Kind ways to deal with damaged POD books – guest post at Alliance of Independent Authors

Any kind of merchant has to deal with damaged stock from time to time, but authors are usually shielded from this inevitable part of bookish life. Unless you self-publish, in which case you might be faced with this.

No, that wasn’t how the books arrived. They came to me slightly damaged, but in order to claim replacements, I … (deep breath) …. had to rip the covers off!

I confessed my distress on Facebook, and soon a crowd of authors were offering commiserations and creative uses for the dead books, so Debbie Young of the Alliance of Independent Authors asked me to write a proper post on the subject. Do come over, but be warned, it’s not for persons of a sensitive disposition. For instance, my English teacher from school, who would hyperventilate if she saw a crease in a book’s spine.

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  1. #1 by acflory on May 23, 2017 - 5:56 am

    I’m still in the throes of finally creating a print version of the Innerscape books so this post was very timely, although as I’m going to use Createspace, I may just keep any problem copies as doorstops or something. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #2 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on May 23, 2017 - 6:31 am

      Hopefully you won’t get problem copies! Best of luck with it, Andrea!

      • #3 by acflory on May 23, 2017 - 9:38 am

        Thanks, Roz. Fingers crossed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. #4 by Michael W. Perry on May 23, 2017 - 1:37 pm

    My issue with Amazon’s Createspace POD isn’t damaged books, it’s spine alignment. I’ve gotten shipments where, within the same print run, the spine alignment varied by as much as 1/4-inch. For a 150-page book, that is quite a bit.

    I’ve adapted by making the background color the same from the front to the spine to the back. You can see that with my latest. The cover has a white background front, spine and back.

    That prevents the worst appearance flawโ€”an ugly line of a different color running down the left side of the front cover. But misalignment still means the title text isn’t properly centered on the spine.

    I went round and round with a Createspace executive about that, getting nowhere, so I just live with it. I’d rather focus on writing than production. And I do my best to make my covers so appealing, they can survive a few POD flaws.
    —–
    For acflory, I’d suggest that she also publish her book through IngramSpark. Having two sources is more secure and quite a few bookstores refuse to buy from Createspace. That would be consorting with the enemy.

    It isn’t as hard as it might seem. Choose a book size common to both and the interior PDF and ISBN can be the same. Their paper thicknesses are different, which impacts the thickness of the book spine. But I’ve found that a cover designed for Lightning Source/Ingram Spark’s creme paper is close enough for Createspace’s white color (typically a few hundredths of an inch difference) that the same cover will do for both. That saves time.

    Foreign sales are also impacted. Lightning Source/Ingram Spark benefits from Ingram’s global partnerships. When I checked a recent book’s availability in Australia, I found that most online stores offered what had to be the Ingram version. Ingram does POD printing in Australia. But odd as it sounds, Amazon wasn’t offering my Createspace version in Australia, at least not initially. They don’t print in Australia, didn’t want to absorb the cost/delay in shipping it there from the U.S., and apparently did not want to get a copy of my Ingram-sourced version when there was a Createspace one, even if they weren’t selling it. Weird!

    –Michael W. Perry, Inkling Books

  3. #5 by dgkaye on May 25, 2017 - 12:16 am

    Great post Roz. That’s awful all those damaged books. I should think though, if I ordered a book that came damaged, that I’d call the supplier and tell them and have a new one sent. Also, I’ve read about Bookcrossing a few years ago and still haven’t participated. Thanks for the reminder. ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Writing Links 5/29/17 – Where Genres Collide

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