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Self-publishing with iUniverse
iUniverse is a Winner
Are you considering self-publishing? This growing trend is highly attractive to authors for a number of reasons. Maybe you have tried and tried to get a traditional publisher to pick up your book only to receive a stack of rejections. Maybe you have a smaller scope of intentions than trying to make the NY Times Bestseller list. Or maybe you (like me) haven't even applied to the big boys of traditional publishing because you like the idea of retaining the rights to your own work, and keeping a lot more of the money. If you are shopping for someone to assist with your publishing project, please read on. This is about my experience self-publishing with iUniverse.
My experience with iUniverse
With the current trend for book authors to self-publish, there are plenty of companies coming out of the woodwork to provide myriad publishing services. Whether an author chooses to simply have someone print their book or to have the full buffet of services from start to finish, plenty of publishers are lined up and ready to help.
My first self-published book (A Quiet Cup of Tea) was the former experience, not the latter. Having obtained an ISBN, I got Total Printing Systems to print my book and ship it to me. They did a great job, and everyone at TPS was helpful and friendly. But the arduous parts of the process included layout and selling. While I still have to sell my own books no matter how I go about it, keeping boxes of books in the back of my car and in my guest room has not been ideal. When a store has agreed to carry my book, I have been saddled with driving the books there or shipping them myself. There is an easier (even if more expensive) way to do it.
For my second book, The Ballad of the Shirley T and Other Stories, I endeavored to adopt a process that was simpler for me. That meant accepting more help from professionals. I wanted typesetting/formatting. I wanted my book in electronic form. I wanted someone else to be responsible for stocking my books. There are pros and cons to Print-on-Demand, but I thought it would be a much preferable system to the old store-boxes-of-books-in-the-guest-room method. Frankly, I don’t have room for any more boxes.
I went shopping. I requested quotes from Bookmasters, Xlibris, iUniverse, CreateSpace, and several others. I had never heard of iUniverse, but quickly discovered that famous author Laurie Notaro published her first book with them, and then had an agent notice her and pick her up. That’s a familiar story for several folks who started out with iUniverse, apparently. But back to my quotes . . . iUniverse and Bookmasters were lightning fast in getting back to me. I know Bookmasters has been around for a while and is extremely well-respected, but they were pricey. They were very pricey, compared to iUniverse. I ruled them out almost immediately, despite their expertise and stellar reputation. I was on a budget. Some companies gave quotes that were reasonable, but those companies did not give the same uber-professional first impression that iUniverse did. Several of the companies took way too long to call me and ask if I were “still interested” in publishing my book. I was already well into the process with iUniverse by the time some of them called.
But price and lightning speed in contacting me were not the only reasons I chose iUniverse (nor was the fact that they helped a few big names get noticed). This company, as a whole, exhibits the utmost professionalism. Every person at iUniverse with whom I have had contact has impressive experience in their field. The first person with whom I spoke was basically a salesperson, advising me on which package to purchase for my book. He acted more as a counselor, however, and spent plenty of time with me discussing my book and my needs. He had a background working with traditional publishers and was very knowledgeable. It’s safe to say I was impressed with the company based on my impression of him.
I bought the Premier package during a promotion, and only paid about $1100 for it. It was well worth it. (To see iUniverse’s packages and prices, visit www.iuniverse.com) Part of what I purchased was an editorial review. Someone who currently works in traditional publishing read my book and made suggestions and assessments. One of iUniverse’s editorial consultants (again, someone with a background in traditional publishing) conferred with me on the editorial review. I was reminded of everything I learned in my college Creative Writing classes but had forgotten. This man had every bit the command of literary critique that an English professor would have. At the risk of using this word too much: I was extremely impressed.
The others with whom I have spoken, including my marketing consultant, have been so nice that I feel like travelling to the iUniverse headquarters and going around to shake all their hands. Or even hug them. They have been cheerleaders, pumping helium into my own excitement about my book. They also seem to really care about my identity as an author. They want me to succeed. And they act like they enjoy what they do. To view the marketing services offered by iUniverse, visit their website at www.iuniverse.com . You may be surprised, as I was, to see how much they can do for you and your book. Their marketing offerings are extensive.
Moving back to the subject of professionalism, iUniverse takes my book very seriously. They think of my book as a business. To me, it truly is, as I have left behind the practice of law and look ahead to writing for the rest of my life. From the very beginning, they have all made appointments with me for phone conferences. They keep their appointments, and seem to expect (in a nice way) that I do the same, just as if it were any other type of “live” business appointment. They all have a “Let’s get this done” type attitude, without being pushy. They are simply excited about helping me publish and promote my book, and encourage me to be the same way.
I’m sure that I could continue writing a definitive love letter to the company, but I will just end up repeating myself. If you are shopping companies to assist with your self-publishing project, you owe it to yourself and your book to give iUniverse a shot. They can do it all.
Find my book on Amazon - (Published with iUniverse)
More books published by iUniverse
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