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Rising Star FAQs

What is the Rising Star program?
How can my book qualify for Rising Star?
What are the benefits of the Rising Star?
How does free Professional Art Direction differ than Custom Cover Design that is already included in my publishing package?
Does the Rising Star designation help get my book placed in bookstores?
What is the Booksellers Return Program?
What is the Marketing Toolkit?  

What is the Rising Star program?

The Rising Star recognition program is a one-of-a-kind program that provides authors with enhanced opportunities for exposure on local, regional and national levels. The program identifies books that are well-positioned for the market and authors who have a clearly identified marketing platform and the drive to effectively execute that plan.

You must publish your book with a publishing package that includes eligibility for Rising Star.

How can my book qualify for Rising Star?

Step 1: You must publish your book with a publishing package that includes Rising Star Eligibility.

Step 2: If your book meets professional editorial requirements, it will receive the Editor's Choice designation, which is a prerequisite of Rising Star.

Step 3: Authors whose book earns the Editor's Choice designation and are published with an eligible package are then invited to apply for the Rising Star program.

Step 4:  The review board will consider submitted applications. Authors who demonstrate strong marketing knowledge and the ability to work with iUniverse to drive book sales will be offered the Rising Star designation.

Step 5: iUniverse will provide professional design direction to Rising Star authors in order to ensure that the book's cover meets commercial retail standards.

What are the benefits of the Rising Star?

  • A copy of your Rising Star title is sent to major retailers, such as Barnes & Noble, for considered placement within bookstores
  • Rising Star titles chosen for placement by retailers are featured in an exclusive location within the store
  • Booksellers Return Program (available for your softcover book only) for one year
  • Rising Star Welcome Kit filled with insightful marketing and bookselling tips
  • Marketing Toolkit that consists of PDF files of your business cards, bookmarks and postcards for you to print as many as you need
  • Publicity through iUniverse’s Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Industry standard discounts for softcover books
  • Professional Art Direction for your book cover in order to make sure your cover is market-ready
  • Placement of the Rising Star icon on the back cover of your book*
  • Placement of the Rising Star icon next to your book title in the iUniverse online bookstore
  • Featured placement in a separate Rising Star section of the iUniverse bookstore

* The Rising Star icon will be placed on the cover of books that receive the award prior to going live. Books that receive the award after going live will be subject to a cover re-design fee if authors wish to include the logo on future printings.

How does the free, included Professional Art Direction differ from the Custom Cover Design that is already included in my publishing package?

In order to qualify for the Rising Star designation, your cover must stand out in the competitive marketplace. Our Rising Star review board knows the publishing industry best, and through the Professional Art Direction, we will give your cover’s design special consideration and guidance beyond what our standard Custom Cover Design includes. In order to maintain Rising Star status, your cover must meet the Rising Star board's approval.

Does the Rising Star designation help get my book placed in bookstores?

Because the Rising Star program offers industry standard discounts and returnability status to booksellers, it will make your book more attractive to bookstores. 

What is the Booksellers Return Program?

This program encourages booksellers to stock your book by allowing them to return unsold titles. Your book will be classified as returnable in Ingram's and Baker & Taylor's Title Database. Bookstores can then order your title with the ability to return it. The best part is that iUniverse authors receive their retail royalty for every book sold in the Booksellers Return Program, whether the book is returned or not. 

Many bookstores require titles to carry a returnability status before they even consider stocking a book in their store or scheduling book signings and appearances. If a book does not sell well, bookstores want the ability to return unsold books to publishers for a complete refund. Browse the Booksellers Return Program FAQs for more information >>

What is the Marketing Toolkit?

Your Marketing Toolkit is a collection of PDF files – one file for business cards, bookmarks and postcards – designed specifically for your book. You will also receive the PDF of a sell sheet, which is a handout you can take to booksellers to give them information about your book. We’ll e-mail you the files so you can print off an unlimited amount of materials. The design will feature your book cover, book marketing description and ordering information.

There are several ways you can use the materials once printed:

  • Give away bookmarks and postcards as free gifts with the purchase of your book.
  • Hand out items at speaking engagements and conferences.
  • Include materials in press kits you mail to the media.
  • Use items to promote book signings and events.