View Full Version : Binding quality (rant, ignore)

2008-01-23, 06:16 AM
What IS it with WoTC and defects at the printers? More than 15% of the D&D3.5 books I've purchased came with faults - a botched endpaper here, a page stuck together with dirty glue there, self-warping cover boards on another... Is this typical?

Bookstores and FLGSs alike have been pretty good to me about exchanges, refunds and damage discounts, and I'm tolerably good at fixing things up, but it's a pain in the posterior if ever I met one. I'm not in the habit of examining every page of a new book for damage before I buy it, but from now on I will be with D&D material. It rather diminishes the fun of buying a shiny new games book to have to be paranoid about the risk of it being screwed up.

If bookshops are doing their jobs with returns/complaints/replace requests, WoTC should be at least vaguely aware of the fault rate. So does this happen to everyone (and somebody needs better QC, fast)? Or am I way out on the rare end of the bell curve (there's always going to be someone who gets an atypical number of faults, and this time it's me)? I work in publishing, and I know that if any of our printers delivered a 15% defect rate they'd be dropped faster than you can say "farewell". Grr!

Grey Paladin
2008-01-23, 06:19 AM
Never happened to me or anyone I know, then again I live in Israel and Silver Stars handle the printing here.

2008-01-23, 09:52 AM
cant say iv had that problem

2008-01-23, 10:25 AM
The pages in my 3.0 PHB popped out of the binding, but all that shows is that these books can't stand falling from a great height onto a hard floor. I did notice while browsing a Borders that several of the books had gouges in the back covers, but I think those were caused while in the store. None of the books I've bought from actual gaming shops have had any problems, so I'd try looking in a different place if I were you.

2008-01-23, 10:32 AM
Then it's official, from a sample of three I'm the statistical outlier :smallannoyed:

Though, of course, it's quite possible that Grey Paladin's printer is more careful.

Funnily enough, five minutes after I posted, I got a complaints letter about a binding defect in a (dull, non-RPG) book I edited*, as if someone was trying to tell me something. A replacement is on its way to them, of course, but it's odd how coincidence works.

*(No, this is not normally the editor's responsibility)

(edit: and Inkeyes posted while I wasn't looking, increasing the sample. I agree that resistance to long drops isn't necessarily to be expected! Mine are from all sorts of places, and all the faults are actual manufacturing defects rather than store damage - things like oil-smeared glued-together pages (this weekend, straight back to the shop) and major faults with the back endpaper (only spotted that one this morning, in a book I've had a little while, hence the original whinge). Clearly my luck just sucks. Seems like the press they use is powerful enough to compress defects so flat that the book doesn't fall open at them when casually leafed through, which is interesting. That's a cool poster in your sig, btw)

2008-01-23, 12:08 PM
I own/steward about 15 D&D books, and I have not experienced the problems you have.

2008-01-23, 12:09 PM
I own/steward about 15 D&D books, and I have not experienced the problems you have.

2008-01-23, 01:00 PM
I have around 30 books or so, and the only one I ever had problems with, was my 3.0 MM. The page with the Darkmantle had been crumpled in the cutting process, so some of it was folded up, and had not been cut to the same size as the other pages.

I think you're just unlucky.

2008-01-23, 07:59 PM
Ashes - that's exactly the sort of "must have been during the binding process" damage I'm talking about.

In a way I'm rather glad that my experience seems to be seriously atypical. I'm probably the least bad person for this to happen to - assertive in dealing with ordinary bookshops (when I can find the receipt), reasonably good at bookbinding the rest. Not that it's not a pain.

At least for me, some of the appeal of these things is the "shiny factor". They are, for the most part, rather pretty books - and I do think that makes me a little more willing to buy a marginally useful one. They'd better stay good.

2008-01-23, 08:10 PM
Actually there was something about the bindings on first-run 3.0 PHBs that caused the glue to lose hold. I know my 3.0 fell out of it's cover, though otherwise stayed completely intact.

Other than that though, no book problems to speak of.

Jack Zander
2008-01-24, 02:04 AM
I had the same problem with my 3.0 PHB. The binding fell apart but luckily the two pieces of thick tan paper held the book together still. That is some good quality paper I'd say.

2008-01-24, 02:07 AM
My Five Nations book's binding Scares me. I have no way to describe the horror but invite random people to try and open it.