Indie and Self-Pub Book Corner discussion

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Has anyone tried publishing through iUniverse?

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message 1: by Dustin (new)

Dustin Karpovich It's a self-publishing company that supports you through all the processes of publishing your book and they give you help to promote your books as well so I was just wondering if anyone has heard of them or has published their books with the company.


message 2: by Tony (new)

Tony (direidi) | 14 comments This subject has been covered in another group. But the
quick recap is, they really are a 'vanity house'. They force you to buy books upfront. Do more research there are companies out there who will do the work for you for a split of the royalties.

iUniverse does not really do any promoting for you. No book company does when you do your research. Now if you are a big name, yes they will do promotion but otherwise forgot about promotion.


message 3: by Allison (new)

Allison Dickson (allisonmdickson) | 2 comments Be prepared to lay down a LOT of money upfront. I have a friend who went through them and it ended up being a shoddy investment. You're better off, if you're intent on self-publishing, to e-publish and then (if you want to do a print edition) go through CreateSpace and pay someone to do the layout for you.


message 4: by Tony (new)

Tony (direidi) | 14 comments Allison wrote: "Be prepared to lay down a LOT of money upfront. I have a friend who went through them and it ended up being a shoddy investment. You're better off, if you're intent on self-publishing, to e-publish..."

Or to use someone like myself http://direidi.com/ to do both for you.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I have three words for you. DON'T DO IT!!. I self-published my first book Love is Blind through iUniverse May 2011, and it has been the worse experience of my life. They are a rip-off and very misleading. And on top of that, you are not going to see your royalties and you have to do all the work yourself. I have sold many, many copies and am currently battling with them. I am kicking myself right now!


message 6: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Robinson (betsy_robinson) T.J., I'd love to know HOW you're battling them. I've written for my royalties and hit a wall. They claim they audit their sales, etc. Then all of a sudden I got a few dollars 2 weeks ago for sales in 2011. The figure doesn't match any sales records on the sales page of my account. I KNOW they're ripping me off, but I can't prove it. What are you doing to battle them?


message 7: by S. (new)

S. Bailey (sthomasbailey) | 1 comments I second the motion, DON'T DO IT! I did enjoy the editing side and felt I learned a lot BUT they are terrible to work with in any other phase of the production process.
The phone calls, e-mails are too much and you are certainly at their mercy regarding royalties. Mark it down to experience, good or bad, and make sure we keep warning potential writers about their practices.
In a few years we will all look back and see it was just part of the journey...hopefully we will be the better fo it. Take care and good luck with your writing!

Cheers, Steve


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm on the phone with iUniverse at least three times a week, arguing with them about my sales and royalties, but like you, I'm not getting anywhere with them. That's what I meant by battling with them. I go back and forth with them, but I haven't let up. I'm not going to either. They are soooooo ripping us off, and I'm to the point where I'm about to seek legal advice. It's not right!!


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

T.J. wrote: "I have three words for you. DON'T DO IT!!. I self-published my first book Love is Blind through iUniverse May 2011, and it has been the worse experience of my life. They are a rip-off and very misl..."

I hear that CreateSpace is a good way to go. I just finished my next book and I may try them!!


message 10: by G. (last edited Mar 21, 2012 09:56AM) (new)

G. Walker | 1 comments T.J. wrote: "I hear that CreateSpace is a good way to go. I just finished my next book and I may try them!!"< /i>

I used CreateSpace for my first book, and will use them again. I have had no problems at all and you don't have to pay for any of their services if you don't want to. The only thing they require you to purchase is a proof copy of your book for approval. For me, that was less than $5 (plus shipping).
Of course, my experience may be atypical, but I've been happy with them so far.

If you decide to use CreateSpace without any of their services, be prepared to handle all formatting for your MS, which, while not difficult, can be a little tedious. I also believe they require a PDF file for publishing.



message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks for your comment G. David. Everything sounds good! I even spoke to one of CreateSpace reps, and I am positive that I will publish with them!!!


message 12: by R. (new)

R. Patrick (goodreadscomuser_richardphughes) | 1 comments Thanks for the info. From their ads, I never would have thought they were so bad.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

No problem! They can be very misleading!


message 14: by Marsha (new)

Marsha Cornelius (marshacornelius) | 21 comments G. wrote: "T.J. wrote: "I hear that CreateSpace is a good way to go. I just finished my next book and I may try them!!"

I used CreateSpace for my first book, and will use them again. I have had no problems a..."


G. wrote: "T.J. wrote: "I hear that CreateSpace is a good way to go. I just finished my next book and I may try them!!"

I used CreateSpace for my first book, and will use them again. I have had no problems a..."


deleted user wrote: "T.J. wrote: "I have three words for you. DON'T DO IT!!. I self-published my first book Love is Blind through iUniverse May 2011, and it has been the worse experience of my life. They are a rip-off ..."


message 15: by Marsha (new)

Marsha Cornelius (marshacornelius) | 21 comments To G: I'm considering Createspace for my second novel. (Used iUniverse for the first. And agree with others, a bad experience.)
I have been experimenting with Createspace's 'how-to' guide to formatting the book. Once I send them a PDF version, they can print from that?
I do have a couple questions and can't find the answer on their website.
1. Is there a way to call someone from Createspace?
2. How do I get a header for the book name on right-hand pages, and the author name on left-hand?
3. Did you worry about some of your chapters beginning on the left-hand page?

Thanks G!


message 16: by Breeana (new)

Breeana (breeana_puttroff) | 7 comments Marsha wrote: "To G: I'm considering Createspace for my second novel. (Used iUniverse for the first. And agree with others, a bad experience.)
I have been experimenting with Createspace's 'how-to' guide to format..."


CreateSpace can print directly from a PDF version that you send them, but everything has to be absolutely correct on the PDF -- CreateSpace won't do any part of it. They will tell you if something is off the printing edge or something like that, but they won't go through your file at all, and they won't make any corrections to it, unless you pay for their design services.

It is possible to create different headers for odd- and even-numbered pages so that it will show up the way you want it to. It is an incredibly time-consuming and glitchy process (at least for me, and most of those I've talked to) to do it in Microsoft Word. To actually make an interior file that looks professional and behaves the way you want it to, it's better to use software that was designed for the purpose (like Adobe InDesign), or to pay someone to do it for you (which is what I ended up doing after I really saw the difference between what I could produce, which did look okay to me, and what they could).

I finally figured, if I'm going to go to all of the trouble of making a print book, it might as well be one I'm really proud of, and one that a bookstore would consider stocking. A page that looks "fine" to me has a million little issues with the text that a bookseller or librarian would spot immediately. It ended up being worth it to me to hire a designer.


message 17: by Michael (new)

Michael Scott | 7 comments Marsha wrote: "To G: I'm considering Createspace for my second novel. (Used iUniverse for the first. And agree with others, a bad experience.)
I have been experimenting with Createspace's 'how-to' guide to format..."


To set it up in Word, you'll need to use section breaks for the different headers, and be sure to deselect the "same as previous" header/footer button, which is the default. I found that I've needed three separate sections: the first page, the front matter, which has no header, but does have page numbers, and then the bulk of the book, which has both header and footer information.

Choose "Different odd/even pages" to put your information in different spots. Use mirror margins to be sure the gutter works out correctly in the pdf form.

The hard part, for me, has been going through the justified text and adjusting the character spacing here or there, so that I don't wind up with huge gaps between my text.

Hope this helps.


message 18: by Marsha (new)

Marsha Cornelius (marshacornelius) | 21 comments Hey, Michael! My son came home from work and showed me how to do all the things you said!! I am now going through centering chapter headings and checking the justified text like you said.
Thanks for your help!


message 19: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Dillon (mariesuzanne) | 1 comments I am so dissappointed and disillusioned with iUniverse. I published my book through them in August 2011 and have never had a statement that has made sense. The crowning glory was when I bought an e-blast campaign from them for over $1000 resulting in a sale of 16 books! They are not interested in publishing, they are only interested taking advantage of first time authors. I have asked the BBB of Indiana to investigate.


message 20: by Marsha (new)

Marsha Cornelius (marshacornelius) | 21 comments They started in Iowa, I think. Maybe they got run out of there first. Now they have set up in Bloomington, Indiana. I think they are trying to tie in to the university. IU. iUniverse. DO NOT USE THEM.


message 21: by David (new)

David Manuel | 12 comments Seriously, CreateSpace will produce a decent looking book and it will cost you nothing except the price of ordering a proof or copy of the final product. You can pay them to help you with formatting, and their fees aren't very much. Or just reach out to some of us who have done it and we'll help. I used their Word template, pasted in my text and formatted (you do have to learn about sections, page numbers, gutter margins, etc.), uploaded it, made my cover with GIMP, uploaded that, and out came a book. I think it looks great.


message 22: by Lawrence (new)

Lawrence Lihosit | 1 comments I have heard good things about CreateSpace. However, I wanted to mention my experience with iUniverse. The company has published five books for me since 2009. I had self-published six books and seven pamphlets previously, understand format, design and editting so I merely paid their minimum charge. They produced professional books in hardback, paperback and e-version. I have been satisfied that the company followed directions, met deadlines, charged fairly, pays royalties on time and has helped me in small ways to promote (for free). When I read some of the above messages, I am inclined to think that some may be novices. Self-pubication will not bring riches and glory. It is an avenue for sharing.


message 23: by Brandon (new)

Brandon M | 1 comments iUniverse guarantees services not sales..have you considered the fact that your book may not be something people are wanting to purchase?? I have published several books through them and they are 100% professional and helpful. Createspace is a bookstore not a publisher you can post your grocery list on there too!


message 24: by Ariane (new)

Ariane Page (arianepage) | 3 comments If some, like me, have published with iUniverse and have decided to pull out their book, what happened next? Is the file they give you back complete? Do you have to present your book as a new one all over again to online stores? My only problem with iUniverse is their publicity. I paid a hefty sum for the first book -which, I admit , was too specialized to appeal to a wide audience. The second one, Love Them Back to LIFE, is for the general public but I do not know how to get it 'out there'.


message 25: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Lindsey (crystalmary) | 2 comments Dustin wrote: "It's a self-publishing company that supports you through all the processes of publishing your book and they give you help to promote your books as well so I was just wondering if anyone has heard o..."
Yes, I did publish with them on recommendation of a friend. I would NEVER publish with them again.
They did do a lovely job of editing, however, I paid through the teeth for it. The cover they wanted to put on my book was cheap and ugly, so my daughter designed the one I now have.
Since paying over $10,000 to get it out there I was rung continually and pressured to pay much more money to advertise. I said NO!! enough is enough.. Now about my ROYALTIES... I know many of my books have been sold, yet I have seen hardly any money. On a paperback priced at around $16 I get about $2 a book.. Its a killer and so disappointing.


message 26: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Lindsey (crystalmary) | 2 comments Ariane wrote: "If some, like me, have published with iUniverse and have decided to pull out their book, what happened next? Is the file they give you back complete? Do you have to present your book as a new one a..."
Hello Ariane, (love your name) I would like to take my book out of IUniverses hands and put it with someone else, but am unsure how to do this?? If you find out how, could you let me know. Thanks.


message 27: by Will (new)

Will Overby (will1966) Ariane wrote: "I would like to take my book out of IUniverses hands and put it with someone else, but am unsure how to do this?? If you find out how, could you let me know. ..."

Good luck. My first novel was published through them in 2000 when it only cost $99. When I talked to them about pulling it a couple of years ago, I was told all I had to do was send a letter telling them I wanted to cancel my contract. I did that and got confirmation back, but my book still shows up for sale on Amazon and other sites. I never received any files or anything else from them. I don't know how any of the new publishing packages with them work, but if you have not transferred your copyright to them, you should still be able to do with your book whatever you wish, provided the term of the contract has ended.


message 28: by Ariane (new)

Ariane Page (arianepage) | 3 comments Crystal wrote: "Ariane wrote: "If some, like me, have published with iUniverse and have decided to pull out their book, what happened next? Is the file they give you back complete? Do you have to present your book..."

Hi Crystal, I certainly will let you know!


message 29: by Ariane (new)

Ariane Page (arianepage) | 3 comments Will wrote: "Ariane wrote: "I would like to take my book out of IUniverses hands and put it with someone else, but am unsure how to do this?? If you find out how, could you let me know. ..."

Good luck. My fir..."

Hi Will,
The packages are a LOT more expensive now. Normally with $150. we should be able to get the files back. Legally they should be formatted and ready for publishing. Also since the package includes the price for the cover, it should also be given back to the author but I read in their QA that they consider it is theirs.. Thanks for your input!


message 30: by Steve (new)

Steve (flyingbrick) | 1 comments I published three books through iUniverse beginning in 2001. I was satisfied with the layout and covers. I get around the royalties by purchasing the books using my author discount, doing my own marketing and selling through my site. (Learn to watch for their sales.) iUniverse is in the business to make money and so am I. You must look at your relationship with them as a zero-sum game.


message 31: by R.Z. (new)

R.Z. (rzeke) | 2 comments I published my first book through iUniverse in 2003 and the second in 2010. Both were very expensive, but I take comfort in that I learned so much from what they taught me during this process. I am not sorry. I have used Createspace and would use them again in certain instances. I have now set up my own tiny publishing company Gjerda Media LLC, and work through Ingram Spark. I plan to rewrite those earlier books and publish them under a different name and ISBN and publish with my own imprint. My advice? Don't beat yourself up about past "mistakes." Learn from them, and move on.


message 32: by David (new)

David Tieck (davidtieck) | 1 comments Huge scam, constantly badger you with calls for 'great opportunities', which cost you lots of money and give you nothing in return. And if you say you're not interested they accuse you of giving up in your book. Totally scammers and assholes. Stay away from them.


message 33: by R.Z. (new)

R.Z. (rzeke) | 2 comments Will wrote: "Ariane wrote: "I would like to take my book out of IUniverses hands and put it with someone else, but am unsure how to do this?? If you find out how, could you let me know. ..."

Good luck. My firs..."

Talk with Amazon about why it still shows up. They can't retire it because of possible out standing orders etc. etc. I'd like to get my older books to not be listed on Amazon also, but one way they handle this is to list these older ones at such a high price that hopefully nobody will order them.


message 34: by Nihar (new)

Nihar Suthar (niharsuthar) | 1 comments Hi! I've heard about iUniverse often and also don't think it's the best way to publish. If I was in your shoes, I would either shoot for a traditional publisher first (I was able to land one several times). Or, if you can't land one, then there's nothing wrong with using Amazon's publishing program! It may not be as prestigious, but at least you won't have to fork out a ton of money.

Regardless of where you publish your work, you're going to have to do marketing on your own.

-Nihar
www.niharsuthar.com


message 35: by W. (new)

W. Boutwell | 5 comments R.Z. wrote: "I published my first book through iUniverse in 2003 and the second in 2010. Both were very expensive, but I take comfort in that I learned so much from what they taught me during this process. I am..."

I'd say that is my experience. I can afford the price but needed the handholding for the first book. On book 2, I am trying to get services piecemeal in order to find a good relationship with editors and designers. I still plan on getting an indie publisher so that the ISBN has them as publisher and not me.


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