The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Resolved
iUniversescam

Review updated:

I signed up with iUniverse Publishing last 8th of July 2008 to get my manuscript get edited, and published professionally, affordably, and fast (per Get Published! Professionally, Affordable, Fast - a book written by Ms. Susan Driscoll, Author, President and CEOof iUniverse). My manuscript was submitted and accepted by iUniverse, Inc. after payment of the required fee and was assigned two personnel by the name of Liesl Shapker, my appointed Publishing Services Associated and Amy He, my appointed Publishing Consultant.

I was informed that my manuscript would have to go through several stages, under 4 different authors, one author responsible for correcting grammar and spelling, one author responsible for ensuring it is in the right format, etc.

After over 3 months has passed, I kept sending emails to Liesl Schapker on the status of my book. Then about the first week of Oct. 2008, I received a telephone call from one Eugene Hopskins that he was canceling my contract with iUniverse and get the money I paid for, be refunded. According to Eugene Hopkins, (He is the client services manager per Liesl Schapker) my manuscript was not the kind of story they would publish. I asked him why it took him over 3 months to decide and tell me that. Eugene was apologetic and
said, 'I'm sorry.'

As per several e-mails from my assigned PSA, Liesl Schapker, the amount of $899.00 will be refunded. I have checked my bank for electronic transfer but there was no record of any transaction coming from iUniverse Publisher.

iUniverse wasted my time for over 3 months and delayed my going over to another able and capable publishing company. It was a mental anguish for me to wait over 3 months and to be told that my manuscript was not the kind of story they wanted to publish.

Responses

  • Ez
    eznutrition Jan 21, 2009

    I was considering going to IUniverse to publish some stories I wrote from my young daughter, but after reading all these complaints I won't bother. So, how does one go about getting published?

    0 Votes
  • Gu
    guest Apr 24, 2009

    I read this exact complaint, word for word (save the names) against Publish America. After reading this, I wish I had saved the webpage. This person is a liar and has something against self-publishing.

    0 Votes
  • Be
    Berrygirl13 May 06, 2009

    IUniverse published my title last spring. They are amazing to deal with. I literally had no issues with them. They were great even through the move from one state to another, they made my book publishing process seamless. There must have been an issue with the guy that complained. I totally recommend IUniverse. I am the author of I Want What Mamma Wants! I have signed on again with IUniverse for my second title that I am presently working on.

    Jozi

    1 Votes
  • Bu
    BuriedTreasure Jul 23, 2018

    @Berrygirl13 I, too had an amazing experience with publishing in 2009. I have a couple that I am working on, to publish this year. I truly suggest them! Very good experience!

    0 Votes
  • Me
    Melissa May 07, 2009

    I would like to use iUniverse. I guess the biggest fear for me is them taking my idea or scamming me. I love my story so far and I really want it out there, the problem is, I need a good place to start with. I've had a teacher read it over, and he recommended using iUniverse, so thats where I'm aiming. Is it a good idea?

    2 Votes
  • Gi
    GinGirl May 28, 2009

    Go to keithandthegirl.com, listen to episode 952: Shine a Light to find out why no one should ever deal with those idiots at iUniverse.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    Kenny Jun 17, 2009

    If you go with iUniverse...expect to use your credit card a lot. For my novel, Time Stood Still, which was published recently, the process started off fine. I had it edited twice, then submitted it. With iUniverse, the package I bought allowed for an edit. I was told I needed another line edit which was $2000.
    I paid the fee and assumed that it would come back perfect, but it didn't. The book was released and behold, there were a few more errors no one noticed. I had to pay another couple hundred dollars to fix those errors that the line editor made, not me. Next, I was called by the "marketing exec" and told I needed to give them another $2000 or more for marketing... This is where I drew the line. With iUniverse, you only get 20% of royalties. You would think they would pitch in to help sell books since the are making money. Everyone wins if that would happen, but apparently not. The best advice I can give is to have your book edited to death before you send it in. Pay someone the couple hundred dollars to save yourself the thousands with iUniverse. And buy my novel, Time Stood Still, by Kenny Rials. :)

    3 Votes
  • Ro
    Robert F. DeBurgh Sep 10, 2009

    I have had two novels published by IUniverse and have had only one complaint, which was the cover design. Otherwise the transactions were completely satisfactory. I intend to use them again to publish my forthcoming novel.

    All I can say about this complaint is that this must have been some book; one that most publishers wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole.

    Robert F. DeBurgh
    Author: "Riders of the Wind" and "Winds of Fate."

    0 Votes
  • Ra
    Ralf Vetch Oct 21, 2009

    The business model of AuthorHouse and iUniverse is that of a middle-man in the distribution and production channels and adds little or no value to your publication. All their "services" are available to you ether free or at low cost, elsewhere. Except for the objection to content, I had a very similar experience as the complaint and with the one of the same names. I ended up firing them for incompetence, plain and simple. I basically told those bozo's that my three dead cats could publish my book better and faster than they could, and they did! I formed my own publishing company, named after my three dead cats, got my own LCCN and ISBNs and learned Adobe. The marketing and web processes they sell are simply resold at steep mark-ups from the same direct vendors you can go to. I am pleased to inform you that what they do at iUniverse, ain't rocket science. They are selling buggy whips in the space age. I do however have some suggested motto's they could use. "iUniverse, where you can buy better, but you can't pay more" and "iUniverse---yesterday's technology, at tomorrow's prices, TODAY" or how about. "iUniverse, the little red and white engine that said iThink, iCan't, iThink, iCan't" People need jobs, so I wish them luck with their flawed business model that focuses on themselves rather than customers, but if they are in business 5 years from now, I will be surprised. But maybe they will be, PT Barnum said it best, "There is a sucker born every minute." (somewhere in the universe) Good Luck with that, iU.

    0 Votes
  • I0
    i'm going to kill them! Oct 29, 2009

    ...I ALSO PUBLISHED A BOOK WITH IUNIVERSE AND I AM NOT RECEIVING MY ROYALTIES. THEY'VE HAVE MY BOOK ON THE SHELVES OF RETAILERS IN DIFFERENT STATES BUT NOT IN MY LOCAL TOWN. CALLED ON NUMBEROUS TIMES WAS REPONDED WITH A SO-CALLED CALL BACK BUT NEVER WAS.

    0 Votes
  • Le
    Leroy Kendrick Feb 01, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @i'm going to kill them! They are doing the same thing to me right now, I saw a royalty payment from an email request I submitted. The email says this is the amount that we paid you, and I have never seen the payment amount, nor does any of my bank statements reflect this or show any amount paid, and when I called questioning iuniverse about the amount they said the IRS took taxes out of it. So the amount the email says was paid, then the guy on phone said another amount was paid because of the IRS. Clearly a scam, you don't order a large pizza, get the pizza and 4 slices are missing and then say the driver ate them, because he was hungry on the way over. I will take legal action because I have the hard copy proof, if this isn't fixed, but I will NEVER go with IUNIVERSE again. This is just one problem I've had with this company there are more!

    1 Votes
  • Bo
    boomshanka Nov 20, 2009

    Helpful advice for those who have never worked in a corporate bookstore…
    Hi, I worked in bookstores for years. The store has to be modeled for the book before it goes on the shelves. That is what a publisher like Harper Collins does, not iUniverse. iUniverse is paid to publish your books and the better edit, marketing, and so on that you desire you have to pay for. Everything is based on how many words are in the book, the type of book, if you want it to able to be ordered in bookstores, and so on. Lots of people think, when they read, that when their book can be ordered in the store, because it is ‘returnable, ’ it will be in store if they walk into a store looking for their book. These people are mislead and unfortunately don’t know the business. There are two ways a book gets into a bookstore. One, the publisher pays to place it in there, no self-publisher can or will do that. Two, if you have promoted your book to the point that the stores are getting enough orders for it that it would be in the stores best interest if they modeled them self for your book. For mom and pop stories (ie indie bookstores) there is a third, they might place your book on the shelf if you are a regular or ask them to help out a local author. Everyone needs to research something before they spend thousands… yes, thousands. When all is said and done I will have placed near $10, 000 into my book, but I studied this before I went here. I saved up. I knew what was going to happen and what was not going to happen. If you chose a self-published place please be prepared. You will market your books. It might take 4 months it might take 9 months to get your book out there. That still beats waiting to find an agent, waiting for your agent to find an editor and publisher, and waiting for everything else in-between… that is all worth the wait but if you take that road your book might only last of 2 to 9 months in the bookstore (if memory serves that is the average life span for an unknown author’s fiction book). Both roads have bumps and both roads can be enjoyable. I’ve met many authors who have said it took them forever to get their book out there. At least with a self-publisher you know a good timeframe and you do not have to hear the unexpected, “I’m sorry but your book is going out of print.” Because the books lifespan is up to you.
    Good luck to all that try and I hope this little bit of information help everyone!
    Sarah

    0 Votes
  • Br
    Brandon (Crimson7) Jun 26, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @boomshanka Ya, I am calling bs on everything you just said bookstores do not have to be modeled for any book as that's impossible given the numerous types of books they contain! Self publishers can get their books featured in bookstores, there's absolutely no reason why they can not. Everything you have said is bs

    0 Votes
  • Ji
    Jim Wilhelmsen Jan 05, 2010

    I published with I Universe and I am sorry I did. They do not send you a Galley to review which is typical of most publishers. They send you a PDF file. There were many errors and type o's I missed by reading on line. I have bad eyes and cannot be on a back lit screen for too long. Now to change it, it will cost me almost 300.00 more. They are supposede to have an on line service to see how many books have sold and what amount your next royality check is supposed to be. This has never worked and I have to make repeated calls to eventually get an answer. I don't mind the cost but the service is outragious and I wished I had gone elsewhere. I most certainly will for my next book. On the good side, they have always eventually taken care of most things for me, it just takes them a long time to get around doing it.

    0 Votes
  • Ac
    ACarlton Jan 21, 2010

    Here's the deal with iUniverse:

    I used them to publish a book - and their business is not a scam.

    iUniverse will not steal your royalties. They offer a complete explanation of how royalties are calculated and distributed on their web site. You just need to take time to seek it out, and read everything carefully.

    Royalty checks are mailed 60 days after the end of a quarter. Monthly sales figures are calculated and posted 45 days after the last day of the month. This info is available on the web site.

    That being said, I do believe that customer support at iUniverse is abysmal, and they definitely won't be upfront about the finer details of some additional services you may purchase. That's why reading their web site carefully is crucial - you'll learn more there than a customer service rep will tell you.

    They also overcharge for basic services - particularly in the marketing department.

    They are a business, though, and the same can be said for many larger corporations out there. (My cell phone provider comes to mind.)

    However, this should not deter anyone from publishing with iUniverse. You simply need to go into the process having thoroughly read about and considered all aspects self publishing.

    It will cost money to produce a quality product - but this doesn't have to all go to iUniverse. I hired an outside editor and graphic designer and saved myself a ton of cash and time... and couldn't be happier with my completed book.

    1 Votes
  • Ag
    ago Apr 02, 2010

    I do not know what these authors expect. I published with iUniverse years ago and the process was so smooth, I could not believe it. those days you paid just a hundred to get your book published. The sent me the book in a form to do the editing myself, typosm etc. They published my book with their own idea of what the cover artwork should look like. It was amazing. They sent me my royalty checks which I never cashed, forty dollar at the end of two quarters, Look, do you guys realize that without these publishers we would never see our name in print. LIKE THE GUY WHO LEARNED TO PUBLSIH HIS OWN BOOK, GO THAT ROUTE AND YOU WOULD HAVE NOTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT. IF YOU fiendishly PROMOTE YOUR BOOK AND GET A ground swell, believe me a high profile agent would be calling. But none of us have the time nor will to do that so we complain when things didn't work out the way we imagined. Some peopel complain about everything!

    0 Votes
  • Br
    Brandon (Crimson7) Jun 26, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @ago Perhaps what they PAID for, not to be fleeced for as much as could be gotten from them, and to be treated with some decency, seems like a reasonable expectation to me

    0 Votes
  • CH Foertmeyer Apr 21, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have published thirteen books over the past eight years through iUniverse and each and every time the process went as smooth as silk. I have no complaints with iUniverse and highly recommend them. In fact, later this year I will be publishing my fourteenth book and it will again be through iUniverse. I do not believe you can get a better endorsement than that.

    0 Votes
  • Pa
    Patrick O'Donnell May 10, 2010

    I've self-published four whodunits through iuniverse and have no serious complaints. Would I rather use a traditional publisher? Yes... Problem is, I can't even find an agent much less a publisher. I like to think it's a matter of luck rather than writing ability, but what ever it is iuniverse fills the void.
    Patrick O'Donnell

    0 Votes
  • Ph
    philwriter May 22, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I published a book with iuniverse a few years ago. I finally received a tiny royalty check, but this check did not in any way match the sales of the people I know who ordered the book online, or the numerous sales rankings, and best selling order logarithm rankings of numerous online sellers and companies (including Amazon.co.uk)
    I did all my own proof reading and editing, so I did not involve iuniverse in that side of the process. However, I did pay a huge sum of money and have received nothing from this company. When I started noticing that royalties were not being declared in iuniverse’s sales reports, I contacted them, first by email. I had to email them several times before they finally replied. I was fobbed off with weak excuses, such as did the people who said they bought my book, really do so? Yes, because they discussed the plot and characters with me and liars don’t stay my friends for very long! They said that the sales rankings and bestselling orders were meaningless and did not reflect sales. (I see). I phoned them and I was fobbed off again. I tried several consumer watchdogs, all to no avail. I contacted online sellers directly. Most wouldn’t reply to me or said that I should contact my publisher. When I asked the same questions in a clever, different way, several replied and confirmed that the rankings and bestselling or popularity ranking logarithms did indeed reflect sales. But I got nowhere and I became depressed and I could not cope with trying to get my book’s true sales figures anymore. Hardly anyone seemed to be reporting complaints about iuniverse at this time and what I felt to be their scam code of business. I felt alone and isolated in my quest. Suddenly I find that more and more people are reporting iuniverse and I want to step back into the fray and join forces with other unhappy writers to get back what I believe is rightfully ours. iuniverse and other POD companies need to be fully investigated in all of their activities. We writers need legal redress.
    I agree with writers who talk about an investigation, but we can only achieve things if we work together. Could we achieve payment for our true royalties if we stand together? I have some ideas about how we could go about this. If anyone agrees with this, could they please so say so on this complaints board site. Thank you.

    1 Votes
  • Wi
    WilliamZimmerman Jun 18, 2010

    I'm using IUniverse for my memoir which is coming out in a few weeks. Let me just say first that everyone there has been A++ stellar, from the sales guy to the check in-coordinator to the PSA and everyone in between. One thing to keep in mind is that most of their services are optional (unless they are part of a package you've bought - they are automatically in there) but there are tons of services that are OPTIONAL. I would imagine if you want someone to do line edits and such, yeah that might make yr. credit card bill kind of high but I guess in my case, I would prefer to read over it 10 times and have some trusted proof reading friends go through it as well.

    I've written three compliment letters to supervisors at Iuniverse for different ppl I've dealt with. As I said, everyone has been timely, professional, extremely knowledgeable and just great all around. Nice, considering I spent weeks trying to find the right company to do this. So I'm never going to use anyone else as far as I'm concerned.

    0 Votes
  • Be
    Beautiful74 Jul 08, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Hi, i have been talking with iuniverse to publish my book and we are almost done with talking but reading some of these comments is giving me food for thought. should i go on or should i not? we are at a stage where i am to make payment by tomorow and the sales executive says there is room for instalmental payments which i will do thru him by giving him my card details which he will run with the accounts dept and the subsequent two payments will be taken on preceeding months.is this safe? is it a scam? will i make other payments apart from that which is on their website as the total package? sSomebody Please help me. NOW . thank you

    Beautiful!

    0 Votes
  • Ar
    Art Wiederhold Oct 23, 2018

    @Beautiful74 IUniverse and about 20 other publishers now belong to Author House which is the world;s biggest scam. As such, services have skyrocketed in cost and the main goal of Iuniverse is to sell you useless publicity packages. They can sometimes put out a quality book, but with my last one, it became a drawn-out nightmare. They used to have excellent cover artists, but use stick photos and clip art now and they all suck. Shop around. Trafford is less expensive and faster and you get the same packages. Quality at both is the same and the turnaround at Trafford is lightning fast and so far, they haven't tried to sell me publicity packages.

    0 Votes
  • Pa
    Pauline Lewinson Jul 22, 2010

    My book, “The Power of Transformation” was published by Iuniverse in February of this year, 2010. I researched a few companies, and decided to go with Iunivere, because a friend of mine told me that she was publishing her book through them. I later found out however, that she did not publish with Iuniverse. I like certain things about Iuniverse. They are professional with responsive customer service. My frustration with them is the way in which they actually publish the book with several typos.
    I personally feel that any reputable publisher would have certain standards about the quality of the books they represent. I am in the process right now of negotiating a cost to return the book once more for corrections. I self-edited and also hired outside editors. As often as I have had to send the book back for correction, I am thinking that it would have been better to purchase their editing service from the beginning. I have had to pay hundreds of dollars for correction each time I return it for correction.
    They also send the book back to me in a PDF format, which made it difficult for me to do the corrections.
    My Book can be purchased from Barnes and Noble and Amazon, because that service was included in my package. Any further marketing I desire, I will have to pay. I was quoted a ridiculously $10, 000.00 marketing package initially. During this almost six months period I received many calls and emails from Iuniverse offering to market the book for me, but of course at a hefty cost. From my experience in doing business this company, I would say, Iuniverse is not a scam, but a very costly venture.
    On a scale of 1 to 10, they score a 10 for the design of my book cover. I am very pleased with it. I told them what I wanted and they gave me exactly what I asked for. The cover is absolutely beautiful.

    0 Votes
  • Sn
    Snafuthe Elder Aug 06, 2010

    I published with iUniverse. They were very competent until they moved from Nebraska to Indiana. The once flag ship of the vanity press/self publishing industry has degenerated into nickle and dime money grubbing poltroons. Many of their new employees lack experience. Many of the old hands resigned and iUniverse has not recovered from that blow. My advice: If you must publish a vanity/self publishing house book, go with one that has a sterling reputation. Like iUniverse once had.

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chris Rao MD Aug 24, 2010

    My first book published in 2007 through iUniverse went okay, "the MidLife Health Guide for Men." I had one PSA and they did what they said, only the editor made more mistakes than they corrected-more from formatting problems going from pDF to Adobe. Recently, tried doing the women's version and it's a different story. Many PSAs that don't know squat about you or the work, what stage you're at, etc. Once they got the $1.5K, then they wanted another $500, supposedly because of the book's size-about 300 pages. When I got the formatted book in Adobe there were so many errors, I couldn't really use a proof form; they agreed I could resubmit. Now they want another $750 about to correct 6/7 of their errors. This has been nothing like before. They don't return calls or offer any help. DON"T USE THEM!!! Chris Rao, MD

    0 Votes
  • Pa
    Paul Zolbrod Sep 06, 2010

    I consider the editorial services I received at iUniverse quite professional but very expensive, and after paying a pretty hefty sum for the copy editing phase, I still found a number of errors in the final product. Overall, however, I enjoyed the editorial control I had over the production of my book, "Battle Songs: A Story of the Korean War in Four Movements." My complaint--and it is a very bitter one, has to do with the marketing services they relentlessly offer for high fees. For a while I purchased some--ads in various publications; exposure at book fairs; a widely distributed on-line press release, which I essentially wrote myself, electronically distributed ostensibly to print outlets across the country, access to e-book distributors like Kindle, etc. What distresses me and arouses my suspciion is that after paying up front I never saw even as much as an acknowledgement that the service was actually delivered, let alone some kind effort to guage the results of my purchase such as a spike in sales however modest, a copy of the ad I purchased, or even as much as a thank you. And here's something else that troubles me. On various occasions I was contacted not only via email but by telephone from a marketeing agent. Not only were these telemarketing hustlers high-pressure smooth-talkers, they were totally unfamiliar with my book and for the most part non book-lovers. One of them even admitted to me upon being questioned that he has never read a novel. What's more, they lived outside the U.S., which means that theirs were outsourced jobs that to my mind should have been given to recent college grads here in this country. I must congratulate those who provided me with editorial help to strt with, especially my line-editor. But at the same time I regard the overall process as one more example of insensitive, opportunistic corporate greed, inasmuch as iUniverse, Author House, Exlibris, Trafford, and who knows what else are all part of a larger media conglomerate. And as a final word, I agree with those who wonder about royalties. I, too, have had people tell me that they have purchased and read my book and think highly of it, although my recorded sales don't seem to reflect any such reality. Count me among those who consider iUniverse a scam. I wonder if there are enough people out there whose experience matches mine to consider a class lawsuit.
    Paul Zolbrod

    0 Votes
  • Ed
    editpro Sep 17, 2010

    I'm a professional editor with over 25 years experience in all genres, specialty humanities. A client paid me to thoroughly edit a book of the historical writings of his deceased relative, who was a prominent lawyer who wrote on seminal legal issues, as well as a well-respected historian of NY history topics. The finished manuscript would be submitted to iUniverse as per the client's contract with them to produce and publish. Among other items, included in the manuscript was a complete reprint of the relative's seminal research book (self-published ca 1930s) on an important event in NY State history. We made it abundantly clear to iUniverse that *all* the writings in the book (the overwhelming bulk of the book) by the relative were to be reprinted unchanged from the original--because one of the most fundamental principles of historical editing is that *nothing* in such writing is to be changed, because if it is the item as a research source becomes automatically suspect, and at very least is not able to be advertised as a complete reprint. I did very minor copy editing on these historical items, consisting of correcting obvious misprints in the originals and correcting strange typography left over from all items being scanned from the originals to get them into the Word doc that iUniverse required. I put together the whole book, including the client's own brief writings; not only copy edited it all once again, but proofed the entire manuscript (over 300 pages); suffered through the incredibly detailed and totally unnecessary submission guidelines that iUniverse had been putting out (ca 2008), which got down to the level of having to change ' and " to the curly apostrophe and quotation marks (Times Roman type instead of some sans-serif styles) throughout the *entire* manuscript. The manuscript upon first submission was as clean a manuscript as any publisher would ever see, because I know what I'm doing and because the client paid me to attend to every submission detail, so that he could save money and not have to pay the inordinate editing (of all types) fees that they supposedly *offer, * but that we found to our dismay were actually *required* before the poor manuscript would get through the so-called "editorial process" and iUniverse would finally begin production on the damn book.
    Suffice to say that (as I'd anticipated, after the third unsuccessful submission) iUniverse proceeded to tell its copy editors to totally copy edit the historical material, and even went so far as to send a marked-up and *rewritten* page of the seminal research book we were reprinting. The author was a lawyer, hence an excellent writer, though used some phrasing and punctuation more common to the 30s and 40s. But--you can't change that, if you want your "reprint" to continue to have any credibility as a historical source. We kept repeating and repeating and repeating this to iUniverse--to no avail. We had put (at first submission, and on my recommendation) a disclaimer right in the front saying that all original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc. etc. had not been changed from the original, in light of the fact that all this material was historical and we wanted to preserve it that way. This, however, was written in invisible ink when it came to iUniverse. They flatly refused to publish the book until all the anomalies were copy-edited out (by them, of course), refused to give the book Editor's Choice designation for that reason (I didn't cry too much--a pure scam anyway), and began to rack up quite hefty "editing services" charges for my client. Until my client finally lost his temper and made legal noises himself (he is a lawyer).
    I write all this as a professional who edits the work of internationally known historians and amateur historians alike--but who all use and quote considerable historical material in their articles. I can flatly state that I've never seen anything like the arrogance and stupidity (and cupidity) of iUniverse's "editorial consultants" in my entire career. Supposedly the editor in charge had worked for a historical publisher. If so, she knows full well that the most fundamental error you can make (mark of the total amateur) in editing historical texts is to change so much as a comma. Of course, she and her editorial hacks kept referring to Chicago Manual, as though I didn't know what it was. The point is that they committed the worst error possible by trying to copy edit the historical texts--and the larger point for all you poor authors who are thinking of forking over your life savings (because over time and without warning or prior notification of any kind, that is what it will amount to) to get your book "published" by iUniverse, is that they are TRYING TO RIP YOU OFF. They do this by selling you editing services that you not only might not need, but that stop the production of your book cold. They do not tell you about this anywhere in your contract. Editing services are advertised as an *option, * not a requirement, but they were required for my client's book to progress. I can write with complete confidence as an editor and say that my client's book already had all those services done--and well done--by me. In addition, they were willfully ignoring the fact that historical material cannot be changed in any way, because they were so desperate to sell editing services. So iUniverse is a ripoff of the highest order. It's my belief that every iUniverse manuscript has an internal file with a dollar amount appended to it--meaning, the amount that iUniverse will have to receive beforehand from the author in order to make it worth their while to publish the book at all. Do they tell you in your contract that they will refuse to publish your book unless you purchase x amount of editing services from them, whether your manuscript needs it or not? No, they do not. They'll accept any manuscript as long as it's accompanied by the original fee--and then they'll maim that manuscript to the tune of, at very least, another $1K. And that's pre-production. I can't wait to see what my client's manuscript looks like in proof--and because I withdrew from the process (no other way to salve my conscience or get the manuscript moving--they are territorial as well as stupid, and hated my protests about historical meddling, and took it out on my client)--they are going to charge my client for proofreading.
    I can recommend to authors with historical material who are considering iUniverse: run (do not walk) away as fast as you can. There are lots of other companies that will print your book. iUniverse are amateurs all, but expert salesmen, con artists supreme. Find yourself a competent editor, pay that editor to thoroughly edit your manuscript, and only *then* look for a self-, vanity, or POD publisher. You'll save yourself a pantload of money, several migraines, the price of a handgun, and your manuscript will continue to be valid as a contemporary reprint of historical texts, instead of a contemporary rewrittten hash of the material that completely negates its validity.

    0 Votes
  • Fe
    Felix Palmer Sep 18, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    If you have written anything worth reading, then avoid all these literary parasites, including the agents. If you do not have any connections (having connections in the publishing industry is the same as insider info. in stock market), then you have no chance. Garbage gets published, because the writer is willing to sell out, if female, a good deal more than her artistic integrity. People in publishing industry, both in vanity and conventional publishing, are ordinary people with no literary talent. They cannot predict the market needs and sways. That is why people do not read any more new fiction. Try a respectable subsidy publisher. Look at the website www.pred-ed.com I personally recommend Ivy House.

    0 Votes
  • Bo
    BookReviewer Sep 20, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    If after you read the following, you still waste your money with iuniverse, then you get what you deserve. I sent in my manuscript that had ALREADY gone through several independent reviewers and editors. After iuniverse did the original review through their supposed industry professional editor, she told me it wasn't up to par and needed several of their editor changes, of course for several thousand dollars. They baited me with "it would get submitted for one of their editorial prizes" if I signed up. I got sucked into that, and it has been the worse year ever of dealing with the most incompetent people I have ever met. The first editor didn't even read the book and wouldn't work on it because it "was not believable" before she was even finished with the first chapter. I was exposing unnamed agencies that ripped off the neglected, because I witnessed it along with several other people, and yes, it was very disturbing but TRUE! Anyway, after struggling through several iterations with their totally incompetent people throughout the company, it finally went to the cover designers, who after several months eventually submitted a cover that not only didn't fit the book, but was extremely offensive. I got an outside designer to do the cover, and submitted it to iuniverse, and they still didn't get it right. I asked for my money back several times during the process and was shut down each time. AVOID THIS COMPANY LIKE THE PLAGUE! Look at the website, BooksAndSounds.org and see if you like the books on there. If so, contact that company and they will assist you in your publishing for under $1000 for a professional published book.

    0 Votes
  • So
    So embarrassed Anonymous Sep 23, 2010

    I signed up with iuniverse and it's been years and I have not made over $200. That money was also only made at book signings. My book is plastered all over the internet and I've been doing my own promotion to thousands yet they always say I have no new sales. Print on Demand is a scam and who ever does it is paying to have their book printed but you'll only get a few copies for your fee. If you're thinking of selling your book through them they will charge you so much per copy that it won't even be worth it to sell your own book.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Madison Steve Oct 24, 2010

    Does anyone break even or make money from publishing through IUniverse?

    0 Votes
  • Sy
    sylva Oct 24, 2010

    I published my first poetry collection"Lance my Hart ( Heart) at a Glance" July 2007 with iUniverse, I was thrilled and happy, they were fast and helpful but I haven't received any royalty yet.
    The same thing applies with my 9 books published with Xlibris during 3 year-period. I gained only $ 9. My friends bought my books from Amazon and Barnes and Noble and wrote comments. Still I can't understand their system;may be I will get after I pass away!
    Dr.Sylva Portoian(Sylva-MD-Poetry)

    0 Votes
  • Rz
    rzeke Nov 19, 2010

    My first experience with iUniverse a number of years ago was acceptable, so I chose to use them again. My second book "Spare Them? No Profit. Remove Them? No Loss." was published this past February. The experience was mixed. Some things went very well, and others needed constant supervision by me. My problem now is two-fold: 1) The royalties that they report do not reflect what I believe is accurate, because I know for a certainty that people are buying the book. I am a professional marketer and have been marketing it heavily. 2) iUniverse/ AuthorHouse personnel hound me to buy more things from them, marketing services, screenplays, advertising schemes, etc. My email is filled with their solicitations and they call me on the phone every couple of weeks. I have told them again and again to stop, but they continue. The people who call seem to be very young and desperate to sell products. Something is very wrong with this company. I would like to see an investigation of their practices.

    0 Votes
  • He
    hex sortilege Dec 06, 2010

    People need to unserstand that nothing is free because nobody does anything for free. I had an oppertunity to get my book published through traditional means but then I found out that, after they pay thier small lump sum to me, that they will have controling interest to my copywrites. With most self publishing yopu have to pay a huge fee for each book printed. Iuniverse offers the third option print on demeand. With I universe you keep 100% of your copywrites and you only pay for the services to the book, you don't pay for every copy printed. Iuniverse charges so much because they are a company and they have employees that they must be paid and everything that is done extra to your book is one more thing they have to pay someone to do. Its call good business. They offer a good product and we the consumer pay for said product, then thier employees that help make the product get paid and those employees pay for things themselves and the cycle continues. Welcome to the economy.

    0 Votes
  • Br
    Brian Wayne Gray Dec 06, 2010

    I am a professional writer, having written magazine articles for decades that have been published in leading international magazines, and I have several books published by other publishers, as well. I say all of that to preface that I have not encountered any of the problems that I am reading about here, and I just published my latest book, Leviticus Revealed, through the services of iUniverse. I don't think that there are any perfect publishing houses, but I honestly feel that many people who write a disgruntled report against using iUniverse may simply not be people who have marketable properties. It is hard for a person's ego to be rejected, but, if you are truly worth reading, you will find that you are going to be accepted by some publisher somewhere, and if it is any consolation, even the most famous of writers has had his or her share of rejection notices. The key to successful publication is to keep polishing your craft. When you are truly ready, readers will buy your work, and publishers will be only to happy to accommodate you.

    Brian Gray, Author, Leviticus Revealed

    0 Votes
  • Dr
    Dreamboat Dec 26, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Your satisfaction with iUniverse will largely be based on your expectations. If you read their marketing materials closely, you'll see how little they care about your success. uUniverse isn't in the book selling business. They sell publishing services to authors. To prove this, let's use my book as an example. Based on their odd formatting-the book trim size is 5x8-my 109, 000 word fiction novel translated to 528 pages. Based on every formatting test I tried, the book is nearly 100 pages too many. Since uUniverse determines retail price based on the number if pages, my softcover novel us priced at $27.95. You're right to gasp. I can't get people to buy it at that price even if I threatened them with a gun. The fact that the book is more triple the price of an average paperback, iUniverse doesn't care. They made their money off me when I paid the setup fee.

    The only bright spot in this whole mess is that I get to set the price of the e-pub versions, Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, etc. I set the price at $4.99.

    Listen, folks. Don't think there is real money in self publishing. Because there isn't. What I'm trying to do is sell enough Kindle versions so I can take the sales numbers to a quality agent and leverage a real publishing contract. For your reference, sales of electronic books gave increased 300% since 2008. Kindle users purchase significantly more books per year than do people who only buy paper books. Kindle users are 10 times more likely to write a review of an e-book than a paper book. This is the market, at $4.99, I may have a chance with.

    0 Votes
  • Kl
    KLPhair Jan 07, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have been publishedunder iUniverse and like any other Publish On demand book, anyone can get published, so if you go this route then do nto expect any retailers or anyone to take you seriously. Only the desperate go this route as I was desperate ten years ago. I since then have built my own company and self publish my own books and eBooks to be carried through Barnes and Nobles, Amazon and iBooks. Create your own company and publish otherwise youre setting yourself up for things like this. I wish everyone the best of luck and I am glad for my iUniverse experience ten years ago because I got alot of experience, contacts and now run my own small publishing company. Not a millionaire or best seller but I write full time and have my own fan base and can live off of it comfortably. If you want osme insight of how to self publish I will give you some resources for free but to publish a book will cost money for you so keep that in mind. I will not charge to point you in the right direciton but companies will charge to print your book. However you cna print a obok as low as $2.20 a copy for over 2, 000 copies also depending ont he books length and it will beunder your companies name not a"vanity" publisher like iUniverse. I also can impart startegies I ued to get started. I do not charge for this and am willing to give you information. Like you I was lost and over the eyars have found answers. I have been bessed in this way and have a personal editor and promotion consultant. So if you ever need any direction let me know and I will point you in the best areas I know.

    0 Votes
  • Re
    Reese2012 Apr 03, 2017

    @KLPhair Hello,

    I hope you still can reply to me. I read your review and you made some excellent points. I would like to know how you set up your publishing company to sell you ebooks. All information you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

    0 Votes
  • Kl
    KLPhair Jan 07, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I just reread my post and typos galore. Anyways I just read some other comments about people saying they have been published in traditional sense and then that you cannot make money self-publishing. Well I am making money self-publishing and enough to live off of in a house etc. Also if I were ever published in the traditional sense I would never go through iUniverse or even a traditional publisher because despite I sell less, I make more money than I would otherwise unless I was a best seller. Anyone can come on here and write a review that they are making tons of money with iUniverse but let us use commons sense people. If you wrote articles for a major magazine etc. So I googled this authors name and found no reference anywhere. I googled m own name and found references for places other than my book. So maybe he used a pen name maybe not. Anyways, my point it anyone can come on the internet and tell a good story. So people, please sue common sense. I also apologize for my other post not using spell check. As I said self-publish and if you need direction of how to do that I will give you resources free of charge of how to go about doing that. However, I do not believe for a second that any national or international author would EVER go through iUniverse or a company print on demand like them because I am self-published now and I sure would not!

    0 Votes
  • Ti
    Tim Burns Feb 19, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I published with iUniverse and it was a snap! I did the whole thing over the internet, didn't need to talk to one person over the phone and they always got all my corrections done fast. I think some people on here think that if you just throw anything at anyone, they can do all of the work for you, edting, etc. If you really do write and submit to them correctly you will have no problems. As for the business model itself, I agree with one thing said about them now in 2011, they are selling buggy whips in space age, only because paper books are going by by and anyone can now publish a book and sell/promote it on a PDF...

    0 Votes
  • La
    Lawrence Clarke Mar 08, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    09.March.2011
    iUniverse published my last novel. It was a quality product and I have sold the copies I purchased. I even broke the book down here in Australia and sold it myself. My complaint is - The book is on over a dozen sites and I know that copies have been sold but they maintain no sales. Luckily, owning the rights, I sell through my own web site http//:www.lawrenceclarke-authorplaywright.com. and I have the books made up here in Perth WA. If postage wasn't so horrendous I would order them from the publisher. Sadly it costs $10 a copy postage. My only beef is the royalties question. It seems shady to me, at best. As I said a quality product.

    0 Votes
  • Bo
    bonobo79 Mar 18, 2011

    I have published twice with iUniverse and once with CreateSpace. You get what you for. Except for the sleazy snake oil salesman they have who gets your account, the service was good and the final product fine. Compared with CreatSpace, you get bigger Amazon royalties with CreateSpace and the retail price is much lower, but iUniverse has a better end-product and they are much, much easier to work with in production, especially if you have your own cover design. CreateSpace was horrid at that.

    This is self-publishing, and for the vast majority of authors, this is a vanity press. You cannot expect to hit the best-sellers charts. However, if you want a book, this is a good way to do it. After a year, I have almost recouped the $400 I paid iUniverse for my first book, and that is fine with me. My CreateSpace book is less than half-way, but it is only available on Amazon as I am keeping the retail price too low for it to be carried elsewhere. My third book went live yesterday.

    0 Votes
  • La
    Lawrence Clarke Mar 18, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I agree with bono except where he says 'you get what you for'. I have had two books published with iUniverse and had no hassles. What? you expect them to sell the merchandise for you as well. Get off your fat [censor] and do some leg work. Shopping centres, malls, door to door. I have self-published 6 novels and am closing in on 14, 000 copies sold through hard work. It's not all about sitting in front of a screen or a word processor and hoping. If your in, you should be in all the way. IUniverse are in all the way because they want to turn a profit and know how to do it. You, who complain, need 'to take a leaf out of their book', to coin a phrase.

    0 Votes
  • Ed
    Ed Becker May 24, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am in favor of self publishing, but had a nightmare using Iuniverse. False promises, unbelievable employee turnover, poor treatment, they won't return calls and waste your time, rudeness, and act like a company that is going out of business. I won't get into the quality of their services as I had the impression they employ part-time high school kids. I am having to republish and will likely sue them. www.edwinbecker.com

    0 Votes
  • Fi
    Fiq Faysee Aug 15, 2011

    Who would pay someone to publish his or her book? Its like those modelling agencies that make you pay thousands with promises of getting you noticed. If someone wants your book they will pay for it. There are only two routes. Either you get a pubisher who pays you an advance. Never ever go with a publisher who only promises you royalties. He can then just sit on your title for years and do nothing with it. Second, is you buy The Complete Guide to Self Publishing and study that book from cover to cover and back again. Like someone here said, its not rocket science. The steps to self publish are these. Write your book. Pay an editor to finesse it. Usually $50 and they are universally reasonable about hours. Pay a copyeditor. Do the graphic design by yourself. Take a picture of a statue in a public place and modify it in Photoshop into two colours. Contact a printing business to get their specs. Learn InDesign and set the book yourself. It takes about three months to learn but you will be incredibly glad you did. While doing this get a web hosting service and set up your estore. Do this by setting up a vendor account with paypal. HAve a one page website. Forget about shopping carts. Just have one paypall checkout button. Then get, in this order, your ISBN, get a CIPP, get an EAN Bookland bar code for free at http://www.tux.org/~milgram/bookland/. Put all the info on your website and start selling. I don't know anything about fiction. For non-fiction you contact think tanks that share your point of view and academic contacts.

    0 Votes

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