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Self-publishing with iUniverse

Updated on March 22, 2013

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

Have you self-published a book?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I haven't published a book, but I've gone through a tv deal and I dealt with people in the book and music publishing industry. The simple fact is that the world which once was, is no more. It doesn't sound as exotic, but self publishing is simply a better business idea. There is no begging involved. You have more control. You don't have to work off a dept load. Many people don't understand that, when you sign a book deal, you're paying for everything via royalties. You're going to have to do self promotion anyway...even PR companies are going to make you do that, so its just better to get good at self promotion. Not as exotic, but a better business idea. And that is what is more important. Every company started from a small company, but they use their brand power as...brand power. It's...sort of an illusion. I would advise anyone on the fence about this to consider what the author of this page said, she's on the right track.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      This is a very interesting and informative lens. When I finally do get around to writing that book, I'll check out iUniverse based on your recommendation.TonyB

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      No, I have not published anything except on Squidoo.TonyB

    • senditondown profile image

      Senditondown 4 years ago from US

      Yes, but I never heard of this company.

    • CamelliaPenny profile image
      Author

      Perrin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      @anonymous: Glad it helped you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks, I am trying to publish some books, great information.

    • CamelliaPenny profile image
      Author

      Perrin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      @anonymous: So glad this article was a help to you! I wish you success!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for posting this up because I'm in the process of self publising my first book and I discovered iuniverse not to long ago and I was contemplating about working with this company.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Don't use iUniverse. After they publish your book, they will call you about every other week asking for more money. They call me about three times a month. I tell them not to contact me anymore, but they continue to call--either for "marketing" money or "we can make your book a movie" money. How many times do I have to say I'm not interested before they stop calling? iUniverse is just not worth the headache.

    • QuiltFinger profile image

      QuiltFinger 5 years ago from Tennessee

      hmm. I haven't heard of iUniverse. My husband has e-books on Smashwords and Amazon. Will have to check this option out.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks this is such wonderful information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks this is such wonderful information.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Not yet but maybe one day. Thanks for sharing your research and experience with us. :)

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

      I have previously self-published a book on lulu.com, it was moderately successful. I'd love to do another one but it takes some time!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      iUniverse is a self publishing company that makes it possible for writers to achieve the dream of becoming a published author. With leadership that brings expertise in publishing, sales and marketing and technology, iUniverse offers a unique mix of self-publishing products and services and the skills of a professional team dedicated to enabling authors to see their books in print. By offering a variety of affordable publishing, editorial and marketing services, iUniverse helps authors get their manuscripts off their desks and into the marketplace faster than traditional publishing companies.iUniverse is the leading book marketing, editorial services and supported self publishing company, publishing more than five thousand new titles annually. The members of the iUniverse executive management team have experience with some of the world's leading traditional publishers including Harper San Francisco, Putnam, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Pearson.Their wide range of core competancies in publishing, marketing, sales, production, technology and editorial services provide iUniverse authors with the guidance essential in making their publishing experience a complete success.Take control of your publishing future. Request your FREE Publishing Guide now.If your manuscript is complete or nearly complete, look forward to a call from an iUniverse publishing consultant. He or she will answer your questions about editorial and publishing.If you have an immediate question, please call 1-800-AUTHORS. Our hours are 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST, Monday through Friday.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The Ballad of the Shirley T and Other Stories, a collection of short stories, is now available for purchase through iUniverse's online bookstore. Click here to find it: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000489... . $8.95 for paperback and $3.99 for e-book.

    • CNelson01 profile image

      Chuck Nelson 5 years ago from California

      I can identify with much of what you say. I self published my book, "Life at The End of a Dirt Road" with an outfit called AuthorHouse. It was an interesting experience. IUniverse sounds like a good publisher if I decide to return to the scene of the crime.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Useful information. I may want to try it myself some day. Thanks.

    • CamelliaPenny profile image
      Author

      Perrin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      @greenmind: I intend to write an update and post in the future! I just released my book at the end of October and have not seen numbers for the quarter yet. Numbers (and $) will come in March for the fall quarter. I just started seriously marketing after the new year. Instead of just publishing one book, I intend for this to be a step in my career, and hope to see continued sales over the years.

    • greenmind profile image

      greenmind 5 years ago

      wow, nice story. But you left out the part about selling your book -- how did it go? Did you make back your investment in time and effort? Just curious, because I'm thinking about writing my own book and self-publishing.