This is the second post in a three part series answering a question posed to us at the Miami Book Fair International. "Are you better than iUniverse?"
Today we'll focus on the quality of the author services: editing, book interior and cover design.
When an author publishes with iUniverse, the process begins with an Editorial Evaluation. The company explains, “The Editorial Evaluation is a manuscript checkup that assesses your work to be sure it has fulfilled the basic requirements of a published book. The editorial evaluator will not only provide you with a general overview of your manuscript, but also offer feedback on how to write a better book—on what works and what doesn't.”
Sounds good. Suppose you want to discuss that feedback with your editorial evaluator? You can’t! iUniverse explains that in the interest of protecting confidentiality and professional honesty, “Our contract with our evaluators requires us to keep their identities private, so we can't allow an author to personally speak with his evaluator. If you have brief questions regarding your evaluation, your Check-In Coordinator can forward them to the editorial department, who will share your concerns with the evaluator, if appropriate, and respond to you in a timely fashion.”
The same thing is true with other iUniverse editorial services. When iUniverse edits your book you receive two things: your edited manuscript with recommended changes shown using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature, and “A letter from your editor regarding the edited manuscript you have just received. That letter will describe the service and provide you with other useful information.” No opportunity to talk with your editor to discuss his or her recommendations is included.
Maybe you need illustrations for your book. If you decide to have iUniverse do a Custom Illustration for you, you will once again fin that you can’t speak with your illustrator. iUniverse explains, “Your Illustration Coordinator handles all communication surrounding your illustration project and acts as a liaison between you and your illustrator.”
Stories To Tell
We believe that creating the book that you deserve is a collaborative process requiring consistent and open communication between you and your editor, illustrator, or book designer.
When we evaluate your manuscript we provide you not only with a written report of what we saw, but discuss those findings with you in a telephone conference.
When we do a content or copy edit on your book, we provide you with a copy of your manuscript with Track Changes, we ask you to review it and to discuss our recommendations and ask any questions you may have about them. Often manuscripts go back and forth several times between you and your editor, accompanied by email or phone discussions, until you are satisfied that your manuscript is the best it can be.
An author always has a picture in his or her mind of what their book should look like. That includes its cover, illustrations, graphics and interior layout. As with editing, the result you seek can only be achieved through collaboration between you and your book designer. When you hire us to design your book your designer will send you drafts of its interior or cover. You provide feedback by email or phone. The designer makes the changes you requested. This process goes on until your book looks just the way you want it to.
Our method of helping you to create a book is a high touch process. We think it’s worth it. We think you will too.