Last updated

Parent company Author Solutions
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters location Bloomington, Indiana
Publication typesBooks
Official website iuniverse.com

iUniverse, founded in October 1999, is an American self-publishing company based in Bloomington, Indiana. [1]

Self-publishing publication of a book or other publications by the author or authors

Self-publishing is the publication of media by its author without the involvement of an established publisher. In common parlance, the term usually refers to physical written media, such as books and magazines, or digital media, such as e-books and websites. It can also apply to albums, pamphlets, brochures, video content, zines, or uploading images to a website.

Bloomington, Indiana City in Indiana, United States

Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. It is the seventh-largest city in Indiana and the fourth-largest outside the Indianapolis metropolitan area. According to the Monroe County History Center, Bloomington is known as the "Gateway to Scenic Southern Indiana." The city was established in 1818 by a group of settlers from Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia who were so impressed with "a haven of blooms" that they called it Bloomington.



iUniverse focuses on print-on-demand self-publishing and a service the company refers to as "assisted self-publishing" which critics say is indicative of vanity press [2] [3] since authors are asked to pay from US$400 [4] to $15,000 for additional services. [5] Soon after they were founded, Barnes & Noble purchased a 49% stake in the company. As part of the agreement, Barnes & Noble offered select iUniverse titles both in their online bookstore and at their physical stores. [6]

A vanity press, vanity publisher, or subsidy publisher is a publishing house in which authors pay to have their books published. Vanity publishers have no selection criteria as opposed to other "hybrid" publishing models. The term has appeared in mainstream U.S. publications as early as 1941. In contrast, mainstream publishers, whether major companies or small presses, derive their profit from sales of the book to the general public. Publishers must therefore be cautious and deliberate in choosing to publish works that will sell, particularly as they must recoup their investment in the book. In order to sell books, commercial publishers may also be selective in order to cultivate a reputation for high-quality work, or to specialize in a particular genre.

Barnes & Noble, Inc., a Fortune 1000 company, is the bookseller with the largest number of retail outlets in the United States and a retailer of content, digital media, and educational products. As of March 7, 2019, the company operates 627 retail stores in all 50 U.S. states.

In 2004, Amy Fisher's memoir, If I Knew Then, about serving seven years in prison on first-degree aggravated assault charges for shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco, became the best-selling book in iUniverse's history, selling more than 32,000 copies up to 2004. [7] According to a 2005 Publishers Weekly article, out of the more than 18,000 titles published by iUniverse until 2004, only 83 had sold at least 500 copies and only 14 titles had been sold through physical Barnes & Noble stores. [7]

Amy Fisher American pornographic actor, journalist, writer

Amy Elizabeth Fisher is an American woman who became known as "the Long Island Lolita" by the media in 1992, when, at the age of 17, she shot and severely wounded Mary Jo Buttafuoco, the wife of her illicit lover, Joey Buttafuoco. Initially charged with first-degree attempted murder, she eventually pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated assault and served seven years in prison. Paroled in 1999, Fisher became a writer and a pornographic actress.

Mary Jo Buttafuoco Housewife, author

Mary Jo Buttafuoco is an American author and motivational speaker. In 1992 she was shot in the face by her husband's lover, Amy Fisher.

In September 2007, iUniverse was purchased by Author Solutions, the parent company of hedge fund-owned rival AuthorHouse. [8] In 2008, iUniverse operations moved from Lincoln, Nebraska to Bloomington, Indiana where Author Solution's headquarters are located. [1]

Author Solutions

Author Solutions is the parent company of the self publishing companies/imprints AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford Publishing, Xlibris, Palibrio, and Booktango. Author Solutions also maintains partnerships with traditional book publishers Simon & Schuster, Thomas Nelson, Hay House, and Guideposts ; as well as with Writer's Digest.

A hedge fund is an investment fund that pools capital from accredited investors or institutional investors and invests in a variety of assets, often with complex portfolio-construction and risk management techniques. It is administered by a professional investment management firm, and often structured as a limited partnership, limited liability company, or similar vehicle. Hedge funds are generally distinct from mutual funds and regarded as alternative investments, as their use of leverage is not capped by regulators, and distinct from private equity funds, as the majority of hedge funds invest in relatively liquid assets. However, funds which operate similarly to hedge funds but are regulated similarly to mutual funds are available and known as liquid alternative investments.

AuthorHouse, formerly known as 1stBooks, is a self-publishing company based in the United States. AuthorHouse uses print-on-demand business model and technology. AuthorHouse and its parent company, Author Solutions, are subsidiaries of Najafi Companies.

See also

Alternative media are media that differ from established or dominant types of media in terms of their content, production, or distribution. Alternative media take many forms including print, audio, video, Internet and street art. Some examples include the counter-culture zines of the 1960s, ethnic and indigenous media such as the First People's television network in Canada, and more recently online open publishing journalism sites such as Indymedia.

Print on demand

Print-on-demand (POD) is a printing technology and business process in which book copies are not printed until the company receives an order, allowing prints of singular or small quantities. While other industries established the build to order business model, "print-on-demand" could only develop after the beginning of digital printing, because it was not economical to print single copies using traditional printing technology such as letterpress and offset printing.

Samizdat key form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc in which individuals reproduced censored and underground publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader

Samizdat was a form of dissident activity across the Eastern Bloc in which individuals reproduced censored and underground publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader. This grassroots practice to evade official Soviet censorship was fraught with danger, as harsh punishments were meted out to people caught possessing or copying censored materials. Vladimir Bukovsky summarized it as follows: "Samizdat: I write it myself, edit it myself, censor it myself, publish it myself, distribute it myself, and spend jail time for it myself."

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Charles Scribners Sons American publisher

Charles Scribner's Sons, or simply Scribner's or Scribner, is an American publisher based in New York City, known for publishing American authors including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Stephen King, Robert A. Heinlein, Thomas Wolfe, George Santayana, John Clellon Holmes, Don DeLillo, and Edith Wharton.

Ingram Content Group is a United States-based service provider to the book publishing industry based in La Vergne, Tennessee. It is a subsidiary of Ingram Industries.

Xlibris is a self-publishing and on-demand printing services provider, founded in 1997 and based in Bloomington, Indiana. In 2000, The New York Times stated it to be the foremost on-demand publisher. The current chief executive is Andrew Philips, who was formerly the president of Penguin Books.

Trafford Publishing is a company for self-publishing using print-on-demand technology, formerly based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and now based in Bloomington, Indiana, USA.

Skyhorse Publishing

Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. is an American independent book publishing company founded in 2006 and headquartered in New York City, with a satellite office in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Arcadia Publishing American publisher

Arcadia Publishing is an American publisher of neighborhood, local, and regional history of the United States in pictorial form. Arcadia Publishing also runs the History Press, which publishes text-driven books on American history and folklore.

Noble Roman's is a pizza company based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Amy Collins is an American entrepreneur, speaker and author in the field of book marketing and distribution.

Threshold Editions is an imprint of Simon & Schuster — the publishing division of CBS Corporation — specializing in conservative non-fiction. Louise Burke is the publisher, and Mitchell Ivers is the VP & editorial director. Mary Matalin was its founding editor-in-chief.

Pronoun was a New York-based company that provides free book publishing, marketing, and analytics services to authors. Pronoun was launched in 2015.

Amazon Publishing is Amazon's book publishing unit launched in 2009. It is composed of 15 imprints including AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Montlake Romance, Thomas & Mercer, 47North, TOPPLE Books.

FastPencil is an American self-publishing start-up founded in 2008 by Michael Ashley. They offer a web-based publishing engine that allows authors, publishers, and enterprises to create books in print and EPUB formats and have those books distributed online and in brick-and-mortar stores through partnerships with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ingram, and others.

Cedar Fort, Inc. is a mid-sized publisher based in Utah. Founded in 1986 by Lyle Mortimer and Lee Nelson, Cedar Fort has evolved from a niche Latter-day Saints book publisher, to a national multimedia company, with offerings in film, audiobooks, art, and gifts alongside its book catalog. In 2015, Publishers Weekly named Cedar Fort one of its top ten fastest growing publishers.


  1. 1 2 Kevin Abourezk, "iUniverse to move to Indiana" Lincoln Journal Star, January 22, 2008
  2. Shey, Brittanie (October 12, 2011), Oprah of the Piney Woods , retrieved November 30, 2016, Another set of these pages is at a vanity press called iUniverse, being proofread at Sager's expense.
  3. Coker, Mark (January 7, 2015), "2014 Book Publishing Industry Predictions — Increased Competition Between Traditional Publishers and Indie Authors", Huffington Post, retrieved November 30, 2016, The vanity approach to self-publishing, as witnessed by Pearson/Penguin’s acquisition of Author Solutions (operates AuthorHouse, iUniverse, BookTango, Trafford, Xlibris, Palibrio, others...), has shown itself to harm the brands of all traditional publishers
  4. Sarkar, Samita (2016), "On Vanity Presses, True Self-Publishing, and One Author's Tenacity", Huffington Post, retrieved November 30, 2016
  5. Tugend, Alina (July 29, 2011), "Proliferate, Easing the Bar to Entry", The New York Times, retrieved November 30, 2016
  6. Clampet, Elizabeth (November 2, 1999). "Barnes & Noble Takes Stake in iUniverse". internetnews.com. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
  7. 1 2 Staff (May 16, 2005). "iUniverse by the Numbers". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on February 19, 2008.
  8. Milliot, Jim (September 9, 2007), "AuthorHouse acquires iUniverse", Publishers Weekly, archived from the original on May 4, 2009