Saturday, January 09, 2010

Fucked by the fickle finger of fate

with its avatar of an exclamation mark.

Monday was meant to be the launch date of Paul Siegell's new book of concrete poems from Otoliths, wild life rifle fire. The date was considered auspicious because of its binary balance, 01 11 10. Unfortunately, fate in the form of the automated printing process of print on demand has intervened, & it now going to be delayed to a date still to be decided. (I'm going for 10 10 10—not only is there that binary thing, but we can also celebrate the anniversary of the start of the Russian Revolution. Ooops, got carried away there for a minute. Just kidding, Paul.)

As the piece above demonstrates, Paul likes his exclamation marks! So, too, it seems does the afore-mentioned printing process because somewhere in the second half of the book it started cloning them & sticking them on pages where they weren't before, as the photo below demonstrates. First proof was perfect inside, but we had to do a little bit of work on the cover. Next proof an almost perfect cover, but the exclamation marks had arrived!

I hoped it was just an aberration on that run, but the next proof had a perfect cover & more exclamation marks inside. Thought the file may have got corrupted, re-uploaded, tried again. Fbtffof!

No joy yet from Lulu. No explanations. No response to my complaints except for an intitial "you're important to us" or some such. Once you used to be able to contact a Lulu customer service person through a chat feature which worked fine for me because the time zone thing meant that whoever was on the keyboard at the other end was nearing the end of their shift & was only too happy to assist because that would carry them through to knockoff time. Now it's take a number & we'll be in touch.....

Though to be fair to Lulu, I've been dealing with them for four or so years, have a shelf-full of books I've brought out through them under my Otoliths imprint, & I've never had any problems anywhere near this magnitude before.

So, I'm going out to disembowel a goat to see what the future holds. Once I've read the entrails—or Lulu get back to me—I'll post an update.


Blogger Geof Huth said...

Good luck, Mark. I'm sure it'll work out, though I cannot conceive of what's causing this problem. Looking forward to the book, though. That is one beautiful cover!

(Intentionally exclamation point, not inserted by Blogger.)


12:12 AM  
Blogger paul siegell said...


5:43 AM  
Blogger Angel said...

Keep us posted. Excited for this book!!


10:00 AM  
Blogger harry k stammer said...

it's becoming a performance piece!

12:59 PM  

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