iUniverse is partially owned by Barnes and Noble. This is a strength in that the company is certainly well-funded. Anyone who can lose over 9 million dollars and still be in business must be doing something right. iUniverse is big and people know it.

But you may not know that even though these people have access to a huge chain of book stores, when you sign on with them you become just another writer lost in the system. And worse: Barnes & Noble does not generally stock books published by iUniverse. They work with a non-exclusive contract, which is good for writers. However, while they allow you to terminate your contract at any time, there is a clause in there that gives them the right to include your work (or part of it) in a compilation. They do not specify what would happen to such a compilation if you terminate your contract. They also reserve the right to keep on distributing your book for up to a year if the contract is terminated at the author’s request, something that effectively closes the door to a deal with a traditional publisher.

In addition, royalties are based on net and are very low–a meager 20% of net with a 20% discount to bookstores, or 10% of net with a 40% discount. They do, however, edit your back cover copy for an additional fee on the Premier Package ($799) or as part of the Premier Plus Package ($1099).

In Summary:

On the plus side:
-Competitively priced.
-Non-exclusive contract.

-Edits back cover copy

On the negative side:
-Publishes anything.
-Low royalties (10% – 20% of NET, not list).
-Low author discounts.
-Little flexibility.