I recently wrote a book and decided to publish with Lulu as a leading brand. When i received my proof copies the quality was unacceptable. Now I am trying createspace (Amazon) to see if they can do better.
The book is only a little one, a pilot for That Which Comes After. It is a humourous IT book, if such a thing is possible. So I don't think I can charge over US$30, so I'm limited to black-and-white paperback. Or in Lulu's case black-and-lemon-yellow.
See Lulu use a number of printers world-wide. The Lulu forums are alive with complaints about the Spanish printer who served much of the world. Now one has started in Melbourne, Australia, which is close to me.
Today I received the book proof. Look at this:
In real life the paper is even more yellow. Behind paragraph 5.8 you can see the outline of a box. That box is TWO pages further into the book.
Now if you were a US author you would get a proof on higher quality paper and you would never know any different until your international buyers started to complain... and return books.
There are various tricks I can play to get Lulu to send me a US-printed version but that is not the point.
The possibility that any percentage of my buyers would receive a product like this is unacceptable. Lulu should check their printers before engaging them. The paper they use should not be a surprise or a support issue. This is not something I should be having to fix.
So now I am trying createspace to see if they can deliver a better product. Be warned.