This post is reblogged with permission from Grant Fritchey’s June 26 blog. Grant just published a brand-spanking-new book (that we’ve really been looking forward to), and he experienced some very unexpected and interesting problems with one distributor…
First off, I apologize. As if writing a book wasn’t hard enough, now we get new problems because of on-demand printing.
Here’s the story.
Book. Nine months of writing. Excellent technical editing. Great copy editing. Book complete about six weeks ago. Yay!
Now things get fun…
Here’s how it works. Everyone these days uses digital copies of the book and prints on demand. So Apress is printing some copies of the book, but not all. They send a file out to places like Amazon. Amazon uses that file to print some copies of the book, as needed, on-demand. Everyone is, in theory, printing from the same digital file, creating exactly the same book. Or are they? What happens if, oh, let’s just say that a file was corrupted somehow prior to being sent to Amazon. Now Amazon starts printing copies of the newly released book. But, the files are messed up. People are getting books with completely hosed formatting. People, appropriately (however much it pains me), post ugly reviews on Amazon about the horrific condition of the book. The author, editors and the reputation of the book suffers. Though we did nothing wrong.
While I love this modern age to death. It does introduce some unique new challenges.
For those interested in my new book, wait a few days. It’s on hold while validations of the files are being made with vendors. It will be available again in about a week. If you’ve purchased a copy and it doesn’t have typos on every single page, you win. If, on the other hand, you’re looking at a steaming pile, I apologize. Also, Apress apologizes. If you have a bad copy of the book, please, immediately, get in touch with them at email@example.com. They know you’re coming. You’ll get a new, correctly printed, copy of the book. You’ll probably have to provide them with receipts or something. That part I don’t know.
If anyone has a bad copy of the book that they’re willing to part with, I’d love to have it for my collection.
I want to apologize again. This was outside my control, but it does reflect poorly on me. I’m doing everything I can to make it right for you. I understand your frustration, and agree with it.
Jen here. It never would have occurred to me that Amazon does some of their own printing, although it sort of makes sense. In some cases, it might make better sense to print your own rather than rely on third-party drop shipping. Regardless, Amazon has now worked out the printing problems, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t run right out and get your copy today!