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Print on Demand quality issues

  Tags: Bookshop
 Language Learning Forum : Language Bookstores Post Reply
DaraghM
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 Message 1 of 5
28 June 2012 at 4:02pm | IP Logged 
Unfortunately for us language learners, language books don't tend to be big sellers. This has meant more publishers have started using print on demand services. Amazon are now insisting they get printing rights for infrequent or low selling material. This has meant that some of my purchases this year are of sub-standard quality.

My first encounter with print on demand was Routledge's Frequency Dictionary of Spanish. The quality of the print is so bad it's barely usable. I picked up the frequency dictionaries for French and Czech in a shop, and they're much better. The second book I got was Cambridge's Using French. This book was printed by Amazon and the type was very poor. I sent it back straight away. In the same order I also got Using French Vocabulary which was much better, but it was printed by Cambridge Press themselves.

Has anyone recently received print on demand material and was the quality reasonable ?

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ericblair
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 Message 2 of 5
30 June 2012 at 3:33pm | IP Logged 
If you can get the information in a pdf, you could maybe try printing and binding at Kinko's?
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newyorkeric
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 Message 3 of 5
30 June 2012 at 3:43pm | IP Logged 
Can you tell that it's print on demand before buying? I looked at the Frequency Dictionary of Spanish page and don't see any indication that it is printed on demand.
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DaraghM
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 Message 4 of 5
02 July 2012 at 4:49pm | IP Logged 
newyorkeric wrote:
Can you tell that it's print on demand before buying? I looked at the Frequency Dictionary of Spanish page and don't see any indication that it is printed on demand.


No. I only found out when I went to re-order it in a bookshop. They told me it could take up to eight weeks since it was print on demand. I think Amazon have made it hard to identify when a title is P.O.D as they're now doing the printing. My only clue is if the book has a detailed preview. This might mean Amazon have the original source files.

Edited by DaraghM on 02 July 2012 at 4:50pm

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sipes23
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 Message 5 of 5
03 July 2012 at 4:26am | IP Logged 
The issue with POD books is the same old story: garbage in, garbage out.

It sounds like some of these are made from cruddy scans of old books. Of course, this leads to a terrible book.
Clean digital text in, much better results. Bad typesetting can also ruin a book just as easily, but I digress.

I've bought a few POD books from Amazon and have been pleased with them overall. The worst thing I can say is
that the lamination doesn't stick to the cover as well as with traditional books, but that's pretty minor.


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