Who do you buy your print copies from?

There are a number of printers who produce Print on Demand copies of books these days.  Amazon is the one most readers have heard of.  But there is also Ingram, and Lulu Press.  And a newcomer to the scene, the British company BookVault, who have print facilities in the US, so I can print and send copies out using US shipping rates. 

I mention this because for many years, we all just accepted the POD editions that Amazon produced because there was no one else. 

But that is swiftly changing.  The print editions I sell on Stories Rule Press are printed by BookVault, and they are a beautiful quality, too. 

Also, the copies that Lulu Press prints are excellent and if ever I had to find a different printer, they’d be my go-to.

I use Ingram indirectly.  I release print editions via Barnes & Noble, and B&N use Ingram printing facilities for their print editions.  I’ve heard pretty good things about the quality of print copies from Ingram, which is why I felt comfortable using the B&N print facility for indie authors.

Amazon, though, has become problematic, which is why I’m writing this post.   I wanted you to be aware that if you buy print copies for your keeper shelf, or just because you prefer print, you might want to consider where you’re buying them from.

The last five books I’ve printed from Amazon have had issues.  This one I’m showing you, below, is just the last of them. 

As you can see by the sheen on the cover, there are a series of dings and punctures on the front cover:

When you open the front cover, you can see that the dings are deep enough to have punched through to the interior:

In fact, the impact of whatever it was, was so deep that two chapters later, you can still see the impressions:

Previous books have had scuffed covers, bent corners…all indications that the handling in the print shop is less than careful.

I can’t complain to Amazon.  There is no facility for communicating with them about the quality of a product.    I can ‘t even leave a negative review on the product page, because it’s MY product!

The only option I have is to return the book, which, from Canada, is a genuine pain  to arrange — I have to print out a return label, and I don’t have a working printer, and I have to pay duties and customs fees to send it back.

So I’m keeping the copies, but I’m also writing this post to give you a heads-up to watch the quality of the print books you buy, if you’re buying from Amazon.  And maybe, if you really care about your print copies and want them for a keeper shelf, consider where you buy them from. 

Unfortunately, I can’t recommend Amazon as a printer, any more….

4 thoughts on “Who do you buy your print copies from?”

    1. No need to apologize!

      One thing I’ve learned, talking to readers like you, and many of them, is that everyone’s reading habits are very different. There are a great many readers who still prefer to read print editions. I’m hoping they aren’t disappointed by the product that Amazon is issuing these days….

      Tracy

    1. Yes, me, too! I’ve been reading ebooks since 1999, and exclusively ebooks since around 2010. But many readers prefer print…and many readers like to buy print books for their keeper list.

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