Netted in the flotsam and jetsam of comments (POD people) was this:
From the iUniverse web site:"iUniverse's services in book publishing are endorsed by industry leading author organizations, including the Authors Guild and ASJA. iUniverse is a proud member of the Association of American Publishers, Publishers Marketing Association, and Small Publishers Association of North America. The company's major investors include Warburg Pincus and Barnes Noble."Anyone endorsed by the Authors Guild, ASJA, and Barnes Noble is not a scam. There are many POD companies that are out to rip people off, but iUniverse seems to be legitimate. I am not exactly impartial, however. My cousin and I used their services to publish a biography of our grandfather. This book was exclusively for our family and everyone was thrilled with the result. We were extremely pleased with their service, low cost, and the final product.
When was the last time you heard an author say "We were extremely pleased with their service, low cost, and the final product" when talking about a book published by Random House? Simon and Schuster? Hell, forget the big boys. How about Ig Publishing in Brooklyn? Akashic?
Never is the correct answer. That's a phrase you hear on television from someone endorsing a a product like storm windows or trusses.
iUniverse is selling you a product in the shape of a book. You are the consumer, even if you provide them the content they print.
If you want a short print run and limited availability (such as with a family bio, or a family cookbook...or Miss Snark's Guide to Clooney Love) one of these POD mills is certainly worth considering.
If you want your book to be in stores, it's not. It's that simple.
These POD mills make their money from the money you pay to publish. Publishers from Random House down to Ig Publishing make their money selling books. It's that simple.