Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stress Level Through the Roof -- And Back Down Again

Today I had what was one of the most stressful periods of the entire book project. A couple of days ago I re-submitted the cover file for the Leica D-Lux 4 book to Lightning Source, the print-on-demand company that will start printing the books. The first cover file had been rejected for technical reasons, but I believed I had fixed those problems with the revised file. I was waiting somewhat apprehensively for some word from LSI as to whether the new file passed muster.

Early this afternoon I received an e-mail from the customer rep at LSI saying they had encountered problems with my file -- the exact same problems that they had with the original file! This was not good news. I had imagined maybe there would be some other problem, or maybe they would say there was still a slight issue but the file could be processed anyway, but not that all of the same problems were still there!

So I first called a person who is providing consulting services for the project. She looked at the file on her computer and could not immediately see a problem. I then called my customer service rep, who had sent me the unwelcome e-mail. I left a message for her to call me back. I didn't hear from her for about an hour, so I called a different rep, whose name had also been sent to me. She answered her phone, thank goodness. I explained the situation, and fortunately she soon reached the conclusion that I needed to speak to the technical person who had handled the file and found the problems. He came on the line and was very pleasant and helpful. After I explained my concerns, he realized that he had been looking at the original file again! He quickly checked the revised file, and found that it was fine and ready to go. He was quite apologetic, and promised to get the file processed as soon as possible. So, all's well that ends well, though I had some bad moments thinking I was at a dead end and could not get that file approved. Maybe it was worth going through this to get to the feeling of relief at the end.

So, in the fairly near future I should be receiving a proof copy of the book from LSI, and then, assuming it looks okay, I can order copies of the book to distribute myself, and I can let the books be distributed automatically to Amazon and other online retailers as orders are placed. I'm looking forward to letting LSI handle a lot of the work that Clenise and I have been doing ourselves for the past six or eight weeks.

The orders, meanwhile, have slowed down dramatically. Only two orders as of late afternoon today -- one from the U.S. and one from Singapore. I reactivated the Google AdWords campaign last night, so hopefully some more orders will come in, though people may be focusing on the holidays and may not think the book will arrive in time to be useful to them. I can still ship them out to arrive by Christmas in the U.S., though probably not outside of the U.S.


  1. It's an obvious bit of advice I suppose, but including a banner or bit of text reassuring people that the book will arrive for Christmas might help.

    Merry Christmas, by the way! Walking into work this morning there was almost two feet of snow. Quite the Winter Wonderland.

  2. Well, the problem now is that we have possibly one or more foot of snow coming tonight and tomorrow, so I probably shouldn't make any promises about shipping, unfortunately. It might have been worthwhile otherwise.