You heard that. I did manage to get a pretty nice Large Letter Size Landscape version of the restored A is for Art project book put together and built on Lulu. We’re all set to get it out to live humans, huzzah! I even ordered a couple of Author’s Proofs, and they came out pretty nice, with just a couple of tweaks to the spine design and the color balance on the cover – the cover remnant came out too dark, but ten minutes in Photoshop got that sorted.
But oh, wait. There’s a problem? Oh great, the Letter Landscape format does not qualify for Global Distribution or via Print on Demand Link. “This Book will not appear for sale and can only be purchased from this account.” Well, I’m not screwed yet, I can still sell the book here on the Blog Site via Lulu Direct. So I installed WooCommerce here on this blogsite, and set up a Store Page. Decided I didn’t like the limited formatting with the old WordPress Twenty Eleven theme, so tossed it and installed Astra – which is fully WooCommerce compatible. So spent some time bonking at it and bending the theme to my design will. Doesn’t look bad at all. After all, I don’t want it to look too different in overall style than the main site. (May still tweak a bit – in my ginormous free time!)
I got the Store Page up and running with a couple of test products. So let’s connect it to Lulu Direct and get the books plugged in… And NOPE. Apparently the integration system at Lulu can’t find this site. “Error – After multiple attempts, we could not reach your store (fantastic-realities.com). The website returned 404 page not found.” The more advanced method manually entering API keys actually did authenticate, but fared no better – “We could not connect your store. Please try again later.”
NOT as advertised. 404 Page Not Found? I mean, the site is RIGHT HERE. It clearly EXISTS. So what the BLIP?
All attempts and modifying the configuration and the URL entry failed. So, dropped Lulu a support ticket, and they asked me about URLs… and since then, radio silence for thirteen hours. Not encouraging. Since we’re going into the weekend, not expecting much till Monday sometime. Hopefully they’ll have some (useful) insight. Of course nothing in their Knowledge Base addresses this problem. Imagine that.
We’ll see what happens. *muttergrumble* I am not entirely comfortable with the idea of building an entire separate site – in separate hosting – just for an online store…
Update: 24 August 2022
So the Tech support person let me know yesterday that she received an update from an agent who works with the API service Lulu uses to connect WooCommerce to Lulu Direct, and they let her know they have fixed the issue I was experiencing in the backend. I was able to finally connect the Online Store to Lulu Drect and ran a couple of test orders. There’s still a little glitchiness, I was not sure if I had misconfigured something – online stores are complicated bits of software kit, but it wasn’t me – “We are currently investigating an issue that is causing orders take a very long time to be transmitted to us for fulfillment. We’ve seen it take as long as 27 hours before they’ve appeared. This is unintended as it shouldn’t take more than 10 to 20 minutes.” Well, alrighty then! But we’re online and can offer the A is for Art for sale, along with our other book projects. Huzzah!