Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why I recommend against using iUniverse

I am absolutely torn on the subject of iUniverse.  In the end I must recommend against using them, and that's a real shame, because I've met many talented and dedicated people there. The good folks at iUniverse seem to outnumber the bad by a factor of two or three to one, so it seems totally unfair to judge iUniverse poorly.

The bottom line is that marketing and promotion are absolutely vital to a fledgling author's success, and their marketing and promotions departments are truly, remarkably, AWFUL. I avoided major pitfalls at several points only because I have a few friends here and there with some expertise in the area. Had I trusted iUniverse's marketing department with my money and my book, it would have been an embarrassing and hugely expensive folly, no matter how wonderful the other staff were.

You might read my earlier post regarding the specifics of their marketing department's antics.

Their sales, packaging, editing, and production organizations are genuinely good. I really wish I could reward all the winners: Kathi, Andrea, Cherry, Jade, and a dozen more behind them, with a recommendation that people use their company to self publish. Unfortunately, for the first-time author, nothing will overcome bad marketing. Ask any literary agent.

Interestingly, iUniverse has given me half a dozen or more electronic polls over the last year to sample my opinion. I've given the above feedback each time. They've never followed up. Go figure.

Ultimately, iUniverse is not a safe place for a novice author to spend their money.


  1. Jeff,

    I am the marketing director for Author Solutions, the parent company of iUniverse. I am sorry to hear your experience was not satisfactory. Our goal is to help every author achieve their publishing goals. In fact, in our history, we have helped more than 150,000 authors. I will reach out to you to discuss your concerns and see how we might help you think as highly of the marketing as you do the publishing.

  2. Two things:
    1) I shall certainly follow up with a post to this forum as soon as you "reach out" to me.
    2) I'm curious why the earlier post in February didn't result in a contact. I'll ask you about that when you call.

  3. As promised, I am posting when Keith called. Although the above post has him as a "marketing director", he explained that he is actually a Senior Vice President, and handles Corporate Marketing for the iUniverse brand. We spoke for some time, and he was clearly interested in learning more about what went wrong. We set an appointment to talk in a week or so. (The delay is in my schedule, not his, I'm going to be out of town) I will follow up with more information as I get it.

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