Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CreateSpace Screws Up Big Time!

       Would you believe I haven't seen a copy of "The War of the Stolen Mother" yet?  It was published on 7/16/12 and I ordered 4 copies from CreateSpace on 7/17.  They are always as slow as molasses shipping the order.  Why this is, I do not know.  Amazon can print and ship books in two days.
       Anyway, yesterday evening I got my order.  I was busy at the time and couldn't rush to answer the door so the UPS man left the box.  And it was a humongous box -- must have weighed 60 lbs!  I thought, Good grief, I only ordered four copies -- they must have sent extra books. I could barely wrestle the box into the house.
       Well, it was worse than I thought.  They sent extra copies all right -- 28 copies of somebody else's novel and none of my books!  Twenty-eight copies!  It had my packing slip, so they just mixed up the orders.  The other person probably has my books.  Imagine her surprise when she got this little light box and opened it to find these big termites staring at her!  I found the author's blog and left a message.  Poor thing -- I'll bet she was planning a book signing!  I hope it's more than a week away or she'll have no books to sign!
       In the meantime, I have to figure out how to return this overweight box to CreateSpace.  I left them a message this morning explaining the situation and I told them I will not pay the postage and how would they propose to reimburse me.? In the meantime, I'm going to find out if UPS will send stuff COD.  Probably not.  Maybe I'll go right now and look in the web and see if I can find out.  Back in a minute ...

       OK, UPS does have a COD system! (See http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/shipping/time/service/value_added/cod.html )  So maybe I can use that.  I'll have to have CreateSpace's permission first, of course. 
       Then there's  the problem of -- how do I get that awful heavy box to the UPS office?  I just checked on that, too, and UPS will pick up packages.  That would be infinitely preferable.  Otherwise, I'll have to empty the box, put the box in my car, then take the books out a few at a time and pack the box in the car, then hope somebody in the UPS office will carry it in for me, because there is no way I can carry that box!
       This is NOT what I want to be doing with my time!  Growl!
       Not only that -- in order to have a copy of my own book, I just ordered one from Amazon.  They cost only $6.08 from CS, but I'm tired of waiting.  So I paid $15.46 and I'll get $3.36 royalty back, so my own book cost me about $12.00.  But at least I'll be able to see the book by Thursday!


  1. Lorinda, how awful! So sorry you're dealing with this mixup. And how disappointing to wait and wait for your books to be shipped to you, wondering what they look like. I read a lot of comments on the CreateSpace forum that complained about the poor packaging and their books arriving damaged. So I'm hoping they'll fix their packing problems by the time I order my book.
    Just opened a CS account and will start adding the text to the templates this week and hope figuring out how to add the illustrations won't be too hard to figure out. I'm not good at tech stuff, and it's a children's chapter book with one drawing per chapter, so I know this is going to be challenging. I got your link from your comment left on WANATribe. Thanks for adding your link there so I could read your post. And thanks for sharing this with us. Dang, there's always something, isn't there?

    1. Thanks for responding! I'm glad to see the WANATribe connection is producing results! In fact, I just got an email from CreateSpace (pretty fast response) saying they would ship my books immediately and they would send me a prepaid shipping label for UPS so I won't have to pay! All I have to do is get the books over to the local UPS store!
      I find CS books easier to format than ebooks, actually, because WYSIWYG really holds true. Anything that will show in a PDF document should upload in the identical form. I made a little line drawing for the t.p. and I put a frame around one page, and there was no problem with those at all (I was using the Word drawing tools). But the full page map had to be run through GIMP (other drawing programs would also work), in order to scale and flatten it before turning it into a JPEG. I ended up using a picture with 400 dpi. I don't know what happens with color pictures; I avoided the color version of the map because I thought it would add to the cost of the book for no good reason.

  2. Awesome, Lorinda. Thanks for this helpful info. So you added your drawing in JPEG format? Or did you have to convert it to a PDF also? I'm going to start adding text to the CS templates tonight!

  3. This is all based on Word documents (I have Word 2007). (I presume that if you draw the conventional way, you scan your pictures in. I don't have a scanner, so I don't know anything about what format they are in when you finish scanning them.)
    Anyway,you convert the drawing to a JPEG first, then copy it into your template. I just copied it directly from my picture folder -seemed to work. Be sure you crop the picture if necessary first or you'll get a lot of extra white space. Once you get the picture into the template and you're finished with the text to the best of your ability, you just convert the template with the pictures inside it to a PDF. And then upload the PDF. PDF is the only thing I've ever found that worked.

  4. You so rock, Lorinda! Thanks for the heads up. This now sounds manageable to me! I'm adding a border around each drawing, so we'll see how it works out.

    Also, I wanted to give you a heads up - A big tip I learned from reading Kristen Lamb's blog - It's super important to have your name stand out on your blog so people don't have to search for who the author of the blog is. I had a hard time finding your name. I added my name (my 'brand' according to Kristen) to the title of my blog. So you could add yours in your title and have it nice and big so people will remember your name, maybe something like: Lorinda J. Taylor: Ruminations of a Remembrancer. Just a suggestion. You could also add your "About Me" up to the very top of your right-hand margin. Thanks for your help!

    1. Glad what I say is helpful! I think it's a bit like the blind leading the blind, because I'm notoriously ignorant about computers!
      Yes, I've added so much to my sidebar, trying to make my books stand out, that I may have lost myself! LOL I may move up my bio to the top; I prefer that to putting my name in the heading. I was also thinking about making a Book Page, but haven't had time.

  5. Wow--that must have been a surprise--to get a heavy box and none of your own books :( Thankfully they responded to you and are sending you a shipping label so you can return it. Phew!!

    Thank you for sharing your link with The Writers' Post!!

    Cheers, Jenn.

    1. Thanks for the sympathy, Jenn! I think things are resolving themselves!