22 January 2007

Printing flaws - argh!

During the past couple of weeks I have begun receiving emails from readers and - more embarrassingly - from contest coordinators who have discovered printing flaws with regard to my latest release, LIBERTY. In either the mid-300s or early-400s (page numbers, not years AD!), several pages are duplicated, and several other pages are omitted. To date, of the original 47 copies I mailed to contest coordinators, 13 copies have been flawed! And that's with only half of the contest coordinators reporting back to me.

So, word to the wise, check every copy before sending them out the door, whether you think your book has experienced this problem or not! After much practice, I have discovered that simply fanning the pages and keeping an eye on the numerical progression is sufficient for catching this error. This came in especially handy earlier today, when checking the replacement cartons of complimentary copies Harlequin had sent me. Fortunately they had sent me 2 cases, because one entire case contained nothing but flawed copies . . . on the bright side, that's 24 bad copies that won't be finding their way to readers.

For any fans reading this post, I am pleased to report that Harlequin has been most responsive with regard to mailing replacement copies, and their customer service department can be contacted by emailing customer_ecare@harlequin.ca.

May all your books be correctly printed!


Eliza said...

Oh, that's such a pain, Kim! I'm sorry!

The local Barnes & Noble carries the book (I doing the thing where you walk around the store, looking for authors you "know"). Will Harelquin be contacting B&N corporate, or did B&N get a different shipment?

Kim Iverson Headlee said...

I don't know what Harlequin will do with books already printed & shipped, besides replace the defective ones customers report. It definitely does not occur with every book, although receiving an entire case of defective copies was not exactly my idea of a great day! My editor's boss emailed me this morning to say that she is "trying to get to the bottom of this" -- maybe so that special care will be taken for future print runs. I've been asked to send a sample defective copy to her office; I believe she (or someone) will be speaking to folks in the production department. [shrug]

From having spent 3 years working as a software engineer in a (textile) factory, my understanding regarding quality issues of this nature is that it's usually a one-time occurrence, due to some setting that's off a bit, but the depth of impact depends on how long it takes for someone to catch it. From discussions I've had recently with other authors, and with a small-press publisher who visited my local writers' group last weekend, printers usually don't have a QC person on staff, and the publisher doesn't have a rep on site with the printer, either.


Eliza said...

I can spell Harlequin.


I just can't always remember articles like 'was'. ;-)

Good deal--I hope it doesn't happen again!

Kim Iverson Headlee said...

ROFL - I don't care how well or badly anyone crafts their posts {although I admit reading things that contain absolutely no capitalization is a bit difficult :} . . . as long as folks face-out friends' books in bookstores, ALL is forgiven!!

Anne Whitfield - author said...

So sorry to hear it, Kim. It's every authors worst nightmare, I think.


Tess said...

Yikes - that's not so good. Hope everything is fixed soon :-)

Jacquie said...

I'm so sorry that happened, Kim, but I'm really glad that Harlequin is taking this seriously and is taking steps to prevent this from happening again. (Well, until next time, but surely you won't draw the short straw two times!)

Good luck with the contests.


Kim Iverson Headlee said...

Thanks, everyone, you all are so sweet!

But as for drawing "two short straws," well, I know that's not going to happen with Harlequin anytime soon, since they "downsized" me and 7 other HQN authors last summer (even before my book came out, which was a colossal bummer).

On the bright side, the editor who worked so hard on LIBERTY moved to Pocket Books in December, so I have hopes to continue my literary relationship with her there.

I also am in the process of working out a deal with a small press regarding another manuscript, a post-Norman Conquest paranormal romance that springboards off the myth that Harold survived the Battle of Hastings. Paranormal-historical romance is a first for me, and it has a bit of murder-mystery, in addition to political intrigue, thrown in for good measure. Cross-genre R Us!

I will make a formal announcement about SNOW IN JULY after all the proverbial dust settles, but in the meantime you are welcome to visit the book's web page, here.