The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved iUniverse — poor customer service
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
I signed on with iUniverse with my eyes wide open: I had my cover professionally designed by another source, I utilized an outside proofreader, and paid extra for the "express" Premiere Pro package to ensure my book went to press in a timely fashion.
As a result, my book was completed quickly and looks excellent.
My complaint with iUniverse is regarding their atrocious customer service and all the details they don't tell you on their website. Here's a "writer beware" list of everything that has happened since the publication of my book:
1) iUniverse is unreachable by phone, without exception. I've been forced to leave multiple messages, which are only occasionally returned via email.
2) When I send a specific question to their general support email (don't even think you'll ever get a direct contact at this company), I receive a nonspecific response 24 hours later that doesn't even come close to addressing my question. BONUS: when I resubmitted the same question three different times, I received three entirely different responses from three different people.
3) While their Booksellers Return Program is valuable and useful to get your book in stores, what they do not tell you is that is takes up to 60 days for it to go into effect.
4) Customer Service will tell you that it takes 45 days after your publication date to list your book with Books in Print. This is inaccurate - Books in Print takes 5 business days to list new titles when they're submitted. The delay comes from iUniverse, who will not submit your book to BIP until after you have received your contracted promotional copies, and you won't receive those until after you have reviewed your test copy. In my case, I still haven't received my promotional copies, because the "Book Sales Consultant" that was assigned to me quit his job, and lied to me about sending the copies. It took two weeks for anyone to even get back to me about my lack of review copies, and I'm still not listed in Books in Print.
5) Your "Marketing Consultant" will not offer you valuable marketing suggestions. Mine only tried to upsell me outrageously priced publicity services and ad rates in their partner magazines. THIS IS UNNECESSARY. You can do everything they do and more to market your book yourself - just do your homework to find out how.
6) Beware of inappropriate behavior. I copied several of the "Publishing Services Associates" I'd worked with on an email to Customer Service begging for assistance. One PSA happened to click "reply all" and unwittingly copied me on a not-so-nice reply about whiny authors.
7) If you purchase the "see inside" Barnes & Noble feature, be aware that it can take B&N several months to post it. iUniverse will not tell you this up front.
That's my story to date. While I have absolutely no complaints about the quality of my book, I cannot abide by the shoddy customer service I have received post production. It is unconscionable.
Should you decide to publish with iUniverse, be prepared to do EVERYTHING yourself, and expect no help along the way.
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