The downside of self-publishing, of course, is that when things go all pear-shaped, you’re the one who has to scramble to fix it.
In this particular case, I’m referring to Volumes I and II of No Predation Allowed, which are currently floundering in the Hell of Printers Who Don’t Q.A. Ironically, Volume III, which is the one they received last, had no problems whatsoever and will be on my doorstep tomorrow, ready to take to AnthroCon on Thursday.
The sticking point in both cases is the text on the spine, which for some unspecified reason, keeps being mucked with by their tech department. First, Volume I came in with the text at the right size, but reading “No Predation Allowed.” What the heck? So I poked ‘em and they said, “Oops, we’ll send you a fixed one.”
Then, Volume II came in with the spine all disproportionately crunched, so the letters were all wide and short. Why people who are presumably trained in at least the basics of typography would not see this as an unacceptable gaffe, I can’t imagine, but again, I poked ‘em and they said, “Oops, well send you a fixed one.”
On Friday, the “fixed” Volume I arrived (a day after it was supposed to): the giant empty space between “No” and “Predation” was gone — but the text was now scrunched like the initial Volume II proof.
So I called and beat ‘em up in my nice and non-antagonistic way; they said “Uh … it doesn’t look squooshed to us.” So I took a photo of the squooshed Vol I next to the correct Vol III and sent it to them, and they replied, “Oooh, you mean squooshed! We see that now. We’ll show the tech team. They are working on Saturday, you might hear then.”
Oh, and no sign of the corrected proof for Volume II yet.
So I call this morning, to be told, “The tech team doesn’t work on Saturday, they’ll get back to you as soon as they can.”
Okay. Time for Plan B.
So now my plan is, with the gracious help of Mammallamadevil, to get some “emergency copies” printed posthaste (and probably at very high cost, le sigh) so that I can have at least some on hand for AC, hand-carried by Bill Holbrook and John Lotshaw. If my current printer manages to get their heads out of whatever orifices they’re stuck in quick enough, I might be able to get them to ship copies to the hotel, but I would be very surprised at this stage to see that happen in time.
The part that drives me craziest is that these are the books they had first! So it’s not like they haven’t had time to get it right — they got Volume I fourteen days ago. They got Volume III last Sunday. Nuts.
The part that drives me next-craziest is that the people there can’t seem to see what’s wrong with these books they’re shipping out. How hard is it to figure out that “No Predation Allowed” is wrong? What are you doing in the print business if you can’t see it when proportions are scrunched? Argh.
-The Gneech, now in scramble mode ’cause somebody else screwed up
Well, the revised Volume II proof arrived from primary printer, so the order went in. Unfortunately, the earliest they can get copies to me is the Tuesday after AnthroCon, and that would cost an extra hundred bucks as it is. As for Volume I, I’ll be lucky to see those by the end of July at this stage.
So yeah … they might not like their feedback survey too much this time around.
The good news is that Mammallamadevil’s back-up plan has made it so that there will be at least some copies of Vols I-II at the con. Thank you, Kerry! However, this also means that if you’re wanting to pick up copies of Vol I or II at AC, you’d better come grab ‘em early, because quantities will be very limited.