Wednesday, January 23, 2008

iUniverse Leaving Lincoln

As announced on their website:

A major self-publishing company, Author Solutions, announced plans Tuesday to move Lincoln-based self-publisher iUniverse to Bloomington, IN. Author Solutions acquired iUniverse last September in a deal that combined two of the countrys most successful self-publishing firms.


Anonymous said...

This is very sad. Getting in bed with AuthorHouse destroys any credibility that iUniverse ever had.

Anonymous said...

read the comments there

Anonymous said...

Truth wrote on January 22, 2008 7:41 pm:
" Another large business to leave the Lincoln area. What does the Chamber of Commerace do?? Maybe they should relocate to a different city also. "

Truth Decay wrote on January 22, 2008 7:45 pm:
" Wouldn't it be awesome if somebody wrote a book about this? "

Not a surprise wrote on January 22, 2008 8:05 pm:
" Sorry, but you can't blame the City of Lincoln or the Chamber of Commerce for this loss. The iUniverse executives who decided to sell the company to Author Solutions in the first place are the ones behind this. Some people made big money from this deal and you can't tell me that they didn't know the business was going to be consolidated. You don't allow a competing business to buy your company and expect everything to remain the same. Mergers lead to consolidation. It wouldn't have made sense to have two companies owned by the same corporation operating the exact same type of business in two different locations. The writing has been on the wall since last September. "

Figures wrote on January 22, 2008 8:09 pm:
" Another move to blame on the pathetic city council and Chamber of Commerce we have here in the City of Lincoln. "

Great wrote on January 22, 2008 9:05 pm:
" As has been stated many times here, Indiana is a progressive state, the governor, mayors, business leaders
get out and bring the businesses & industries to their
state. Its a state you know you will grow and know your
not going to be taxed to the hilt. Unlike Nebraska, you
are made to feel welcome and free!! "

Good grief wrote on January 23, 2008 9:18 am:
" I feel so bad for the employees at the iU office in Lincoln. They're out of a job because I'm pretty sure 90% of them will not move to Indiana. What a low blow. "

Get a grip wrote on January 23, 2008 11:56 am:
" Please. The idea that the city council had something to do with this is ludicrous. Author House bought IUniverse in order to eliminate competition. While they are offering people jobs in Indiana if they move there, the jobs are not at the same level of pay that they are receiving now at IUniverse. That 'we are looking out for employees' storyline is simply a crude attempt at positive PR spin. The problem is the simple nature of business more than it is tax incentives. The only thing tax incentives give you is the 'privilege' to compete against other towns to see who is willing to stoop the lowest in order to receive the crumbs that fall from the plates. The ones who by far benefit the most from such incentives are the people that had the cash to begin with. "

Dragon wrote on January 23, 2008 12:16 pm:
" It comes down to personal responsibility. In the past 20 years Lincoln lost what made it unique among small cities; locally owned community pillars. We still may have some businesses that maintain their commitment to the community (thanks Union Bank, Duncan, and others). But we lost NBC, Miller & Paine, Lincoln Telephones, SRI/Gallup, Lincoln Journal Star, and others. When people divest themselves of their investments in our community everyone loses except the share holders. I appreciate the community involvement of Dillard's, Wells Fargo, and Lee Enterprises but it just means that more money leaves the community to the out of state interests that purchased them. There are few (if any other) examples like MetroMail buying back their company. As a community we need to encourage people that have built their businesses here and made their fortunes, or fortunes for their families, to continue to retain ownership of their companies and be invested in the future success of their business and Lincoln. "

don't blame government wrote on January 23, 2008 12:30 pm:
" The city council and chamber of commerce are not to blame. When a business closes or moves, it is free market economics which dictates the change. If you are a believer in the free market system, you should recognize that sometimes economic forces will not work to your advantage. No business is going to keep an office in Lincoln simply to appease you or your government. "

biz owner wrote on January 23, 2008 1:04 pm:
" Chamber of Commerce fault? City Councils fault? Wow, if I ever make a bad business decision I'll just blame them for not doing their job. The only person whose fault this is is the past owners that are probably living on a beach right now and not caring what happens to their employees that trusted them. "

They did wrote on January 23, 2008 1:22 pm:
" The chamber of commerce and the mayor did not have anything direct to do with it. However, with the negative attitude of it and some of the citizens of Lincoln, they indirectly caused this. The city is more than happy to exclaim that they brought in another company offering unskilled jobs. They are not, however, willing to do what it takes to bring highly skilled jobs to Lincoln and let the ones here move to Omaha or another state. The economy benefits from skilled labor, even if the company itself gets major tax breaks. As far as this company goes, what do you think "The move also will allow the company to run a more efficient, cost-effective operation" means? I think it is a polite way of saying "It costs to much to remain in Lincoln". "

Actually, wrote on January 23, 2008 1:28 pm:
" (but who looks at facts) Indiana and Nebraska are very close in their tax ratings according to MSN. In fact, Indiana has a higher sales tax rate, while Nebraska's gas tax is higher. Other than that they're very similar. But like I said...who looks at facts. "

I wouldn't... wrote on January 23, 2008 3:17 pm:
" trust any of the execs at the company as far as I could throw them. "

Execs wrote on January 23, 2008 4:35 pm:
" Rest assured the executives of iU didn't give a hoot about fighting to keep the business here in Lincoln. "

Whatever wrote on January 23, 2008 5:27 pm:
" THis decision had nothing to do with the mayor, the chamber, or Lincoln. It had everything to do with the 6 figure salary execs that first sold iUniverse to a competing company then sold thier employees down the river. The ones who will be going on to work with Author Solutions have been positioning themselves long before the front line people ever knew there was an Author Solutions. Blame the so called "leaders" of iUniverse for the loss of jobs, income, livelyhoods, and unheaval of lives. Its their broken and empty promises and greediness that put 70+ people and their families in the situation they are in. Who is going to move to Indiana? For paycuts no less? Seriously...what a freakin insult. I'd like to ask those people how they sleep at night.... "

Wondering... wrote on January 24, 2008 9:26 am:
" How long did the execs at iUniverse know about this before they told the employees? It seems that somebody knew last year (Not a Surprise). Way to string your employees along and use them. Maybe that's why about 99% of their marketing dept. quit last year too. "

disillusioned wrote on January 24, 2008 2:07 pm:
" I can't say I'm shocked. When a competitor buys you out, you can pretty much say goodbye to your job security. Who DIDN'T see this coming? I guess when you get a fat payoff, you can wear the pretty blinders that keep reality from interfering in your dream world. "

does it matter? wrote on January 24, 2008 2:53 pm:
" the iUniverse office in NYC is on 5th avenue. The rent alone on that office is probably more than all the employees at the Lincoln location make. But the NYC office won't be closing. That also happens to be where all the former iU executives work. We wouldn't want them to have to find new jobs. "

10%? wrote on January 24, 2008 3:47 pm:
" You think 10% are going to move their kids out of school with 2 months left? Leave their families, friends, and life in Nebraska for Indiana? I'd be surprised if 5 employees do it. Indiana isn't "Great," it's not dead center in the middle of the country. It's not home. And I doubt that the Authorhouse people will keep on the iuniverse people once they get all the information they need to run the iuniverse authors. And ruin their books. Goodbye, iUniverse, it was nice knowing you. Hello AuthorUniverse, where money is the bottom line and people are lucky to get paid less with higher cost of living. "

Poorgirl wrote on January 24, 2008 5:19 pm:
" “We’re very focused on doing the right thing by the employees,”

...Suuure,and I enjoy a dry enema with my scone and coffee. "

it does matter wrote on January 24, 2008 5:59 pm:
" Oh....there is more! Its rumored that one of these execs who get to keep their nice cushy 6 figure salary in this 5th ave NYC office was making travel plans for a summer vacation to Europe the day after all the employees were told they were losing their jobs? And within ear shot of those people no less!! These employees have been so disrespected for years...but that's just rubbing salt in their wounds. What a you know what! "

WhatDIdUExpect wrote on January 24, 2008 10:47 pm:
" In my mind, a CEO has a responsibility to do what is best for the company,not what is best for her purse. By this measure, the iUniverse CEO was a complete failure. What she did may not have been illegal, but it was not moral or ethical. Then again, as bad as I feel for some of the iU employees that are going go through some hard times now a) you had to see this coming. A company does not get bought by its chief rival to continue along with no changes (Which, the CEO lied about "I won't sell you all up the river" well, you did.) and b) This is more then likely the best thing for those people in the long run. iU was a dead end company in a industry that lived off of stupid customers that did not realize that they have a better chance getting noticed publishing free on the web. Better off going some place with a future, instead of staying in the slow death spiral iU was in. And, Don't go to author house, ran by a crooked CEO that was already forced out of one company. Thats just more heart ache waiting for you. "

reporters! wrote on January 25, 2008 7:25 am:
" I would like to see a follow-up in the LJS about these comments. If this really happened (And I have no doubt it did), then the LJS should follow-up and give the employee side of it, not just the executives. Apparently, author solutions/house/iuniverse have bots up on wikipedia to prevent the truth from being posted there about this atrocity. I just tried to change one misspelled word, and it immediately reverted to the "approved" version, by an automated bot.

if the execs are so worried about the truth coming out, they shouldn't have been so willing to throw their employees under a bus. "

I agree! wrote on January 25, 2008 8:37 am:
" Interview the employees! They DESERVE to have their side of the story told! "

fair wrote on January 25, 2008 9:19 am:
" With fair job offers of moving to Indiana and taking a 5-55% pay cut...why are the iU employees so upset about this? AuthorHouse obviously "cares" or they wouldn't be offering to move them across the country at a reduced pay scale. "

What were they thinking wrote on January 26, 2008 7:59 pm:
" Yes, the NY Execs and local management probably cared little for employees other than themselves (obviously), but what the heck were all the employees thinking. I had heard there were plenty of signs and top management resignations well in advance of this move. Naive or dense, anyone still there was not too bright. "

ITSASHAME wrote on January 27, 2008 9:56 am:
" The real losers in this ploy will be the authors. Employees of iUniverse in the Lincoln office will recover. They are talented, exceptional people who do not deserve the insults they have received this past week. To a person each one is dedicated to serving their authors. This won’t be true once the office closes. ASI will institute major changes in procedures. Forget about having a single person to talk to. AuthorHouse is a call-center business. The label ‘iUniverse’ may be on the product, but it will be AuthorHouse processes doing the work. AH pays less, provides less service and is less customer service oriented. There is no sign this will change, since the talent who know how to do this are not going to Bloomington. All I can say is, “Bloomington watch out! You’re next when ASI has sucked out all they can from you.” "

Signs wrote on January 28, 2008 9:01 am:
" I don't know that there were any "signs" for the employees to take advantage of - top management has been leaving for a few years now (not just in recent months) and it's usually been in the same department. But a lot of that was due to personality clashes and the way the company was run - not because of the whole buy-out. " wrote on January 31, 2008 12:37 pm:
" has stopped listing all iU and AH books. Apparently this goes deeper than anyone knew.

And the move is probably permanent. Be careful, authors. If they treat their employees as they did, they surely don't care about you. "