An iUniverse of Regret

This following is actually old news…I only stumbled on it today. CAGNEY AND LACEY executive producer Barney Rosensweig told Publishers Weekly back in August that he now regrets publishing his terrific book about the making of the show through iUniverse.

Rosenzweig developed a happy relationship with Susan
Driscoll, president/CEO of iUniverse, who he calls “a standup person
who was terrific to work with.” But he admits that most of the people
under Driscoll, “found me abrasive. They’re used to publishing books by
grandfathers for their grandkids. I was trying to put out a national

“I knew that I wouldn’t be in bookstores, but I
didn’t realize how devastating that would be,” said Rosenzweig. “Not
having a warehouse full of books that will accept books back from
booksellers if they don’t sell really puts a crimp in your ability to
sell. Booksellers are not interested in becoming book buyers.” He also
realized that his primary demographic was older female fans of the TV
show and, he said, “they’re really not savvy about the Internet. When
they saw me with Rosie O’Donnell on The View, they looked for the book in a bookstore, they didn’t order it online.”

Even with a guest appearance on THE VIEW to promote his book, he still couldn’t succeed with a book through iUniverse. That should tell you all you need to know about the chances for success with a POD book…(by comparison, a guest-shot on THE VIEW sent my sisters’ book VISUAL CHRONICLES to #1 on Amazon within minutes of the airing and led to thousands of sales through brick-and-mortar stores)

I know how he feels from first-hand experience with iUniverse. I reprinted my book UNSOLD TELEVISION PILOTS for free through the Authors Guild’s Back-in-Print program with iUniverse shortly before the broadcast of the one-hour, ABC Special based on the book. But even with that national exposure, and lots of articles in major newspapers and magazines that mentioned the book, the sales barely ticked up from the usual handful of copies I sell each month. That’s the reality of POD.

4 thoughts on “An iUniverse of Regret”

  1. That’s precisely why newspapers aren’t interested in reviewing POD books. The majority of book buyers don’t buy books online. (I imagine that’s even more true of the newspaper-reading demographic.)
    And, of course, most of them suck.

  2. It’s not POD’s fault his book didn’t sell. It’s his own fault. He didn’t do the research necessary to know if POD was right for him. Given his audience, it obviously wasn’t.
    If he had built an online audience before he created the book, his book may have done much better with POD than it did. Unfortunately, it seems he did not do that.


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