After a more than two week back and forth with CreateSpace /Amazon about the discrepancies in the quality of my book “Two Weeks in Africa, A photo Journal” I pulled the book from their site and decided to re-release the book with their competitor-IngramSpark. This is apparently the only other Print To Order self-publishing company in the USA.
Although I pulled my first edition of Two Weeks in Africa off of CreateSpace you will see it on Amazon because some retail site is attempting to sell copy for over $500. Why? I don”t know. I suggest you don’t buy it because even the great copy I got from their printer in KY isn’t worth over $500.
Since I knew my book could look good if it was printed on the correct paper, I didn’t make any changes to the interior of my book but I did create a new cover. IngramSpark charges $49 for setting up a paper-bound title and does not automatically assign an ISBN#. I bought one for $100. I chose ‘Premium Color’ Printing which was described as the ‘preferred choice for those who care about the quality of color photos in your book’. That’s me!
I was extremely optimistic when I finally made my way through their process, uploaded my book & then ordered a printed proof. Shipping only took about a week. When I saw the package at my door, for some reason, without even opening the cardboard cover, my stomach filled with dread. It was one of those ‘feelings’ I get. Pushing this aside, I pried open the package trying to remain optimistic.
I have learned to trust my instincts, those ‘feelings’ when I am in the casino playing video poker work to my advantage. I have a knack for finding the winning machines. My instincts were so strong on the Panama Cruise my husband & I recently took that I won…no kidding…$25,000. This is more money than i ever made in a year of working full time + overtime. My point is, my gut is usually right. And, unfortunately it was right this time too.
At first glance, I hated the photograph on the cover. I chose an image of an elephant chewing on some grass. Instead of gray, the elephant was very yellow. I accepted full responsibility for this and immediately went back to the original photograph and set it up with less contrast and better color correction. This was an easy fix.
When I flipped through the book I realized that their ‘Premium Color’ printing is only a half-step above CreateSpace/Amazon. The paper was better quality and most of the images were true to color. But, the images were still washed out not like the beautiful book I received from CreateSpace that was printed in KY. This new edition was not, in my opinion, worth the $149 price tag of set up.
However, I was willing to accept this new edition as an upgrade even though the photos were not vibrant like I expected. Although the quality is only slightly above Amazon I could sell the book for $47 instead of $60 that CreateSpace required so, I guess I was OK with this new book.
As I flipped through the pages of my new edition, I became incredulous. Every left hand page (even numbered page) has a scratch running from top to bottom about 2 inches in from the spine. This scratch is not in the PDF and was never on any of the 15 copies of the book I bought from CreateSpace. So this tells me something was wrong with the printing equipment that produced this book. It should ever have left the printer like this. So, once again I began a back and forth about the lack of quality control. Only this time it’s with IngramSpark.
Today I resubmitted my complaint because I never received a response. I still do not know if they will replace the book (I had to pay $34 for my proof that is essentially garbage). More importantly, I don’t know if they can guarantee this isn’t going to happen again. As I type this, I am seriously considering pulling this book again. I may re-re-release it with Amazon because at least my book does look great if your order is lucky enough to be printed in KY. I’m not so sure about IngramSpark.
What has happened to quality control? What has happened to taking pride in the work you do? Why is it now acceptable to produce inferior products and then shrug when confronted?
The following is my email to IngramSpark. It’s short. I’m tired of being polite but I did exercise a bit of restraint today when I replied to the response I got. This complaint is still ongoing. My dogged perseverance really has little to do with this book any more. But it does have everything to do with all of my future books. I am currently working on a new Wally & Petey Sock Monkey Brothers story book and I anticipate putting together another photo book about an upcoming Galapagos trip. I sure hope to have all these kinks worked out soon.
|Two Weeks In Africa: A Photo Journal||Available for Printing/Download||9781732378100||Perfect Bound||Wheatley-Wolf, Jennifer A|
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