Not understanding the self-publishing system, I self-published Shall-We-Chat? Revealing the Secrets of Chatting Online through Createspace which is associated with Amazon. The benefits of this site is that it's free and the books are automatically available on Amazon. I didn't know what I was doing and I made some publishing mistakes. The book turned out pretty well, but I decided for my next one I would get a publishing company.
There are a number of publishing houses out there that cater to self-publishing authors. After checking out a few, I chose iUniverse since they were the cheapest. They charge $1,200 to publish your book. The other places charge between $3,000 to $4,000 and I couldn't afford that. I was optimistic that my book would be better after being published by an established firm.
iUniverse proceeded to publish Locker Rooms in approximately three months. They offered editorial services but their charges were very high which made it unavailable to me. I had thought that editing was part of the package. I was wrong to consider the novel ready for publishing. I should have had it edited by a professional editor. I didn't have my editor Blake Atwood at that time.
Since I have trouble writing the back cover, I requested iUniverse do that. It cost $200. I asked Blake to do the same for That Truthful Place and he charged me $40. Actually, everything I asked iUniverse to do cost me more money. The fee I originally paid only covered the basics. Anything extra cost money. I also expected them to do some marketing for me. They don't do any. They do offer some events but very expensive.
When Locker Rooms was published, I bought copies to sell to my friends and for signings. Since it was an American company, the exchange rate made it expensive. I had to buy the book at its book price so when I did the signings and was charged 45% by Chapters, I actually lost money with every book I sold. Not an ideal situation.
In addition, unknown to me, I had to obtain an IRS Income Tax number which is difficult to do. After waiting on hold with the IRS for 45 minutes to learn how to properly fill out the form, I sent in the correct form with my passport. I was very nervous about sending my passport but I had no choice.
Obviously, I was very unhappy working iUniverse. I mentioned that to Blake and he said I could cancel with them. I didn't know that. So, of course, I immediately cancelled my contract with them.
I have re-self-published Locker Rooms through Createspace and it is now available on Amazon. Here are the links to buy Locker Rooms: Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. It is not available through Amazon.ca which is an obvious disadvantage.
I don't know what those other more expensive companies offer, but I love Createspace. Its free but there are a number of easy steps to follow to self-publish. Also, the royalties are much better. You can buy your copy for a cheap price so I will make money on every book I sell. A much better situation.