So, when last we left off, I was about to call Customer Service after receiving my defective copies. I poured all the disappointment into my dejected tone, and the CreateSpace representative was very sympathetic. In fact, she did everything right to soothe me and said everything she needed to, to assure me that this matter would not be taken lightly. That once they received the defective copies back from me, then steps would be performed to 1) investigate what happened, 2) determine the fixes, and then 3) test that the problems had been fixed. All defective copies would be replaced. Sit tight, she said. I got a case number and a reassurance that she, the very same representative, would call me back when she had something to report.
And she did. Which I think is truly extraordinary and worth mentioning. She acknowledged receipt of the defective copies, went through the tracing of which facility it was printed, and alerted them to the issues at hand. She got a test copy made and examined, and once that was complete, a replacement order would be sent to me.
For all the flaws in production and heartache, CreateSpace really does strive to determine the issues and get to a resolution. It’s just a shame that in the end, with the number of calls, back and forth e-mails, and sending back of the defective copies (which they also paid for), I still got a runaround between CreateSpace and Amazon, who pointed fingers at each other at one stage in the process. And then there was the waiting, waiting, and more waiting.
The manufacturing issues were never really resolved. Defective copies still kept coming in the replacement batches that were supposedly checked, one by one, by a real person’s hand.
Eventually, I just dropped it. The deed was done. The only thing I could realistically do at this point was to pull the title and begin again with another POD. This was frankly an unbearable choice for me. I couldn’t start all over. I had further read credible stories that Amazon “sabotages” books printed by PODs other than CreateSpace. And even with the spectre of not knowing how each ordered copy was going to come out, I couldn’t make myself pull the last 6 months’ hard work, determination and anticipation off the shelves.
This is the reason why I still advise all new authors to give the traditional publishing route a go, before self-publishing. I absolutely intend to for my own future books. And if it doesn’t work out, at least I know what I’m getting myself into if I self-publish once again.