If you're not reading Ann and Victoria's blog regularly, you're missing good information.

And I don't just mean starting out writers looking to avoid scams, but things like this about iUniverse. I've lumped all those POD places together as one big vat of bubbling sludge, but from what I read there, I was wrong (not the first time in this millenium).


Anonymous said...

I self-published with iUniverse and I regret it. I didn't naively believe that books would be on shelves in any store. I understood fully that no books would even be printed, as a matter of fact, until they were sold.

However, it only cost me $359 to self-publish this way and I made that back in royalties long ago. What I was naive about was in my hope that once this book was available at Amazon, etc., it would have a fighting chance in the market place.

I now realize that POD is a dead end. For one thing, nobody in the industry takes POD seriously because most POD books are BAD (I hope mine isn't). Only a handful of libraries ever bought a copy, and many agents can't run away fast enough when they hear it's been PODded.

Even more detrimental to the success of the book is that there is absolutely no effort by iUniverse to promote or advertise it. I knew it would be this way in advance but I thought I could handle it myself because my book was aimed at a specific target audience that I thought would be easy to reach. As exhausting as it was, the plan worked to some degree. In the end, though, it backfired because the book is considered more untouchable than ever by agents and publishers.

By coincidence, another book (by an author who unlike me had the discipline to do it the right way) about a similar topic. That book, which sold pretty well, is good but I think mine is just as good.

Oh well!

Anonymous said...

It's good to know there are vanity presses who are legit. While I can see why iUniverse would want to put the caveats in the small print, at least they do. This way, an author who has failed to find a commercial publisher after trying for several years, and feels compelled to put his or her book in print, has an way of doing so without being scammed. My one hope is that when such an author contacts iUniverse and wants to pay for the Premier Plus program, iUniverse spells these caveats out clearly.

Anonymous said...

Hello, is anyone out there? Are yawl afraid to be nitwit of the day? Okay, I'll be it. Been there before. Dearest Miss Snark, are you suggesting that your beloved snarklings play in the sludge pool? I'm clueless. Would this desperate attempt not sabatoge (did I spell that right? I write on a 6th grade level)the most nitwit of nitwits?

Georgia Girl

Skylar said...

Well, most POD books are a vat of bubbling sludge, but there are some rare gems. Check out POD-dy Mouth's blog. (Sorry, I don't have the URL at my fingertips.)

Peter L. Winkler said...

If you read the comment at Writers Beware from a former Barnes&Noble employee, you discover tha iUniverse's $1,099 program might get your book shelved in the reference section or on a small table at the very back of the store. And paying the $1,099 doesn't even guarantee that your book is selected for such treatment, only that it might be.

It's a cruel deception. Me thinks it stinks.

tlh said...

Self-pub (as in, "paying a printer to print your book" not as in "paying a scammer to fluff your ego") is a viable option for people with niche books.

Say, a companion book to a seminar you plan to sell after the talk, or a book on a topic so specialized or of limited interest (say, family photos) that there's no market for it.

Go into it with your eyes open; ask yourself what you want out of the deal and use the method that is most likely to achieve those results.

Shadow said...

POD-dy Mouth here.

Christina Rundle said...

I love Ann and Victoria's blog. Like most people say on Writers.Net, it just depends on what you want out of the printing department. Do you want you journals preserved and handed out at the next family meeting or do you want a career in writing. I personally want the career.

Rik said...

I've had good experiences with Lulu.com - as in not having to pay any money up front, and getting a quality product at the end of it. But it's not the way to go for people who want to be published novelists unless they know exactly what they're getting into, and what they expect to get out of it.

I chose POD because there's no market for poetry ("What, really? You'll publish my poem in your magazine/anthology and give me two free copies in payment?"). And the book made an excellent Christmas present for those hard-to-buy-for uncle and aunt types.


nir said...

I like Lulu.com for printing your work so you can see it in print before editing. It's much more convenient than Kinko's if you write on the computer as I do, and you can set it for "private" (so no one but you sees the work) and delete the manuscript off their server after you get your nice bound book (for like ten bucks). It's fun to see your name on a cover, too.

I wouldn't consider POD for a serious marketing effort, just because I don't have that kind of time and energy to do it myself. I would rather hire someone (an agent/publisher/etc.) to do it for me and get their cut out of it. If my book's not salable I'd rather hear it up front, then I could fix it.

Anonymous said...

It sounds as if you STILL mistake Print-On-Demand books with vanity presses. They're not the same thing. There are print-on-demand presses that charge the author NOTHING, but instead pay them royalties, print the books and do a quality job. iUniverse charges the authors - that makes them a vanity press. Of course, in their case, they were both vanity and POD and I've never seen an iUniverse book to judge the quality of printing.