Edna Purviance's bio

Currently working on Edna Purviance's family biography. Draft is done. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Sea Gull new printing Experience

Update March 1, 2010 - Thanks for all the weekend orders! Check your emails for details.

In the past three years, The Sea Gull has been printed by at least three different printers. This is because the print-on-demand (POD) company used more than one printer to accommodate their high volume of print jobs.

Working this way presents a real challenge about quality control. This POD outfit is one of the largest operating, and there is a users forum where complaints were often aired. The simple fact is that anyone who markets and sells their POD books without visually checking the product could be due for a horror story.


In order to ensure that everyone who ordered the Sea Gull received a perfect copy, we did what we would suggest others to do, if selling like we are -- have the books sent to you before they are sent to the buyer. This is critical if your book is high quality, contains critical color and photography.

The POD company we were using simply let things go to hell. They had changed their business model to accommodate demands from re-sellers, and their quality control and especially their customer service fell completely apart. Our last order with them was badly printed, and we requested a reprint. They did not reply for over two weeks, then when they sent the reprint, those books were even worse looking than the original. When we contacted them again on the matter, they never replied.

Knowing this could happen at anytime, I had been researching possible printers as a fall back option. We even had a local printer try, but his price was not competitive and there were several aspects of production that had to be sent out of town. The local printer was happy to try, but he knew he couldn't bid competitively.

Now the printer we finally decided to try, after looking at many, has all the items we needed for a book like ours. We actually tried to use this printer before in 2007, but since we didn't have a tried and tested book, and were new to the process, we couldn't get in. The company is Lightning Source in Tennessee, and they are the largest POD printers in the world. Their standards for accounts that they will accept are strict, and we had to jump through a number of hoops before they gave us the green light.

Lightning Source (subsidiary of an Ingram Industries, Inc.) is used by small publishers like Leading Ladies, to the largest publishing companies in the business. So far, we have been treated very professionally, and that is all you ask for in a company. We explained our whole situation, and they were very aware of the problems and looked at our account with interest. We went from terrible customer service with the old POD to being assigned an account team to assist us when we needed. That's professionalism with a capital P!

Through the process of changing the book's digital files to match their POD system, to the proof book, and now with the printing of a quantity of new Third Edition books, everything has been A-OK.

As a side benefit, Leading Ladies now has the option to publish other peoples' projects. Something thought about in the office lately. But right now, getting The Sea Gull back in circulation is our priority.


This most noticeable change in The Sea Gull is the new ISBN bar code under Leading Ladies publishing. That bar code is how you know you have a REVISED THIRD edition. None of the First or Second editions have a bar code.

The inside pages are a bit different, as the paper weight is now 70#, instead of 80#, with not quite as smooth a finish. This does give the images a softer look. The cover paper stock on the new books is slightly heavier and the colors are closer to the first original books we printed in 2007 and early 2008. That pretty much sums up the changes in printing.

I had several people waiting to order books, including one who had ordered The Sea Gull First Edition in January 2008. Here are just two comments from a new fan and one longtime fan:

"I am very pleased with it and have to say I am very impressed with the presentation and the overall look of the book. Yourself and Wes have done fantastic work on this project. Also thanks again for the signatures. I will so treasure this book for years to come." - New fan from Europe

"The photographs of Seagull are great." - from Europe (they bought the first edition in January 2008)

Thanks to everyone's support and interest in this project. Special thanks to Leading Ladies for publishing The Sea Gull, and to Wesley Wada for his time and expertise in getting the new files updated. Our appreciation to Anna and the team at Lightning Source, for their reassuring presence in getting our new book re-launched.

The Sea Gull is published by Leading Ladies and still ordered direct exclusively through ednapurviance.com. We had our book at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum store last year, which they sold out all copies. If you are interested in selling in your bookshop, please contact us for more details.

Other notes: The Sea Gull have been added to the University of Nevada (in Reno), library. Comments from fans and reviewers who have the book.

Note Update: Also, if you think this book will show up on Amazon someday, at some cheap price with free shipping, you are mistaken. It is not easy to get a book like this on the market, one reason being publishers like mainstream stars. But even mainstream silent film stars don't always get their books published. So if you want that unique book for you collection, don't miss out. We have a better price again (at least back to original release price), but printing cost and shipping can change. And no, we have no plans to offer as an e-book. Again, thank to everyone who has ordered this latest edition. While the bio on Edna is still being researched, I have thoughts of doing another book, in between. See how it goes here...

And speaking of e-books, personally, I am not a fan. I love the idea of holding a real book, over holding a piece of plastic. There is something about 'turning the page' over ''rubbing a screen' I guess you could say, I like so much better. While I love working with a computer, I like a break from it, as well. Speaking of which, I read a great article covering this whole matter. By Murray Ewing, it covers many of the same thoughts I have on the whole e-book, ipad, matter.

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