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Things have been a bit quiet on the Sam front in recent weeks as my day job – in the anti-money laundering world – has been very busy.  New legislation in Guernsey has required me to update five of my non-fiction books and negotiate the new publishing process (since migration from CreateSpace to KDP).  It seems to work fairly smoothly but the proof will be in the pudding – or rather, in the printing.

You see, I am in the middle of a frustrating discussion with KDP about the quality of their printing.  Whatever my gripes about their postage charges and time-frames, I was always been delighted with the print quality of books from CreateSpace.  After the migration I placed an order for twenty copies of “Fatal Forgery” with KDP, thrilled to see that the postage cost has dropped significantly because (a) they are now printed in Europe [Poland, as it turns out – at least in this instance], and (b) you get a discount on the postage for ordering multiple copies.  So twenty copies of an average paperback book cost me just £7.28 in postage (compared to US$32.99 for the same order from CreateSpace).

Sadly, it seems that the savings are being made elsewhere, as the books I received from KDP were not up to standard.  Of the twenty I ordered on 8 November 2018, eleven had to be sent back because the books were trimmed 5 mm too narrow, making the cover art fall off the edge:

WP_20181118_07_51_32_Pro    WP_20181118_07_51_25_Pro

KDP offered to send a replacement set of eleven copies – and they were worse!  They were not only printed wrong again (in exactly the same way – indeed, I’m not convinced that these aren’t the same copies coming back again), but packed loose into a large box with no packing material, resulting in knocked corners and bent covers.  And what’s that ugly bar-code sticker they have added?  For a month now I have been waiting for a resolution, with emails coming from KDP twice a week assuring me that my complaint is of great concern to them and that they are looking into it as a matter of urgency…  Thank goodness I always keep a few copies in stock, otherwise I’d now be finding it impossible to meet bookshop orders.

So I am reserving judgement on KDP as a worthy successor to CreateSpace and am investigating alternatives – other authors have good things to say about Ingram Spark.  I’ll keep you posted.