Since both the Lulu and CreateSpace versions of my book needed changes, I made those changes and then ordered new proofs. More waiting. As soon as I had sent new files to CreateSpace, I called their customer service to make sure they could see the fonts the way I thought they should be. It was a huge relief to talk to a human being - who gets to talk to human beings any more? Might be reason enough to publish a book with CreateSpace because I called, a human answered, and she was knowledgeable and answered my questions in full, without rushing me through the process. I paid the extra money so that the proof would get to me as quickly as possible. They told me they would arrive on Wednesday, and boy were they accurate. They arrived on Wednesday. When I was not home. And the thoughtful (NOT!) UPS driver left them with our across-the-street neighbor. Hello! I didn't sign anything saying for him to leave it with the neighbor! I arrived home at around 3pm, and the neighbor wasn't there. At all. I listened and jumped every time I heard a car drive by or park nearby, but the neighbor never arrived. Why did he accept the package if he knew he wasn't going to be home!? I rarely get in terrible, very bad, no good moods, but I was in such a mood because I wanted my proof, it was across the street, and I had no idea when mr. Neighbor would be home.
The next morning, said Neighbor's car was in his driveway. I went over to ask for my precious UPS package at about 8:30 the next morning - his car was in the driveway, so he must have been home - but there was no answer. My husband tried again at 8:45, no answer. I tried again at 9, no answer. And then, finally, perhaps at 9:15, he answered the door. I didn't tell him how furious he had made me. I just asked for my package as calmly as I could, thanked him for returning it to me, and ran home. I tore open the packaging. AND the proof passed my test. It is still not perfect. I don't know how many tries it would take for me to get it perfect, but it was definitely acceptable. So I went to the CreateSpace website and clicked on "Accept Proof". The distribution was set to begin - they said it would take 6 to 8 weeks for it to appear on Amazon.com and other mainstream sites.
Two days later, the new Lulu proof arrived. The print quality was better than the first proof, and I accepted the Lulu proof, too. In spite of CreateSpace's fabulous customer service, I do still think that the Lulu quality is better. Too bad it is so expensive. It's fair for Europe, and is printed here so I have to have that option, but the US Dollar is just too weak for its prices to be acceptable for US customers.
Next time I get a chance to blog, I will tell you about my announcement to my friends and family...