I haven’t said much about the “Great Book of Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture” since it was released late last summer. Frankly I was rather embarrassed. The book that came from the printer was a far cry from the PDF version that I signed off on. In many places, parts of the drawings had disappeared. Throughout the drawings, corners were missing. In the section of drawings on the Harvey Ellis inlays curves here and there were gone, and in the worst case, an elevation drawing on page 74 went poof, but the dimensions were there, pointing in empty space.
The excitement of seeing the new book lasted but a few minutes to be replaced by disappointment. I made a call to my publisher to let them know what was going on. The initial solution was to print an errata sheet for page 74, tuck it inside the front cover and move on. I wasn’t happy about that, but at that point in the publishing process I have no control.
I sent off the books people ordered directly from me, and waited for the complaints to start rolling in. I only heard from one reader, and he thought the problems with the drawings were annoying but not a deal killer. I felt much the same way; the drawings were still useful and the “how-to” and “why-to” in the front section of the book was better than the original versions, thanks to additional photos and the combining of the text from three previous books into one cohesive section. But the finished book wasn’t what it should have been.
Online reviews, particularly on Amazon were not so nice or understanding. I heard from a few potential readers asking me what was up, and I answered them honestly. I suggested to one reader from England that he buy it from a source in the UK, so that he could return it without him or me paying a fortune in international postage if he wasn’t happy. He kept his copy and wrote this online review. As you can imagine, the negative reviews had an impact on sales, and a few months ago I got a call from my publisher letting me know that he and the printer had worked things out, and a second printing would be made. If you’re shopping for my book, look for the yellow tag in the lower right hand corner, as seen in the cover image above to make sure you’re getting the corrected printing. That’s fine going forward, but what about all the people who purchased the original version, especially those who bought it from me?
My publisher agreed that we needed to do the right thing, and if you purchased the book directly from me online, you’ve already received an e-mail explaining how to get your replacement copy. If you bought this book from me at a class or other appearance, or if your purchase somehow didn’t make it to my e-mail list, send me an e-mail so I can get you a new copy if you want it. If you purchased this book somewhere else, and aren’t happy with it, I’m sorry but I can’t take care of it.
If you were thinking of getting this book, and were putting off the purchase because of what you heard about the printing issues, I now have copies of the revised edition in stock. If you buy it from me, and you don’t like it, send it back for a full refund. That’s my policy on everything I sell online, and has been since I opened my virtual doors a dozen years ago. I can count on one hand the refunds I’ve made.
If you like this book, I would appreciate any help you can give spreading the word that the printing has been fixed, and it really is a valuable resource for Arts & Crafts period furniture.