My Printing Headache

IMG_2039You know me. I’m usually a happy-go-lucky kinda guy. But there is one perpetual cloud on my horizon at the moment which is stopping me from enjoying all that life has to offer. It’s about the print quality I keep receiving from CreateSpace. Now, I don’t like to come to this blog with problems without solutions, so I finally have a plan for what to do.

Every book I’ve ever received from CreateSpace (Proof Copies and Author Copies) has been cut by someone who only selectively uses their eyes. They have had varying degrees of success but not one has been, what I would call, perfect. I’ve lived with this for a while because for a Print-On-Demand service linked into Amazon it can’t really be beaten on price or distribution.

The problem comes when I’m now going to be physically standing behind these books at fairs etc. I want something that looks good and provides the perception of quality. I’ve mentioned before on this blog about the perception of quality regarding pricing and cover design but now it’s the turn of the actual printing.

If you offer someone a sub-standard looking book they will immediately (like in the first 0.3 seconds) assume that the contents are sub-standard too. You will appear self-published, one of those hobbyists who don’t have anything better to do with their time. That is not for me.

So, I’ve decided to have a bulk load printed by another company here in the UK who offer short run book printing. They also offer Matt covers and Bookwove paper. They’re called Imprint Digital. I saw their handiwork on Joanne Phillips blog, who has gone to them for a similar purpose.

They look good and most importantly, affordable too. I’m going to give them a go and see what happens, but one thing’s for sure, they can’t be any worse. I’m going to keep CreateSpace going for the POD  stuff on Amazon and then use Imprint Digital for my physical author copies. If it works out then perhaps I’ll keep the same strategy for all of the books.

Until next time…

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14 responses to “My Printing Headache

  1. Odd. I have had very good experiences with CreateSpace. Do you format the pdf and upload that, or do you upload a text file and have them format it? I do the former, and have never had a problem.

  2. Good luck. I hope it works out to your satisfaction. This may be the first time I’ve heard a negative comment about CreateSpace.

    • They’re perfect in every other way and, I don’t like saying negative things about other companies, but the cut of the books I’ve received has been appalling time and time again. I guess you’ve never come across this?

  3. Bad book production quality is one nightmare that makes me unwilling to go with a POD model (that risk, and the marketing problem, and the effect on the author’s cut per sale, and . . . ). I absolutely agree that you need excellent copies for back-of-the-room sales. Good luck with Imprint Digital, Michael, they sound good. I’m in the US, looking for a (more local) short run book printer for Inkonoclast.com and poetsandwar.com. Thank goodness book-printing technology by now is so good and so available.

  4. A fellow writer I know has the same problem with the cut of her books. I use Lightning Source and have had nothing but the highest quality.

  5. Thanks for pointing me towards Imprint Digital Michael, I might try them. I like their option of including a few colour pages (for figures) without too much cost penalty. I please let us know how you get on and what paper etc. you chose.

  6. Pingback: Paperback Writer | Michael J Holley - Writer

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