Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Thursday, January 02, 2014

A Dishonorable New Marketing Strategy at Blurb

My favorite print-on-demand company, Blurb, has really pissed me off. When you upload a new book for printing, they are now pre-checking a box for you to include a PDF of your book with your order of actual real books, for which PDF you are charged $4.99. You have to notice and UNCHECK the box if you don't want it, and I did not notice until I had completed and paid for my order.

When I immediately tried to cancel the order to redo it without the PDF, a preemptive little memo popped up that says you CAN'T cancel the PDF part of the order. I guess that's because it was immediately available for download when the order was completed. This memo popped up BEFORE I indicated that it was the PDF that I wanted to cancel. This suggests to me that Blurb knows they are tricking customers into purchasing PDFs that we don't really want. This is a really underhanded and greedy marketing strategy, in my opinion.

BAD PIZZA, BLURB! Couldn't you be satisfied with selling me what I really wanted--real books? I've made well over a dozen different titles in Blurb and ordered multiple copies of each. I have several more titles in progress, so you'll be getting business from me for some time to come. Is that not a relationship that you want? Is that not good enough for you?

Don't get me wrong. I don't have any objection at all to PDFs being a product option. Some people may want that, just as some want the e-book option, and if you want to offer those products, more power to you. But your customers should not have to opt OUT of buying a PDF because you've already pre-checked a box on a cluttered screen. I'm sure you've made some easy money with this strategy, but at what cost of goodwill?

I feel really disrespected as a customer.

And I used to be such a big fan.

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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