Everything involves testing and patience, especially involving digital technologies.
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.”
Lulu agreed to reprinting both orders, and I thought “we’ll see if they get things sorted.”
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.
While Lulu said they would replace the defective copies – but it still felt 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 was hopeful that the replacements will be printed correctly, but the two wrong in a row kind of eroded 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 was … not ideal.
After about a week and a half, we received both re-orders, and tank the gods of Press, 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.
[ Updated 27 October 2022 for narrative clarity ]