Everything involves testing and patience, especially involving digital technology.
So I ordered sample copies of A is for Art. One – to test the Online Store ordering and billing process. Two – well just to have some samples to show people and promote the book. Both orders turned up with the books bound backwards and the right-left pages reversed, and the page trims fraked-up. To say that I was NOT happy is something of an understatement.
This is what Lulu had to say – “With regards to the pages having been set in the incorrect order, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Lulu strives to provide the best products and experiences possible for customers. Our defect rate is less than 1%, and although we wish we could guarantee that you will never experience a defective order, unfortunately, they do occur occasionally.”
They say they’ll replace the defective copies – but it’s still feels kind of unacceptable. Even 1% is kind of high, that’s one in a hundred. What If I sell a bunch? What if I – or someone else – makes a bulk order and they’re ALL frakked? Urgh. And it also shows NO HUMAN was inspecting these coming off the press before they’re shipped. Bound the mutha-ruttin’ books gorram backwards. That’s not a minor color variance.
I took the book off the Online Shop till I got some answers from Lulu. Just FRAK me. NOT HAPPY. And of course this happened on a weekend, so the support ticket was not even seen till Monday morning.
Hopefully the replacements will be printed correctly, but the two wrong in a row very much erodes my confidence in Lulu’s Print on Demand model. It’s Me and the Studio’s reputation on the line if people get crappy books! But the idea of starting over with a new vendor is … not ideal.
Update: Lulu agreed to reprinting both orders, and we’ll see if they get things sorted.
After about a week and a half, we received both re-orders, and they were both okay. I have my samples and verified my last tweaks. So I brought the product page back online and made the book available to the world again. Now to consider marketing initiatives.