I signed a contractual agreement with Dorrance Publishing Company, Inc., for them to publish a short manuscript which included 5 illustrations of my original artistic works. After approximately one year of going back and forth with editing and reviewing of various proofs I was sent a completed book. Please keep in mind that the books' entirety totalled a mere count of only 16 pages.
When I took a look at this first copy of the completed book, I was astounded to find that there were problems, not with the written parts of the book (though there were instances where I found editing errors in text that I had already proofed, that were made by the publishing company); but with the 5 illustrations of my artwork included in the book.
My complaint is that some of the art illustrations included in the book had smudges on them and lines in specific areas within the background, that were not on the original illustrations supplied by me to them. Also the back cover layout, which I also designed and supplied, had an uneven line that was very visible that looked awful. This also was not in the original that was supplied to them. Both the smudges and the uneven line looked as though they came from their copying from a copy and not from the originals that were supplied to them.
I was informed from Dorrance Publishing Company that it was my responsibility to point out to them smudges, etc. on copied illustrations when proofing the proofs that were sent to me, though the smudges, etc. were created by them, not me.
I disagree that I should be responsible in pointing out things to a publishing company that they created. No smudges or uneven lines appeared on the originals that I supplied to them. If they called themselves a copying company then it may have prompted me to point out such flaws in their work I would never think for a minute that any publishing company would make final copies or produce a book that included smudges, etc. anywhere in it.
Nowhere did it state in my contract that I am responsible for pointing out smudges on proofs. The book looked as though it was created through a copy service, versus a publishing company. The smudges obviously came from copying the originals once, and then continuously copying from a copy, versus using the originals. The originals clearly were not used in making the final copy of the book.
It should also be noted that Dorrance Publishing Company lost my original 5 illustrations. I had requested their return on the same date that I sent them (after their use of them). On several other instances I had requested the return of my original illustrations, but my requests were continuously ignored.
Also it should be noted that because the company would not take responsibility for the smudges/imperfections and uneven line in parts of the book they produced, I had no other alternative but to purchase all of the printed books from them so that they would not sell them to the public, due to errors that they caused.
Lastly, I also found out that complimentary copies of my book were never sent out to specific addresses (which was part of my contract agreement) that were given to the company at their request, in reference to their doing promotional advertising for my book.
Customers paying any such amounts of monies, be it small or large amounts expect certain things for those monies paid. This is a clear case of a company attempting to take advantage of a consumer in the worst way. We as consumers dont claim to be experts in areas where we spend hard earned monies for professional services of companies; that is why we contract the service out. We should be able to expect a company to give us what we pay for, and they should be accountable if they fail to meet the standards of the service which they claim to provide.
Needless to say, I have taken legal action against the company.
District Heights, Maryland