audience. If you go on Amazon.com or similar websites, you will find that they have tens of thousands of Teen books, listed under a Teen category. In fact, one of the current best-selling series — Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer — is a Teen book. At the moment, iUniverse does not have a Teen category, which I believe is an oversight that should be corrected immediately.

I would like to share my personal struggle with this issue with you, so that you can understand why it’s necessary to create a Teen category. My novel, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It, which I have recently published through iUniverse, is a Teen novel. It is about high school aged characters doing high school age-appropriate things — which includes consuming alcohol, using minor curse words, and having complicated romantic entanglements. These are elements which do not belong in a children’s story.  But because you do not have a Teen book category, I had to list it as Juvenile Fiction. My iUniverse rep assured me that when the book went up on sites like Amazon or Barnes & Noble, these third party sites would list it as Teen. They did not — and why would they? They listed it as Children’s Literature because the only information they received from iUniverse was that the book category was Juvenile Fiction — i.e., Children’s Literature. Amazon doesn’t have time to read through every book that is submitted to them to see if a Juvenile book should actually be Teen — the only thing they have to go on is what iUniverse tells them. And in this case, iUniverse told them it was a children’s book, which it is not.

Therefore, I propose that you add a Teen book category to your list of book categories. You will probably also want to add sub-genres to that, like Teen / Science Fiction, Teen / Supernatural, Teen / Romance, Teen / Fantasy, etc.

“Teen” is not a passing fad — this is a legitimate genre, as you will see if you go to virtually any online retailer. iUniverse is misrepresenting their authors by forcing them to submit books under the Juvenile Fiction category rather than a Teen category. We Teen authors are missing out on potential sales, because our target audience is people who read Teen books, and they won’t be able to easily find our books if they are listed in the Children’s Literature section. And I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of this, but missed sales for iUniverse authors means missed sales for iUniverse.

I hope you will consider my proposal. As the situation stands right now, I have very little motivation to self-publish another book through iUniverse, because I write Teen fiction, and the hassle of getting another of my books listed under its correct genre is not something I want to go through again.

Thank you for your time,

Michelle Proulx

Will my message ever get to elusive “Management”, whoever that is? It’s hard to say. I hope so. It’s beyond ridiculous that they don’t have a Teen book category, and it’s also beyond ridiculous that they apparently won’t even consider adding one unless they get the suggestion in an email from one of their authors.

Phew. It feels great to get all this off my chest. I can only handle so much silliness in one day.

Unrelated media of the day:

Unrelated video of the day:

Categories: iUniverse, My Works | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Vlog #8 — In which 100 copies of my book arrive!

Remember how I was very amused a few days ago by the fact that it cost less money to buy my own book from a third party source, rather than direct from the publisher (iUniverse)? Well, the 100 copies I ordered through Chapters.Indigo.ca arrived yesterday, and they’re glorious. Share in my joy with me via my latest vlogging attempt:

So they’re all here, they’re awesome, and now I have to figure out what to do with them all. Definitely giveaways of some sort … I’ll have to look into a book signing … a couple copies donated to the library … and then whatever else I can come up with.

As for the randomly faded dropcaps in the softcover version, I’ve contacted iUniverse about it, and they’re looking into a solution. Mother is righteously outraged on my behalf (“Your book consultant assured you that the printer copy was just a fluke, and now you’ve got 50 copies with that same fluke! You should be furious with them for lying to you! They need to fix this immediately and apologize!”), whereas I am taking a more zen approach. Expect the worst, and nothing can disappoint you. It’s working out well so far. I’m not going to let up until iUniverse figures out why this is happening and fixes it, obviously, and I’ll explain that I’m displeased, but I don’t think anger is the way to go.

Other than that … life is good. Got ma books, got ma magnets, got ma … slippers? There’s no stopping me now!!!

Unrelated media of the day:

Truth.

Categories: iUniverse, My Works, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Purchasing My Own Book — The Smart Way, and the iUniverse Way

As I promised yesterday, today I bring you the latest silliness from iUniverse. You’re actually very lucky, because I have not one, but two bits of silliness to share with you today. Ready?

Silliness #1: Incorrect Genre Classification

This one is probably a clerical error, but it’s a very silly, uniquely iUniverse error. Imminent Danger is a YA sci-fi book. That’s not a particularly difficult genre to remember, right? And yet, the vast majority of online retailers do not have it listed as YA sci-fi. It’s either children’s lit, or fantasy, or … God, I don’t even know.

This is a direct result of iUniverse mis-reporting the genre when they initially sent out my book back in January. As I find these incorrect genres, I send iUniverse a note asking them to fix it. And they’re happy to do it … with a 6-8 week processing time for the changes to take effect. Really? 6-8 weeks? I’m fairly confident that if I had direct control over my book, I could just pop onto the Amazon site, change the genre setting, and have it resolved within ten minutes.

So silliness #1 is iUniverse failing to submit my book under the correct genre, and then taking forever and a day to fix it. Sigh.

Update March 4, 2013: I just got a call from iUniverse, asking if my genre classification issue had been resolved. I explained the situation, and the lady was very helpful. She said that she would look into the problem and make sure that all the retailers have the correct genre information. So yay to iUniverse for following through!

Silliness #2: Overpriced Author-Discounted Books

When you publish a book, you want physical copies in hand to be able to hawk to passersby. iUniverse offers authors special discounts on buying books, which is basically the list price minus your author royalties, with a higher percentage off the list price based on how many copies you buy at a time. That last sentence probably made no sense. Here’s the table I whipped up to figure out how much my hardcover books will cost, per unit, purchased from iUniverse:

hardcover pricingI wanted about 50 hardcover to start off with. 50 hardcover, as you can see, works out to $20.77 per unit. Bear with me.

Chapters.Indigo.ca recently put out a 10% discount coupon for their site. The hardcover of Imminent Danger is listed at $23.72 — $22.53 with my member discount card. ((Note that the book cover is still not shown on this site — this will also take 6-8 weeks for iUniverse to “fix”)).

Now, I get approximately $3 per hardcover sold in royalties. So. 50 books from iUniverse at $20.77 + shipping = $1181.19. 50 books from Chapters.Indigo.ca at $22.53 (plus 10% discount), minus ~150 for royalties I’ll get back, plus free shipping, plus tax = ~$995 (give or take).

That’s about $200 in savings by ordering books from Chapters.Indigo.ca instead of the company that’s producing the darn things. 

Plus there’s the weird side effect that those sales will actually count towards Imminent Danger’s sales ranking on Chapters.Indigo.ca. Not what I intended, but … I guess a higher ranking isn’t something to complain about, right?

Now, to be fair, I did contact iUniverse to see if my calculations were correct, because I couldn’t believe that such a thing would be possible. The very nice gentleman I spoke with ran through the calculations with me, and concluded that, yes, it would be cheaper to buy them from a third-party source. He offered to give me a slightly higher discount, but with the cost of shipping, Chapters.Indigo.ca still worked out as being cheaper.

Silly, iUniverse. Very silly.

The only reason I can think they wouldn’t bend over backward to convince authors to buy directly from them is if they make the same amount of money off each book regardless of where the book is bought from. That seems like a strange business plan to me — buying direct from the source should always be cheaper, shouldn’t it? And it is cheaper if, as you’ll see in the above chart, you buy 250+ books. But who has that kind of money? I certainly don’t.

In conclusion …

iUniverse continues to be delightfully silly. I’m not too miffed with them, because I don’t think the incorrectly filed genre is going to hurt me too much over the next few weeks (hopefully), and I did find a way around their bizarre pricing scheme. I’ve actually started to really enjoy seeing what silliness they come up with next.

The next step in fulfilling my contract is getting my book into a local Chapters store for 8 weeks. I’m sure there’ll be lots of silliness involved with that. Stay tuned!

Unrelated video of the day:

Get ready for the crazy.

In Japan, there is a pop star named Hatsune Miku who is entirely computer generated — voice, appearance, everything. And she’s insanely popular. Here’s the wikipedia page on her. Here’s a video of her live, in concert … despite her not actually being alive. I believe holograms are involved.

Categories: iUniverse, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Magnet Giveaway Results + FANART!!! + Vlog #6!

Today was possibly the most awesome day ever. I will explain why in a convenient-to-follow numbered list.

  1. First, several friends and I went to a local micro-brewery, took a tour complete with samples, and then went for sushi.
  2. Then I got home and discovered that fellow WordPress blogger Misha Burnett had mentioned my book in his latest blog post in a very flattering manner.
  3. Then I discovered that fellow WordPress blogger J.R. Wolfe had finished reading my book and posted a glowing review on Amazon.com.
  4. And to top it all off, Celeste DeWolfe sent me my first ever piece of fan art. And it’s gorgeous!!!
Artist: Celeste DeWolfe

Artist: Celeste DeWolfe

When I first started writing, I always thought the coolest part about being an author must be getting fan art — seeing how other people envision your characters, and watching them brought to life. And now Celeste has fulfilled that lifelong dream of mine, and I’m beyond ecstatic. Woooo!!!

I’m getting too excited. Let’s all take a deep, calming breath and move on to …

The Magnet Giveaway!!!

I decided to record the name-drawing event for posterity because, heck, why not, so here is Vlog #6 — Magnet Giveaway + The Book is Here! ((to just see who the winners are, skip down to below the video))

 

As you discovered in that super exciting video, the winners of the magnet giveaway are:

  1. Jo of all trades
  2. Lizbethwrightbooks
  3. Misha Burnett
  4. Paula Acton
  5. Mari Wells
  6. Celeste DeWolfe

Congratulations, my magnetic friends! (Get it? Magnetic? Hehehe …) I will attempt to contact you tomorrow to acquire your postal addresses for mailing purposes, but if you feel like dropping me a line at michellishelli@gmail.com and letting me know your addresses, that saves me a step!

So, most awesome day ever? Possibly. It’s definitely in the running. Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway, and thanks especially to the personages mentioned above for supporting/enjoying Imminent Danger!!!

Unrelated image of the day:

Categories: Book Reviews, iUniverse, My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

My books are here!!! There are problems, but that’s okay!!!

Good news first — MY BOOKS HAVE ARRIVED!!!

2013-01-24 18.05.56

There they are!!! Right in front of the gorgeous rose bouquet my best friend Rhiannon bought me to celebrate my published-author-dom.

It felt indescribably good to hold my own book in my own hands, although the joy of the moment was somewhat dampened by my nagging uncertainty that there would be something wrong with them.

When working with iUniverse, this seems to be an ongoing theme.

Mother was happy to oblige my concerns. She quickly noted that the titles on the spine and back cover — which looked perfectly readable when we printed off a copy of the covers ourselves — are virtually unreadable on the actual books. The spine/back cover titles are basically cut out of the front cover image (so they’re starry red and black), except the right edge fades to black so much that when you try to read the title, it appears to read “Immin Dang”.

Immin Dang. Not the most attractive title I’ve ever encountered. No one will pick up a book called Immin Dang. Although oddly, the more I write it, the more I kind of want to read it …

Now, the iUniverse graphic designers obviously should have realized this would happen when they designed the cover. They’re cover designers, after all — this is sort of what they do. They know that the cover will appear darker when it’s printed out, and they should have compensated accordingly. Mother and I already have a phone call planned for tomorrow to see about fixing this little (major) issue. I suspect iUniverse will attempt to charge me for making these changes, although you can be assured I will fight that with all my might.

More news as it happens.

Other issues included the softcover pages being white instead of cream. Now, I chose the page colouring a long time ago, so I’m only 98% certain I asked for cream. We’ll have to see what the records indicate.

UPDATE: I asked for white. Dang. Well, we’ll just have to see how much the change will cost me.

Oh, and in an odd publishing strategy, iUniverse elected to have the paperback/hardback title for sale before I had actually approved the printer review copy. So that means there are a handful of people out there who own the incorrectly-coloured-page, Immin Dang version of the book. Original, flawed print run, baby!

BUT OTHER THAN THAT, the books look amazing! Fantastic! Indescribably awesome! WOOOOOO!

Can you tell I’m trying to cover up my irritation by overcompensating in my joy? I really am excited, but it’s hard to keep the momentum going when tiny little things keep going wrong. I will not rest until this book has reached an acceptable quality level to be purchased by the general public, dammit!

On a slightly different note, I decided to give the first hardcover to my mother. Considering how many hundreds of hours she’s put into it, I figured she deserved some sort of reward for her efforts. Here’s the dedication:

2013-01-24 18.05.34She was a fan of the dedication. Tears may have been involved.

Well, that wraps up the exciting news for today. Oh no, wait!

The FREE MAGNET GIVEAWAY!!!

Hop over to this post before Saturday morning and get the chance to win an Imminent Danger magnet. Wow! Talk about a bank-breaking prize! You know you want one! Do it!

Unrelated image of the day:

I’m feeling patriotic. Here’s my country in an amusing and scarily accurate infographic:

Categories: iUniverse, My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 82 Comments

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