Grrr... Call me a perfectionist, or it may be down to the fact that I come from an advertising agency background, but I expect my books to print perfectly every time, regardless of the printer. I publish through CreateSpace (owned by Amazon) and, when you order printed proofs, you order them from the States. Every copy I have received from the States so far - copies of both my books - have been spot-on perfect. It's the UK printers that have let me down.
On Saturday I received a delivery of 12 books (which I ordered from Amazon.co.uk, therefore printed by Amazon in the UK) which I want to distribute to various eating disorder charities - and Professor Janet Treasure and Gill Todd. Yet virtually each one was different in quality. Not the interior, but the printing of the cover.
All had a distinct green tinge and, on some copies, the green was far worse - a kind of lurid green with additions of some unwanted pink stripes and sometimes a white stripe, too. On all of them, the author photo of me on the back cover tends to look a bit like a faded version of Shrek...
It seems that, unlike the States, Amazon's printer has no Quality Control in place. The books have been printed, boxed and shipped. Oh, I was so disappointed. And, to me, it's not acceptable.
Some other people have come back to say their copy has a green tinge. But, thankfully, they're not too bothered because the inside is fine and, after all, that's what's important.
But, to me, I want the outside to look like the excellent printed proofs from the States. So I am returning the box of 12 to Amazon and firing off a Big Complaint because I need assurance that a Quality Control procedure will be put in place - for each of my books that is printed in the UK.
Meanwhile, I am awaiting delivery of a further 12, this time direct from CreateSpace in the States. So hopefully the quality will be excellent again. And I will use these to distribute to the eating disorder charities, Janet Treasure, etc, and then order more from the States because I always like to have a few extra copies at hand for direct orders, like those I get from bookshops and friends.
I only wish the shipping wasn't so prohibitively expensive when ordering copies from the States!