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Topic: Printing/Manufacturing Flaw in Book, WWYD?

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Subject: Printing/Manufacturing Flaw in Book, WWYD?
Date Posted: 3/18/2013 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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I picked up a book called "What Alice Forgot" by Liane Moriarty at a rummage sale.  There is one page in the book that is flawed; it does not look to have been cut properly during the printing process and sticks out the side and the bottom of the book (so has gotten dogeared).  That one page has a fold mark and a tear, where it looks like it got a bit mangled in the printing process.  Should I trim the dogears off the bottom/side of the page, to make it flush with the rest of the pages of the book?  I'm assuming it's not postable in the system, as it is, though I would like to list it in the book bazaar after I read it (as it has over 200 wishers on it).  Book is in excellent condition, but for that errant page.  WWYD? Here's the photos of the flawed page: 

http://flic.kr/p/e4kQ7G  http://flic.kr/p/e4kQ7h

Date Posted: 3/18/2013 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
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I personally would not trim the page.  If you want to make the effort, you can contact the publisher about the flaw.  It would probably help to include the pictures if you can.  In many cases, they will send you a new copy of the book.  I don't believe you have to have an original receipt for that either.

If you don't want to take the time to do that, just list it in the book bazaar as you originally planned.  The person that accepts the book will then have the option to contact the publisher for the new book.  But if there are any changes made prior to that, I think you'd lose the option for an exchange.

edited for spelling


Last Edited on: 3/18/13 7:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/18/2013 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,083
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I think that's perfectly postable as is.

Printing errors that do not impact readability are not excluded from being traded on PBS.

My general rule of thumb is "if you can read it, you can post it" ... regarding printing errors.

So, ink splashes on the page that do not obscure words = OK to post.

improperly cut pages that are completely readable = OK to post.

Upside down pages in the middle of the book = OK to post.

Extra pages in the middle of the book = OK to post. (I stuck a sticky explaining this on the cover)

Missing pages in the middle of the book = NOT OK ( I threw this in the trash)

Yup, I've seen all of these personally.

Last Edited on: 3/18/13 7:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/18/2013 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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Thanks for the feedback.  I did check out the publisher's web page (Penguin) and emailed their tech department to let them know of the flaw (and included the photos as well).  I will mention the flaw when I list it in the Book Bazaar (so I don't get an errant RWAP!).  Will leave the trimming to the next person who gets it after me.  

Date Posted: 3/18/2013 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
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Based on the second photo, I would not view this book as postable, due to the tears in the page.  I know you didn't cause them, but tears in text pages are not allowed, and there aren't any special allowances for printer errors in that case.

Offering it via the Book Bazaar, as you've done, seems like the best option.

Date Posted: 3/18/2013 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
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What Sara said yes  but I also agree with Elizabeth, the only description here (publishing flaws) that might make the book unpostable are tears on text pages and/or pages that are missing or not readable.  Unfortunately, many memebers are unaware of this and could RWAP.

Last Edited on: 3/18/13 9:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/19/2013 12:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,083
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I don't think the page is torn. It's just not squared off because it was bound incorrectly into the book, and cut improperly.

There is no requirement that pages must all be rectangular, or that they must all match each other in shape or size.

Quibble? Sure. But still, it's a publishing error that does not render the book unreadable. Or, IMO, unpostable.

Date Posted: 3/19/2013 6:11 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
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I'm curious - why would trimming the page to be flush with the rest of the book be a bad idea?

eta - Nevermind.  I can see now that it's unpostable due to the big rip in the page.  

Last Edited on: 3/19/13 12:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/19/2013 7:24 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,417
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Last Edited on: 8/2/13 8:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/19/2013 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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Here's a closeup, so you can see the tear better: http://flic.kr/p/e4vTfA   It looks like the paper that should have been where the tear is was somehow doubled up and tucked into the binding during the printing process.  I suppose a razor blade could be taken to it, along the inside binding edge to release that small section, could be taped to fill in the hole/tear, then the excess trimmed to make it flush with the book.  Definitely doesn't interfere with any words, etc., though (but I do find that ragged edge which sticks out of the book annoying, moreso than the hole/tear!).   I'm assuming scotch tape is a 'no no' on torn book pages, too, though.

Date Posted: 3/19/2013 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,083
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Here is how I see it:

Let's say the printing mishap is ink splatters on the page which do not cover text. That's postable, although if similar ink were on the page due to someone writing on the page ... it would have to go thru the PM rules (meaning it's unpostable as is).

So, obviously, in some cases, a printing mishap which would otherwise be unpostable (if it was caused by a person) is still postable (because it was caused by the manufacturing process).

In this case, the page is not intact, but the cause is a printing mishap that does not cause the page to become unreadable.

I think it's a similar case, and postable.


Date Posted: 3/19/2013 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
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Torn pages are torn pages and aren't allowed.  I'd trim it up nicely as I'm anal like that, and offer it in the Book Bazaar.

Date Posted: 3/19/2013 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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Well, I do like Sara's logic and illustration about the ink spots caused by the printer vs. those caused by the reader as it relates to a torn page due to manufacturing rather than a reader.  Does seem to be a shame that it can't be posted with this flaw, since not done by human error but by machine (and doesn't affect its readibility).   But, I just know, I'd get a RWAP with it, if I mailed it out through the FIFO system as opposed to the Book Bazaar (where I'll be sure to mention the issue).

I did get this reply from Penguin, after writing to them and showing them the photos (doesn't sound like they'll send me another book, though):

"We are sorry to hear that you received a defective book. In order to report this defect we would need the printing number.

On the book’s copyright page, you should find a series of numbers similar to these:

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3          

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

The lowest number in the series tells you what printing or edition of the book you have. In the first example, the book is in its third printing; in the second, the book is from the first print run.

Please let us know if this row of numbers does not appear on the copyright page.  Thank you."



Date Posted: 3/19/2013 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Someone suggested contacting the publisher, which may get you an undamaged copy. I've found that an even easier solution is to just take it in to your nearest bookstore, show them the damage, and ask if you can exchange it. I have done this several times and a receipt doesn't seem to be necessary. They just exchange 1-for-1 and return yours to the publisher for credit. 

Date Posted: 3/19/2013 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,083
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I've taken things like that back to the bookstore, too, but unless the book looks brand new (besides the manufacturing flaw), they may not help you.

Date Posted: 3/19/2013 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,983
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I've seen the "extra dogear" error on quite a few discounted books sold at Blockbuster and Walmart over the past 4 years. I just trim the page down to be even with the other pages. IF that had been the only problem with your book, I would have said it's postable.

But pretty regularly here in the threads there are discussions about the printing/binding mistakes occurring more and more often --- you would think with today's technology, these mistakes would be less common, not more.