I’ll get right to the point. I got the proof back from CreateSpace today. “Disappointment” doesn’t begin to describe my reaction. If you were watching Twitter earlier this evening, you probably saw my tirade.
The bright side: The book’s interior is pristine. In fact, it’s better than that. It’s gorgeous. Erica’s layout work is exemplified in those pages.
Unfortunately, that’s where the bright side stops. Everything else was messed up. As I said earlier, if I bought this book in a store, I would return it.
- The spine is over-glued. So much, in fact, that it caused bubbles along the back cover and spine itself, so there are these hard bumps spotting the whole book.
- The cover print is askew. If you’ve seen the cover, you know there’s a white border along the top and the bottom. Those borders are crooked. It increases at a gradual slant. Even the bar code is slightly off. It looks fine at a glance, but when you’re holding it, and looking at it, you can tell it’s off.
- The cover stock is also a big problem. It’s glossy, laminate stock. The first time I ever had a run of books printed, it was through a small offset printer that used this stock. I know from experience that, given enough time, enough wear and heat, the cover laminate will peel from the stock. In fact, the cover is sticking up as I type this. It’s already curling back.
I can’t get over the poor quality. Seriously, after all the trouble we went through to get the cover approved, this is what they produce? It’s a piece of shit, and I won’t stand for it.
So, that means CreateSpace is a bust. I do not recommend them to anyone. Yeah, it would’ve been nice to have direct integration with Amazon, but I’ll forego the extra couple of dollars so long as the end result is industry standard. When I set out to pursue independent avenues with my work, I did so with the goal of producing books that look and read as good as something traditionally produced (if not better). What CreateSpace has done, and seems to be doing, is keeping the stigma of self-publishing right where it is. People frown upon it because self-published books usually look like shit. That a self-publishing company would have such low production standards is appalling to me. It’s one thing if the cover or the interior looks like crap–that’s the author’s responsibility–but the actual manufacturing of the book should not be a concern.
And there you have it. There’s my rant. As of this moment in time, the second edition of ALT is officially in limbo. I’ll post here once I’ve figured something out. I’m also open to suggestions, so fire away.