Reduced quality build / print from printers? Lighter ink / text, worse blobby glue...

Has anyone else experienced this lately from any (or Lulu's Canadian printers?) I just sent off this message to support and I wanted to see if others have noticed a reduction in quality of paperbacks. The book in question is a trade-size 6/9 inch paperback. The proofs were fantastic. The copies I purchased after were clearly printer differently.

 

Text from my message to support:

The latest order I have made for 6 copies of my book appear to be a vastly inferior print compared to my original proofs.

 

  • The print is lighter and more difficult to read and my pictures have lost the crisp blacks that the older prints had.
  • The back sides of the covers are glued on with massive blobs of glue which push out the back side unlike what your original printings and it seems to have fanned glue deeper into the pages along the bottom making them stick.
  • On top of that, the quality of the cover print is noticeably down as well. Rather than a flat, smooth print, the cover feels bumpy, most notably in areas with text, as if more ink had been used to print the flat colors of the letters. You can feel ridges when running your hand over it, even on the letters along the spine. This issue was not present in my original proofs.

Have you changed your Canadian printers or is this an anomaly? I am very disappointed with the quality of my latest purchase. The builds have gone from a professional feel to amateur even though I have not made any changes to my files between prints.

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