Our latest foray into self-publishing has hit a snag.
My book "exploded" and the pages went all over the floor. I picked them up, sorted them, and put them back in order-I think. I am now afraid to use the book, because I do not want to have to do that again. I would really like to get a new book.
I left the book on my desk with the first 10 or 20 pages turned back to mark my place. When I came into the office in the morning, the first 10 or 20 pages had separated from the binding.
My first reading was through page 17; the title page through page 4 came loose. Pages 170-176 have already fallen out.In my book, the outside cover has come away from the spine a little bit and a few pages “look” like they could come loose.
... the book (which I think is excellent) is unfortunately falling apart!
However, the positive news is this is what we're hearing about the content:
... the book itself is terrific - sophisticated, refreshingly thoughtful and the first really new ideas (to me, anyway) in this area I've heard or seen in a long time.
So what do you do when you find out that books you are self-publishing and selling are falling apart in the hands of readers? Well ...
... you admit the problem. Notify the buyers. Offer to make it right at no cost to them. And apologize and mean it.
We have communicated via e-mail and written letter to our buyers. We've stopped selling the books until a new, defect-free, shipment arrives. To our printer's credit, they are replacing the entire defective shipment (500 books) without complaint. This has never happened to us before and, according to the printer, never happened to them before.
Our customers have been very appreciative of our response to this situation. However, more of them than I would have thought never bothered to complain directly to us about the defective book. Instead, I suppose they would just complain to others, which is so much worse. Defective books don't give me nightmares. Customers not talking to us but complaining to others about us does.
So, moral of the story: If you find out you've screwed up, admit it, apologize, and make it right.
P.S. Actual e-mail from our printer re this situation:
We are extremely sorry for any incontinence this error in the binding caused you and your company.
Inconvenience, yes. Incontinence, no. Who says being a PSF marketer is mundane?!