Book proof frustrations!

On 31st October I finished my “A LIFE SOLD” book and sent the completed files to the printer. The printer works on a Print On Demand basis, meaning that when a book is ordered, they print a copy straight away, put it together, and send it to the purchaser. There are two files – the colour cover, and the interior text. Both of those files were uploaded to the printer as soon as they were ready.

The printer, LightningSource, in the UK, were very efficient, and the next step in the process is that they send me a proof copy of the book. Once I give this the okay, the book gets listed for sale on Amazon, and is available for order.

The proof copy was despatched from the supplier in Birmingham on the evening of 4th November, at around 6pm. DHL are the courier service looking after the transportation. From Birmingham it travelled to London, arriving at Heathrow at 9am the following morning.

It departed later that morning, the 5th, from Heathrow, and showed up in Hamilton, Ontario on the evening of Sunday 7th, according to the online tracking facility. I imagined, now that it was in the country, it would only be a couple of days at the most before it arrived in Whitehorse.

At 4.10am on Monday the 8th, according to the DHL website, the package arrived in Toronto. And since then, there doesn’t seem to have been any sign of movement!

By Wednesday last week I was getting a little frustrated at not seeing any progress, and gave customer services a ring. They would get someone to call me back, they promised. Someone did call, and managed to confirm that the website showed the package to be in Toronto – yes, I could see that, I answered testily.

Unfortunately Thursday was Remembrance Day, so the DHL office here in Whitehorse was closed, and customer services could not get any further information about the whereabouts of the package. I never heard anything from them on Friday, but I did manage to get in touch with the office here. Nothing arrived in Whitehorse on Friday, as the Air North flight into town was cancelled.

So, almost seven full days later, the website still shows my proof copy of the book as being in Toronto, and not a single DHL person seems to be able to tell me where it actually is!

As you can imagine, it is all incredibly frustrating. All I need is to see the book, confirm that it looks like I expected it to, and we are up and running very shortly afterwards.

Come on DHL. It took a couple of days to get it from Birmingham in England to Canada – how on Earth can it take over a week to get it from one side of the country to the other? I’ll be using Fedex in future!

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