iUniverse/Author House Company does not respond with full sales figures. Bloomington Indiana
I published my book, Vlad Dracula, The Dragon Prince, with iUniverse in December 2004. At first, everything went smoothly. Sales were steady enough that I was entered into iU's STAR program. I purchased a marketing program from them for several hundred dollars, in which they claimed that they would send e-mails to a target audience of book buyers. I have no way of knowing what they did, but I did not generate one sale that I know of from this program. I decided to try a more focused approach and purchased another marketing program from them for $1200, this time supposedly targeted to blogs on the subject of Dracula. Sparing the details here. that program was a mess, and, after several e-mails back and forth, they finally refunded my money.
In the meantime, my book sold well enough that it was published in Italy, Poland, China, and Viet-Nam by commercial publishers. It carries solid 4-Star reviews on amazon in the US, and 4 1/2 Stars in the UK. I did make one inquiry--not an accusation--regarding iU's royalty reporting to the Indiana Consumer Protection Bureau. They (uselessly) referred the question to iU instead of doing an actual investigation into the matter. I suppose they do not have the resources to investigate every question raised with them. I asked the question because of my own doubts and things I saw posted on-line about iU.
Recently, I asked iU for gross sales figures for my book since its publication in December 2004. I made it clear that this was not a royalty issue, that I just needed a gross figure of sales to refer to my agent in the hopes of getting a US publisher interested. I even said they could lump all sales--e-books, hard cover, paperback--together, so I wouldn't even be able to estimate what total royalties should have been.
Well, I am now four e-mails into it with them, the last being sent by me today, 12/17/14. The only response I received was a partial report of sales from this calendar year after my second e-mail (their on-line posting of sales are rarely, if ever, up to date), which is useless and does not answer my question.
This has all raised further questions in my mind, which I intend to refer to another legal agency, one which, I hope, does investigate iU. As I said, there are several other complaints posted on-line about iU. Again, I am not making any allegations, just raising questions, like, Why won't iU send a meaningful response to my recent request? Do they, in fact, report all sales and pay all royalties? Do they keep all sales records on books published? If not, why not?
I posted before about their poor record with my book on their marketing programs. And how, when they entered my book in their STAR Program because of its number of sales, they had the back cover description written by someone who either did not speak English as his/her first language or was just very poor at grammar.
At any rate, that is my story to date.