I received my copy of the final issue of Dragons, Knights & Angels the other day. It looks nice--there isn't a whole lot involved in design when you print something through Lulu, but DEP does a good job in taking advantage of what Lulu can do without over-cramming the pages or any other pitfalls that those using POD might fall to. It looks nice on the shelf of contributor copies, and I'm pleased to have it (the poem itself has also received a number of positive comments, so that makes me even happier than the contributor copy).

But I'm annoyed with Lulu. Specifically I find their packaging of books to be absolutely unconscionable. In this age when only a few blinders-on pockets of people deny the importance of caring for the environment, they go to ridiculous extremes with the amount of packaging. DKA (like the other magazines from DEP) has a nice size to it, paperback size more or less except for much thinner. But Lulu wraps it in a box too big to fit in my mailbox, easily big enough for a thick trade paperback with several inches to spare on every side even then. That's silly enough, especially as it must increase mailing, but then inside, the book is plastered to another piece of corrugated cardboard with heavy-duty plastic. What on earth for? What's the point of the plastic at all? Or the extra cardboard, for that matter? I often receive things in the mail, whether contributor copies or things to review, and there are much better ways to ship books and magazines that keep them perfectly safe.

Well, rant over. I just hope saner people within the organization can get them to use more environmentally friendly packaging.


Neil Richard said…
Hard to tell without a photo, but it sounds like how Amazon packages their orders. I've had several books come shrink-wrapped to a piece of cardboard that is then stuffed inside a box. Granted the box was usually the right size and the cardboard holding my book was also proportional. Maybe they have extra paper to use?
Daniel Ausema said…
Well, I'm guessing the overly large box has to do with they only have one size of box, and its big enough regardless of what book gets printed. In a short-sighted way it might make business sense, but that doesn't make it acceptable.

It's been a little while since I last got anything from Amazon, and I don't think I've only ordered a single book from them for a very long time, but I've only ever had a single box with the books free inside.

I find it perplexing.