M.J. Rose reports today that iUniverse is contracting. Layoffs announced as the print-on-demand outfit drops its corporate services. Now iUniverse publishes only individual authors. This is not surprising as more and more small publishers get into POD and as the technology for adopting it, even for small businesses, is not that expensive. Businesses are opting to do their own POD in-house and not through third-party outfits like iUniverse.
I started my first novel with iUniverse and then pulled it when I saw the growing list of outfits, such as Booklocker, that did not require authors to sign any rights away in their standard contract. Methinks iUniverse will slowly lose market share among individual authors soon as well. As for my book, I offer it as a serial on this site and look for a paperback or other POD publisher to pick it up.
I don’t regret going with iUniverse initially. I got some very nice reviews and connections to A-list agents that are interested in my work in other genres and subjects now. But the sales of my book were marginal to say the least. What I definitely feel like a sucker about is spending ad money at Arts & Letters Daily to publicize the novel last summer. Not one sale.