One thing that is emerging is that the “publication” process for this book is not a one-time event with a big party, a parade, or other celebratory event. As I mentioned yesterday, my first “buyer” later sent a message saying, What book?” I e-mailed him again today to ask if he wants me to ship the book or refund his money. No reply yet. My plan now is to refund his money through PayPal if I don’t hear anything from him within 24 hours, by tomorrow afternoon. I could just ship the book, but my last message from him said he didn’t order any book, so I think I will go the refund route and let him order it again if he really wants it.
On other fronts, today I signed up for the Amazon Advantage program so the book can get listed as a full-fledged title that appears when people search on Amazon. It was easy enough to sign up, though I wasn’t able to upload my description of the book yet; the Amazon site kept saying there was an “internal error.” I’ll try again later.
I think there is good news on the technical front, also. My wife, Clenise, has really dug into the project of getting the binding perfected. She likes to figure out technical things, and she’s very good at it. Today she spent time with the poorly translated and very thin user’s manual for the binding machine, and also with Rupert Evans’ great book on on-demand printing. She also looked at eBay ads for the binding machine, which have some pictures and more details. Now we believe she has the procedure refined so the binding machine will produce better bindings on a more consistent basis.
Otherwise, the color laser printer is working well, though I had to replace all the color toners yesterday. The printer can be maddening, because often it will print the back sides of the pages upside down, and I have no idea why it does that. Now I’m ready for it, though; I stand with my finger poised above the Job Cancel button on the printer and push it as soon as I see upside-down pages emerging. I think I have found a way to cure this problem; for some reason, after each print job I have to clear the print queue and then power the printer off and on again, and then it will print right-side up.
The other area we worked on today is getting the books ready to ship. I decided they will look better if they’re shrink-wrapped, so I ordered a box of shrink-wrap bags along with a sealing machine and heat gun. That system worked just fine almost right away, so now we can seal each book. This will protect it from dirt and damage, and will force the pages to stay flat. There is some curling of pages coming out of the printer, and that doesn’t look great. Shrink-wrap seems to be a good solution to that problem.
Oh, and I almost forgot. This morning I stopped by the Post Office and shipped off my first book, to the second buyer.