Book Printing

Printing problems and quality control

Hi all,
I think, and this is my very humble opinion, that Blurb will keep doing bussines the way it does now. I waited for some months to see if the printing problems (or should I say, the quality control problems) get resolved, and I noticed that the individual cases are solved very fast and mostly in a satisfactory way, but the quality issues will continue to happen.
Book printing bussines is expensive. If you make a good quality control, every piece that not reach a standard, is not delivered. This, of course, means a lot of wasted paper, ink and work, but this is the way professional printing houses work. You, as the author, must stay beside the printing machine for long hours, signing Ok every piece of paper that comes ok and rejecting those that are not ok. If it is not what you want, the printer prints it again, as many times as needed, until you approve it. Once approved, the entire edition is printed following that signed pages settings. Then, you can go and sleep well, knowing that when the books reach the bookstores, they will be (exceptions do exist) like the one you approved.
If Blurb would decide to do this, or would put some more strict quality control in every book, prices would definitely rise.
What Blurb does, and it seems it does very well, is to listen any claim and resolve each individual problem. The tricky point here is that most Blurb authors will not claim for small printing mistakes, or dark photos. Most are overall satisfied. That is, in my opinion, why Blurb can still offer lower prices than competition.
The problem I see with this model is that you cannot trust in the printer’s quality control to sell your books online, without having checked them personally. You need them in your hands, before selling them. That’s a weak point, and I guess, it will not change.
Briefly, I can order as many books as I want. I make the quality control, and ask for a reprint or whatever the solution for that individual printed piece, but I shouldn’t rely on this model to sell books online. It would be great, but I don’t see a change in the near future (not at least, with these low prices)
Best regards,
Marcelo

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
barryislet
Apr 4, 2009 12:12pm PDT
Permalink
barryislet
 

I am agree with you for each topic. Nobody handle the pics after send them. You need a test before print. I looking for alternatives. Adorama offer pre-check print but is expensivest.

Posted by
juanbernal
Apr 8, 2009 9:56am PDT
Permalink
juanbernal
 

These are some very valid points.  Four of my last six books ordered through Blurb have had to be returned due to quality issues with the cover.  They were not "nitpicky" issues, either, but very obvoius, blatant issues, two of very poor print quality with scratches on the covers and two with crushed spines on the corners, which were obviously crushed before shipping, as there was no damage to the packaging.  These were all issues that were noticed instantly when the books were received…nothing a quick pass through quality control (if it existed) wouldn’t have caught.

Posted by
jmthompson
Apr 12, 2009 1:06pm PDT
Permalink
jmthompson
 

I agree as well. Just got my first book and I’m disappointed. The print quality, for a photo book is poor. All of my images are white balanced to the blue side, most noticeable in shadows, and most of my images are dark.

I printed with Apple through iPhoto at first and the result was much better. I thought I would try Blurb on the recommendation from a friend, to see any difference. What a difference! Apple and Blurb have the same pricing, 11×8.5, 20 pages, 10 sheets for $19.99. Apple includes the premium paper, so you don’t have to pay extra and you don’t have to pay to remove their logo.

If Blurb could/would improve their quality control, to that of Apple, I would consider using them again. I like having the ability to direct people to a web site to buy the book and not through me but I’m sure they wouldn’t be happy.

Posted by
Cheez--it
Apr 16, 2009 12:04pm PDT
Permalink
Cheez--it