Updated: Aug 9, 2018
So this is how self-publishing feels, "Oh, it's done?" -This might make it sound easy, but it was the opposite for me. Having mentioned before, I am using both Amazon's KPD and Ingram Spark. I've received two proofs from Amazon within 1 1/2 months so far, whereas Ingram Spark's copy hasn't even arrived, yet. I ordered it in mid June and have set the publishing date to be my birthday. Now Ingram Spark has published my book throughout the U.K. and parts of Europe (and I think in the States, too?) before the receipt of my proof copy. I guess the only person to blame is me. Unfortunately, when publishing with Ingram Spark, you have to indicate a publishing date, otherwise it will be on the day they have approved your submission. I seem to be doing all the first-time publisher mistakes, despite reading other people's experiences. I understand the complications one goes through when using IS. But some mistakes you have to make just so you can call them your own. IS has put me in a series of confusion, too, in terms of cover design requirements, publishing rights and date, etc. However, in the end, what mattered to me was, that they would help me distribute my book Europe-wide. Now it's down to me to do most of the marketing as well as approaching local book stores.
Amazon, on the other hand, was very easygoing. I believe I've mentioned this in the other blog posts. I didn't have any issues with the internal of the book proofs, except for the cover design. The first proof (printed in Columbia, SC) that I ordered was in matte. The high resolution image showed nicely, too, although something wasn't right with the colours. (Amazon already stated that the colours may vary from print location to print location.) What struck me as completely off was that both title and author name weren't centred on the page. Since my buddy's computer crashed and he couldn't access the original art work to perform the edits, I had to photoshop it myself. I resized the art work a tad and changed the title. Despite the simple guide on Amazon I must've placed the main cover design incorrectly in the editor app.
For the second proof I got my co-worker to help centre the title and author name (it was already Mercury Retrograde!) and I'd submitted it without checking the resolution field to make sure the figure was set to 300. So yes, it turned out to be worse than the first proof. Plus, I requested it to be on glossy paper this time, thinking that the colour red would stand out more. But it was all super pixelated and parts of the art work was trimmed off and replaced with the light blue, which is the colour of the back cover. The second copy was printed in Lexington, KY.
I'm honestly sharing my own mistakes and stupidity here without giving any excuses (apart from it being Retrograde). Here is a picture of my proofs:
The first proof received is on the left and the second one is on the right. You can't really see the pixelation on the second one unless you're holding it in your hands, looking closely. Anyway, see the errors. These proofs cost me around US$40 altogether. US$5.99 each for printing and the rest is shipping. I didn't order a third proof. I reused the first art work, edited it slightly and centred it the best I could. Plus, I went ahead with glossy instead of matte. This is going to be the version available on Amazon. If you ever order a copy I'll be interested in the printing quality. If you have any issues please kindly let me know (both Amazon and Ingram Spark).
As for the Ingram Spark proof copy, I will keep you posted as soon as I receive it. The only info I have is that it was printed in Tennessee and that they shipped it in late June.
Next time I'm hoping to chat about royalties. You'll be surprised. Thanks for your time and feel free to drop me a line.