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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Printer Lightning Source works at different speeds, and not always at the speed of lightning

With Print On Demand (POD) it takes less than a minute to print a book, but you can't assume that printing companies will have an available minute immediately.

Lightning Source (LS) is the dominant on-demand book printer. I've used the company for many of my books. LS does good work at a reasonable price, and will make books quickly available at Amazon.com and many other booksellers around the world.

I recently discovered that LS may treat the publishers who use it as second-class citizens, compared to booksellers.

On December 8 I ordered eight copies of the hardcover edition of my
Stories I'd Tell My Children (but maybe not until they're adults). I need them for gifts and to send out to be reviewed. As of this mornng, LS shows the order status as "printing" -- six days after I placed my order.


On December 12, I placed another order for the same book with Amazon.com. The books were printed by LS in Pennsylvania on December 13, and should be delivered to me TODAY in Connecticut (via free "ground" shipping).


So, if your books are printed by LS, and you're in a hurry to get copies, order them from a bookseller -- not from the printer. You'll pay more, but you'll get them faster. (However, you can get free shipping, you'll help your sales rank, and earn money on the books being sold to the bookseller -- so do the math.)

This is not an isolated incident. I've seen it happen before.

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