As an experienced (published) author -- several dozen articles, three nonfiction books and an equal number of non-productive agents, I had my eyes open when I bought their package for a mystery/crime novel. I did so on the basis that somehow a few of their authors found real/commercial publishers who picked up the IU books for publication. Regarding how this actually happened I could never get any clear information. The way these things actually happen generally falls into that area of "who you know and whether they like you."
I gambled on this hoping I would be one of the lucky ones. I spent around $2500. and bought my own cover art and design. Their stuff, I might add, has all the eclat and verve of old wallpaper. I had to lean on them, but the finished product was to my liking.
The problem was/is they don't really publish your book they simply PRINT it. Publishing involves advertising, getting reviews, if you're really fortunate book signings, TV appearance -- PROMOTION! They claim to offer this, for VERY big bucks. What is there? For one a table and chair in a hotel ballroom with 3-500 other desperate authors for a day. There are "professional reviews" in "major publications" for something well over $200 . a pop. " This smacks to me of "pay for play" -- totally worthless since ,unfortunately, the IU imprint on the cover identifies the product as "vanity press" not a "real" published book. Literary publications, professional writers organizations will not touch your work with a barge pole. As far as they are concerned it doesn't exist. It may sit on amazon (or whatever) and no one knows it's there.
I am still bombarded by IU reps with similar offers
since my book is well above average and deserves... I have countered with the suggestion that if they believe their own promotion they should get into commercial publishing with a "premium imprint" and compete with the rest. With all the *** they receive there have to be a few pieces of genuine worth. No thanks. Too bad.
Reason of review: Not as described/ advertised.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
Iuniverse Cons: Way they promoted my book, I universe.