Some people may be wondering where, oh where, is the published version of Stage THIS! Volume 3. We wonder that, too.
The work was all done by January, meaning the editing, revising and formatting of 20 writers into a cohesive book. We set about using BookSurge.com this year because iUniverse has been slipping in the past few years with their service–not to mention their share of the royalties of each book is obscene. Booksurge, connected somehow with Amazon, was supposedly the answer. Booksurge staff kept warning from day one that we should not get too attached to dates as that was often a complaint of their customers. They wanted to make clear that things take time. Well, FIVE MONTHS later we are told that we were back to Square One: “We can’t format things like this [play scripts]. You have the wrong package and will have to pay more.” After some more screaming, they explained we could probably get a free upgrade for all the trouble, but we’d need to start over with salesperson “Whitney”…some moron named who had caused 3 months of delays right off the bat because she apparently can only read from a piece of paper and cannot process customers’ speech. The very person whose name was invoked in every discussion with Booksurge about the problems we faced (she seemed to be attached to every one of them). This was the SECOND TIME they attempted to force us to deal with the very customer service person we had requested NOT be involved–and God knows, as bad as she was to begin with, we never should have had to ask in the first place. It was time to go back to our own Square One.
We returned to iUniverse, since they had been eating up the royalties from Volumes 1 and 2 (after all, this ain’t exactly a money-maker anyway), but at least they got it done before, perhaps they could do it again. Apparently, iUniverse is still confused about a change of email addresses that occurred years ago and they still have not resolved it. After 2 weeks of runaround the problem was “fixed” according to them. But after trying to log on for more than 2 more weeks, it is obvious that they are going to be a while on this issue. That’s right–we can’t even LOG ON to our account right now!
In the meantime, we found CreateSpace.com, where it looked like MAYBE we’d be moving forward quickly and the book would be available within days (Great! Isn’t that what POD is supposed to be about?) CreateSpace insisted on a volume number, which was included on their computer form, but then did NOT appear when generating the book cover. We tried to rectify that since we had options to edit–and even went to the original form and corrected it there to match the title on the book cover. Next thing we get is a rejection notice from them because the title on the form doesn’t match the title on the book cover. This is a technical problem on their part, but we have gone from being print-ready by now, to CreateSpace “looking into the problem.”
We truly have been making great efforts to get this done, but apparently the death of American productivity ended some time between Volume 2 and Volume 3 (and a lot of these guys farm out their work to other countries, to boot!!!). We will not stop until it’s published but can make no guarantees as we seem to be at the mercy of some of the worst businesses ever created.
To sum up…the book is still sitting in the queue at CreateSpace.com and we are hoping they can resolve their issues. Meantime, the book has been resubmitted to them in attempt to simply start over, but they have been sitting on it for five days now (and they have a 1-2 turnaround promise on their site!).