Recognition Programs

Our Recognition Programs reward and support high-quality titles and authors dedicated to reaching their goals. Recognition is the path to success for our bestsellers! 

Recognition Program Main Image
Editors Choice Circle Logo

Level 1:

Editor's Choice

A prerequisite to the Rising Star and STAR programs, the Editor's Choice program recognizes titles with the essential qualities of a professionally published book.

Learn More

Rising Star Circle Logo

Level 2:

Rising Star

Providing enhanced opportunities for exposure on local, regional and national levels, Rising Star recognition is awarded to authors with a clearly identified marketing platform and the drive to execute that plan.

Learn More

Star Circle Logo

Level 3:


The highest, most sought-after designation among iUniverse authors, the STAR program recognizes high levels of editorial and bookselling success.

Learn More

“For me, getting the Editor’s Choice made me feel like I belonged in the process. And the feeling of hitting Rising Star actually gave me the belief that I was a writer, that I had the ability to write and something to contribute to the world.”

Author Joe Courtney

Read the Case Study

Joe Courtney Author Photo

Benefits & Advantages

These exclusive benefits are reserved for select Recognition Program authors with exceptional books. Benefits are designed to help your book succeed. Depending on which designation your book receives, you can receive the following benefits:


Receiving a Recognition Program designation gives you validation of the quality of your work and message. On a professional level, it communicates that same message to readers and book buyers.


Receiving a designation in one of our Recognition Programs demonstrates your title's editorial quality to literary agents and booksellers, and as a result can help provide you with enhanced opportunities for exposure on local, regional and national levels.


We promote your book through various channels to maximize exposure. Program books are highlighted in our online bookstore, and Rising Star and STAR books are publicized through our social media accounts. Top-level STAR books also receive recognition via a web-optimized press release.


Rising Star and STAR designation ensures your book is desirable to retailers by registering your softcover in the Booksellers Return Program and providing retailers with industry-standard discounts. We also optimize STAR books for the market and genre, including book design enhancements and additional industry-standard registrations.

Professional connection

Gain access to more opportunities through our professional connections. We pitch Rising Star and STAR books to Barnes & Noble for considered placement within their bookstores. STAR titles gain access to nationally-recognized book award opportunities and are pitched by our Rights Consultant to traditional publishing houses, international publishers and audiobook publishers.

Goal realization

When you set a goal to reach our top-level STAR designation, you follow a path to success with each level, from Editor's Choice to Rising Star to STAR. Once you earn Rising Star, we'll send you a package of marketing and bookselling tips to help you reach the top level.

How It Works: The Path to Success for Our Bestsellers

Step 1: Purchase a package with eligibility

  • Speak with a publishing consultant to determine which publishing packages include eligibility for the Editor's Choice, Rising Star and STAR Programs.

Step 2: Receive an Editorial Evaluation to apply for Editor's Choice

  • By purchasing a publishing package with Editor's Choice eligibility and receiving an Editorial Evaluation, you are automatically considered for this designation by our Editorial Board.

Step 3: Apply for Rising Star

  • Once designated Editor's Choice, you are invited to apply for the Rising Star Program.
  • Our review board considers each application, looking for authors who demonstrate strong marketing knowledge and exhibit the ability and willingness to work with iUniverse to drive book sales.

Step 4: Meet the book sales requirement

  • Before you can apply for our top-level STAR program, you need to sell at least 500 copies of your printed book, including a minimum of 250 sold through traditional retail markets, or 5,000 e-books. This demonstrates that you have developed an enthusiastic following by selling a solid number of books through retail channels and direct sales.

Step 5: Apply for STAR

  • You are invited to complete the STAR Program Marketing Questionnaire for our STAR Program once you meet the following criteria: you've met the minimum book sales requirement, your book received Editor's Choice designation, and your publishing package includes STAR eligibility. Your application will be carefully considered by the iUniverse STAR Board.

Congratulations to our program designees:

The Endless Mile by Andrew C. F. Horlick

The Endless Mile

by Andrew C. F. Horlick

Awarded Star 11.2018

Uphill One Way by Raymond L Dykens

Uphill One Way

by Raymond L Dykens

Awarded Rising Star 11.2018

Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run by Steven A. Falco

Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run

by Steven A. Falco

Awarded Rising Star 12.2018

The Grand Illusion by Caralyn Frooman Lipschutz

The Grand Illusion

by Caralyn Frooman Lipschutz

Awarded Rising Star 2.2019

Check out our bookstore to see more from our Editor's Choice, Rising Star, and STAR authors.