I did not have a fun Monday and Tuesday. I received an e-mail from Lulu on Monday afternoon which stated in part, "We regret to inform you that there has been a problem fulfilling an order for http://www.lulu.com/content/953938 (Sporty Spec).... We have been notified that your file will not RIP (print) on Lulu's printer in its current format.... Because of this problem, we have made your content temporarily UNAVAILABLE FOR SALE." (Caps mine.) The e-mail proceeded to outline what possible problems might have caused this issue, all allegedly problems with my manuscript. Immediate images of all the PDF hell I went through to follow their specifications exactly began to flash through my mind.
To cut to the chase... after rereading the e-mail several times, I realized that there couldn't be anything wrong with the manuscript. They'd been printing copies successfully since November 1. I went to go check the PDF of the manuscript on their end, and accidentally discovered that the back COVER of the book had somehow been corrupted on LULU's END. After pulling myself together, I contacted the support department via their live chat feature. They restored the cover the next morning, and then I got the book back available for sale after a couple of more Live Chat exchanges, about 24 hours total downtime.
Whew! After seven months of working on this project, to have it yanked so unceremoniously really shook me up. Just typing this is stressing me out all over again. Anyway, the book is back on sale, and I hope it will stay on sale throughout the holiday shopping season.
Onto more positive developments...
On Saturday, Bob and I dropped into Bookfellows/Mystery & Imagination Bookshop in Glendale, the site of our planned West Coast launch party for Sporty Spec. We chatted with owner Christine Bell, discussed logistics, and dropped off a few copies of the book. We're all set for November 29 at 7 p.m.
In between the party-planning and the unexpected glitch/stress, I've managed to get out some more contributor's copies of Sporty Spec. Shipping directly from Raven's roost this weekend were copies for: Roger Dutcher, Rob Rosen, Stephen D. Rogers, James S. Dorr, Larry Hodges, Jennifer Crow, Michael Ceraolo, Stoney M. Setzer, Richard Pitaniello, and Erin Kinch. That makes 25 out of the 42 shipped, and I've made a mental note to myself that should I ever be insane enough to do something like this again, I'm not going to mail out 42 contributor's copies. It will either have to be fewer contributors or people will just have to pick them up themselves. ;-)
Okay, I will now put all stressful thoughts out of my head and contemplate turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!