I just published my latest book, The Incomplete Guide to Action Movies, with Lulu.com and it was a bit of a nightmare.
Once again Lulu's incompetent (at least in my experience) cover wizard glitched and screwed up my cover. This time it happened during a book revision; it somehow (the staff at Lulu.com say the how is a mystery) reverted my cover to default colour and font and removed my front cover blurb.
Now, every time you revise you must purchased an obligatory proof copy, so having not realised the glitch, I bought not one, but two copies (the second copy was to be used in a book giveaway). The two copies arrived and, surprise, I was looking at a cover I didn't want. This was highly annoying and problematic for the loss of money and the disruption of my marketing plans. So I contacted Lulu to complain and that is when my problems got worse.
Their first response email said they had to send my problem higher up the food chain. Okay, I could understand that. Too bad they sent it to someone who seemed to have little grasp of the words "customer service".
My first email from this "person" stated, "We noticed that you had disabled your account". Well gee, I hadn't. The guy didn't even look up the right account!
In the second email he states, "we unfortunately cannot revise the cover for you". I never asked them to do that; I just wanted answers. He did also state though, "we can bypass the proof copy requirement by offering you a free copy of the version with the corrected cover". Okay, I thought at least that's something, so I replied. I asked how I could obtain the free copy and a few other questions about using the PDF of the original cover. I waited for an answer, but none came that day or the next morning. So I went ahead and revised the cover, figuring I could wait to order the copy.
Then the third email arrives, with this gem, "We can use the cover from the first version, however we will need to upload this as a one-piece cover as opposed to going through the studio. If you would like, I can make a revision and upload the cover for you, as well as place a replacement order. I will also set the order up in order to bypass the proof copy requirement. How would you wish to proceed?" So, I guess they could revise the cover after all, despite the earlier statement. Too bad I did it already. So I relate this information and inquire, again, how can I get the free copy. This exchange happened on July 1st and I waited patiently for a reply, taking the holidays in to consideration.
By the 6th I lost patience waiting for a reply and just ordered the book. Then I received this email, "Thank you again for your patience and I apologize for the delay. I have placed a reorder for the new revised book." Oh thanks, you don't get back to me, don't answer my inquiries about the ordering procedures and then order the book the day after I do! Way to communicate with your customer!
This is just the newest round of indifference I had with customer service at Lulu, but it is the last straw for me. I'm disillusioned with Lulu.com; their prices and shipping charges are too high, their customer service sucks and I'm finding them less and less author friendly. I think it is past time for me to find a new way to get published.
Almost everything you need to know to enjoy an action film!
Here it is at last!
Presenting an irreverent manual for dissecting an action movie, a guide to the nuances of that summer blockbuster!
Consider musings about crashes, clichés and cannon fodder!
Discover how to survive an action movie!
Learn the proper way to watch a bad action film!
Disagree with the recommendations and the top ten lists!
Read all about it today!