2 years later

Aug. 23rd, 2017 08:34 pm
archersangel: by nomadicwriter on LJ (understanding)
[personal profile] archersangel
it was two years ago today that i had my gallbladder removed. i've had no problems, other than the occasional indigestion, since.

at the time i semi-joked that if one of those meme things that as a lot of questions about a person had one about staying in the hospital i could now answer in the affirmative. but there hasn't been one since. figures.

anyway, if you care to read the saga, or want to know what it's like if you've never had yours removed, here's the link to the post i made three days after the surgery. possible trigger waring for medical stuff.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Aug. 23rd, 2017 06:36 pm
laundrybaskets: laundry (Default)
[personal profile] laundrybaskets posting in [community profile] exercise_every_day
Hey, EED community!

Here is your daily exercise check-in post! Hope everyone is having a great day!
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Posted by MATT JONES

“German police say they have seized thousands of tablets of the party drug ecstasy in the shape of Donald Trump’s head, a haul with an estimated street value of 39,000 euros ($45,900.)” — AP, 8/22/17

- - -

This report was written within 12 hours of consumption.

Background: I’m a twenty-year-old male and a casual drug user, mostly weed, but I’ve dabbled in DMT, PCP, Peyote, MDPV, Kratom, Mescaline, Salvia, Belladonna, Nutmeg, Chloroform, 4Chan, Pharms, KDP, KLM, KLM-2, Codeine, and coffee. I recently took a trip to Germany to do some ancestral research, and while traveling through Munich, I met a guy out at Rote Sonne selling Molly. Now, I’ve used Molly before, casually, so I was pretty comfortable trying it again. And the really cool thing about what this guy was selling was that each pill was shaped like who other than our Commander in Chief: Donald J. Trump.

Now, at this point, it’s important for me to explain that I didn’t vote for the guy. Personally, I went third party, but I won’t say who. I was originally all in for Bernie — he could have won — but the establishment Dems completely burned us in favor of Killary. Plus, I think people give Trump a lot more shit than any other president has gotten. This isn’t me defending him. I just want to say that it’s only been seven months. We should at least give him a chance, right? So in a way, this trip was all about me trying to see his side of the story. Trying to reach across the existential aisle and promote unity and harmony.

Timeline of Substances Ingested:
T + 0:00: MDMA (approximately 400 mg)
T + 0:10: a marijuana joint (just to enhance the experience)

The Day of:

  • Woke up at 11:00am.
  • Ate breakfast/lunch in hotel lobby.
  • Showered.
  • Cruised German Tinder. I originally purchased two tabs from the guy at Rote Sonne so I tried to see if I could find some company for the night. Sex on ecstasy is totally cosmic. German girls are the best. They’re blonde and fair-skinned with the most brilliant blue eyes, but in the end it turned out that they were too much like American girls: uptight and only willing to give it up to Chads and cucks.
  • Walked around town.
  • Napped.
  • Ate Dinner.
  • Settled in for the night at 7pm.

T + 0:00: I change into a hotel robe and get comfortable before ingesting two orange men.

T + 0:05: Think about texting my ex-girlfriend Natalie to see what she is up to but decide to roll a joint to calm down.

T+ 0:10: Smoke the joint and wait for the magic to happen. I get on Tinder again to make some last ditch invites, but no luck. I go to Natalie’s Instagram and scroll through her pictures. We started dating in high school but she completely changed in college. She took one feminism class and thought she knew everything. I scroll past a photo of her at a rally with the rest of her SJW friends.

T + 0:15: The weed kicks in and I mellow out a little. I think I can begin to feel the effects of the ecstasy. It’s warm and pleasant. I open my laptop and Netflix Das Boot while waiting for the rest of the effects to kick in.

T + 0:30: Okay, so this is different. I’m feeling a little disassociated from reality, not necessarily in a bad way.

T + 0:40: Strong physical sensations. It’s like pure joy. Slight visuals, too. I hold my hand up in front of my face and it seems like the skin is moving, like my hand itself is getting smaller.

T + 0:50: I’ve always though that Das Boot was a cinematic masterpiece, but it goes deeper than that now. I almost feel like I’m in the U-boat, completely submerged beneath the waves with my comrades. I’m not scared, though. Instead, I just feel this burst of utter empathy for each one of the German soldiers, like, I think about how scared they must have been. How life is so unfair. The German soldiers get a lot more shit than any other soldiers in history, but there were a lot of fine people fighting for what they believed in, and is any belief really more worthy than another?

T + 1:00: Okay, something strange is happening. I feel great, tremendous even! This is probably the most fantastic trip I’ve ever had, but there’s also this underlying sense of insecurity nagging at me. I feel like my hands are shrinking. I feel like there’s a doorway in my chest that I’m afraid to walk through because what if I meet myself on the other side? And what if I suck? What if I’m just some loser who couldn’t keep a girlfriend? I’m not liking this kind of self doubt. I’ve never experienced anything like it on ecstasy before.

T + 1:45: The doubt and insecurity have passed! They’re gone! I crushed them in my mind vice! Now I just feel amazing. I can sense myself swimming along the seam of time and space. I want to love everyone. I want to bridge the divide! It sounds crazy, but I think the origin point for the center of the universe happened right here. In this bed. The Big Bang happened in this very spot. I know it in my gut.

T + 2:30:The pleasure is unparalleled now. That initial feeling of disassociating from reality has come full circle and it’s fantastic. It almost feels like every bad thing that happened to me didn’t really happen. After all, what is truth, really, other than a fabrication of a different sort of lie? You must make your own truth in this world. Still watching Das Boot and I swear this is probably the saddest, most underrated film in history, and there are people out there who want to erase that. To erase what they don’t understand. To erase me even.

T + 3:00: Totally peaking. I’ve never said this before because I’m not really that into politics. After all, they’re all the same. America has been corrupted by a two-party system whose only loyalty lies with corporations. But honestly, I think I could be president. I feel it in my bones. I can finally see it. An intense sense of clarity is overwhelming me. Make. America. Great. Again. It’s genius, beautiful in its simplicity. How can you be against greatness? I text Natalie that very question: How can you be against greatness? She dumped me all because I wouldn’t vote for Hillary, and leftists say they want freedom of speech, but I’m not going to vote for a woman just because she’s a woman. That’s sexist. If anything, real feminism is being brave enough to know what’s right. My thoughts are making more and much more greater sense than they ever have before. Just look at Omarosa. She’s black. And a woman. Think about it.

T + 3:30: Getting another wave of that insecurity again. It’s uncomfortable. I decide to run a bath and relax. When I disrobe in front of the mirror, my reflection seems all wrong. My skin is saggy. My penis is both the smallest and the biggest thing I’ve ever seen.

T + 3:32: Phew! That second wave is over. In fact, I don’t think it ever really happened. My penis is definitely the biggest thing I’ve ever seen.

T + 4:00: I forget about the bath because I hear my phone buzzing. It’s Natalie. She says she wants to get back together. She calls me and tells me I’m a great lover, the best lover she’s ever had. It’s sad, really. Not for me, but for her. She used to have it, but she doesn’t have it anymore. She won’t age well.

T + 4:30: Epiphany: The Apprentice really should have won an Emmy.

T + 4:31: Epiphany: The wall can work. Solar is the future. Invest in avocados.

T + 4:32: Epiphany: Ivanka. We must secure the existence of our people and a future for…

T + 4:32:03: Epiphany: Florida is the future! Ban denim!

T + 4:40: Heritage not hate.

T + 5:00: I’m waiting for the comedown but still feeling great.

T + 6:00: Still feeling great.

T + 8:00: Feelings of greatness have not abated.

T + 10:30: Still no comedown, just Infinite Greatness coursing through my veins.

T + 10:31: That would be such a great campaign slogan: Infinite Greatness. Like, who wouldn’t want that. It’s unAmerican not to.

T + 12:00: No comedown in sight. Never coming down. Not ever.

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Posted by ZIYAD GOWER

“Louise Linton, the labels-loving wife of Steven Mnuchin, replied condescendingly to an Instagram poster about her lifestyle and belittled the woman, Jenni Miller, a mother of three from Portland, Ore., for having less money than she does.” — New York Times, 8/22/17

- - -

Greetings #peasants, it’s me, Louise Linton, in a beautiful #hermesscarf and #tomford sunnies. You may know my husband, Steve Mnuchin, America’s Secretary of Treasure. Or you may be familiar with my work as a film star, from my turn as Samantha in Crew 2 Crew to 2013’s The Power of Few, where I played the role of “Cory’s Mother” #crew2crew #corysmom. I am also #rich, and probably paid more taxes on my #farragamo pants than you have in your entire worthless life.

Anyway, I found a spare moment between my annual three weeks of employment to put my diamond-studded #carandache pen to paper and write some fall fashion tips for the #greatunwashedmasses. Consider it yet another handout from me to you.

First off, that funky patterned #versace blouse may have gotten you through a summer of #leeching off the goodwill of the donor class, but now that fall is rolling around, it’s time to go understated. Try pairing a dark #ysl cashmere with a #givenchy suede jacket, or #burberry if you’re on a budget. #parasites

Don’t worry ladies, unlike my villa in #cabosanlucas, athleisure isn’t just for summer. This September onward, stay cool and comfortable in a pair of #gucci mesh-cut leggings and #marcjacobs sneakers. You’ll look downright #cute as you desperately jog away from the kinds of #sacrifices my loving husband and I have made for this country.

I know what you’re thinking – how can I grab even more out of silver screen #legend Louise Linton’s pockets, and what about makeup? A maroon or burgundy lip by #dior is my go-to, and should be yours too. It contrasts beautifully with any skin tone, from #porcelain to #ivory to #shell. And remember, only some people deserve to have nice things! I learned that while writing my memoir, In Congo’s Shadow, about my time in #Africa, a place where people do not even have basic amenities like #prada driving gloves and #dolce leopard-print handbags.

People are going to remember 2017 for just one thing: leather. And for genuine Italian #leather, you can’t do better than #cesarepaciotti, founded in 1980, the same year my husband got into Yale, and I was born. Have you even heard of Yale, you gluttonous fucking freeloader? #takethehighroad

For every fashion #do there’s a fashion #dont. First of all, don’t overdo it on the black – it makes you look old. Instead, keep it as youthful as possible with a dark gray #fendi vest and lighter #chanel accents. I know deep down Steve will replace me eventually. Second, don’t cheap out on the jewelry. When I’m staring at the reflection of my autumn #rosegold necklace in my #infinitypool, contemplating the ever-widening pit that is a myopic existence defined by greed and unmitigated materialism, you won’t catch me in anything less than #tiffanyandco. And here’s the biggest no-no I can give folks like you: for the love of God, do not breed! #mnugenics

Oh, and please check out my film Odious later this year; I believe I am in one of the scenes.

Another insta-rec

Aug. 23rd, 2017 01:42 pm
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
http://www.attitudeiseverything.org.uk/resources/practical-guides/access-information/ has a good summary of what a venue needs to do to be accessible to a basic range of disability needs. Places like Nine Worlds and lists like Euan's Guide go a lot further, particularly for neurodiversity and complex needs, but this is a great start and easy to understand for those who are new to the subject.
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Posted by SALLY MILLER

1. “Leave it.”

2. “You are destroying the fabric of everything I hold dear.”

3. “I know you think the barking protects us, but you can let these people in. They will not kill your family.”

4. “Ow! that hurts.”

5. “He looks so harmless curled up asleep. I almost trust him to be left alone.”

6. “Leave it.”

7. “You pee over everything.”

8. “Do not grab that pussy!”

9. “How did this dog get in the house?!”

10. “Those teeth are really sharp.”

11. “Get your nose out of there! That part of my body does not concern you.”

12. “Who is the cutest little fluffy monster I know? Who wants a scratch behind their ears?”

13. “OK, let’s get you out of the house. Time to walk the streets!”

14. “Oh sure, when the alpha says it you listen.”

15. “Can someone please muzzle him?”

16. “I said leave it.”

17. “Hello. I am a constituent. I am calling to urge you to vote against repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.”

- - -

Senator: 9, 15, 17
Puppy: 3, 4, 5, 10, 12,
Both: 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16

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Posted by BRYAN DUFF

Nothing prepares you for being a parent — it’s an experience that’s amazing and rewarding and yes, even terrifying all in one! As I begin this journey, I’ve promised myself I would cherish every part of it: the laughs, the love, and especially all the likes it gets me on social media.

I know this time will go by fast. Soon my little Jaxon will develop a mind of his own and won’t want to spend as much time in my social media posts, with me jamming a camera into his face whenever he sits down for a meal. I’m grateful my sweet baby Jax doesn’t protest driving 90 minutes to check-in at the most popular park in our area, dressing up in a wool skunk costume in 80 degree heat, and holding a store-bought “I’M A LIL’ STINKER!!” sign. You don’t have to tell me I won’t be able to get away with any of this stuff when he’s a teenager; I’m well aware he’ll be super gangly and way less photogenic then.

In the meantime, I’m taking such pride in his achievements! Like the time he got 223 likes after I pushed his head into a $40 smash cake (see #JAXONBIRTHDAYLOL), or the 48 shares he got for perfectly reacting to his Christmas presents on just our second take. I’m especially treasuring all the firsts! The first time Jaxon saw fireworks, I just knew this moment would be popular enough to pop up again in my timeline 24 months from now. And of course I’ll never forget the video I made of his first steps — believe me, nothing is more rewarding than watching someone you didn’t get along with in middle school watch your child walk for the first time.

Don’t get me wrong: there are challenging parts to this whole parenthood thing, too. You’re often confronted with your limits, like when there’s nothing you can do to make your child do that cute thing again for a video. And sometimes being a parent is frustrating, like “Wow, only 20 likes for Jax’s first trip to the zoo? I posted it in prime hours!” You have to ask yourself hard questions like, “should I upload this video of my son as a story or to my feed directly?” Also there are times your child will get sick, which is tragic because days will go by before he looks good for a photo. No one tells you how hard all of this is — probably because if they did, no one would want to be a parent!

But none of the challenges can take away from the greatest gift parenthood has given me: the gift of purpose. Thanks to my child, each day I wake up knowing exactly what I need to do, and that’s create premium content. Parenthood has taught me that every moment as a parent is a new adventure in branding; and storytelling is not just something you do for your child before bed, it’s something you do 24/7 for your followers. I’d never claim to have it all figured out (I still wish I knew why other people didn’t enjoy our trip to the zoo), but I’m gaining confidence in my parenting with each passing social media post. So much so that I think I’m even ready to do it all again! I mean, could you imagine the likes that would roll in if Jaxon had another little brand to play with?

Key Ring Chronicles: Tropicana Token

Aug. 23rd, 2017 05:00 am
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Posted by JEFF COWMAN

- - -

It was 1987. A college acquaintance called me late one afternoon and asked if I wanted to help him move from Oklahoma to California. Being young (freshly 21) and stupid (why would I be helping anyone move, especially someone I didn’t even owe money to?), I said yes. So we headed west on Interstate 40 in beaten-up Pontiac with no air but a perfectly good cassette deck. We listened to latest Andrew Dice Clay tape repeatedly for nearly a thousand miles before the tape unwound on the car’s dark green carpet. We were devastated. So we went to Las Vegas.

Neither of us had been there before, but we knew we were in for great things: drinking, hookers, comped suites, and pockets full of gambling winnings. Or at least that was the idea. The reality turned out to be a bit different. We stayed in a motel flophouse with a vibrating double bed that didn’t vibrate. I tried my first and last martini, lost over $200 shooting craps, and never found a hooker (thus preserving my virginity, which remained intact for another year). At one point I was so desperate to keep gambling that I cashed in my last $7 for nickels so I could play the slots all night long.

Along the way, I found a Tropicana Hotel Dollar Gaming Token in some shop off the strip. It was minted in my birth year (1966), so I bought it and later drilled a hole in it. I’ve kept it on my key ring as a memento of that trip, and as a reminder that sometimes the journey is as important as the destination.

- - -

Key Ring Chronicles is a crowd-sourced project that explores the stories behind objects that people keep on their key rings. It was created and is overseen by Paul Lukas, who has kept a quarter with a hole drilled through it on his own key ring since 1987. Readers are encouraged to participate by sending photos and descriptions here.

Chip Crusted Salmon

Aug. 23rd, 2017 11:00 am
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Posted by Nick

This is an updated post from the Macheesmo Archives. I like to keep a bag of tortilla chips on hand for a quick snack or maybe some late night nachos or something. When I can I like to make my own tortilla chips, but I don’t always have the time. Since chips and salsa is […]

The post Chip Crusted Salmon appeared first on Macheesmo.

Comic for August 23, 2017

Aug. 23rd, 2017 11:59 pm
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Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.

Savage Love

Aug. 23rd, 2017 04:00 am
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Posted by Dan Savage

Woman estranged from her dad because he was busted for soliciting escorts. by Dan Savage

A few years ago, my dad was busted by the cops for using an online forum to solicit escorts. The arrest and infidelity destroyed his marriage to my mom. My brother and I were in our mid-teens at the time and were angry enough with him that we asked him to not seek custody. He obliged, and neither of us has seen him since. I miss my dad—or the man I thought he was. I know part of my anger comes from how badly he hurt my mom. As I mature, I'm wondering if I was unfair to my dad by cutting off all contact. I don't think sex work is immoral. I don't think people who see sex workers are bad. But because my dad was involved in this bust, and because I had to become aware of the double life he led, I felt uncomfortable around him. It doesn't help that some of the girls were not much older than I was at the time. I think I'd like to get to know my dad again, but I'm not sure what kind of relationship I'm ready to have. He was a wonderful father—and on some level, I recognize I cut him off when he showed me he was human. How do I reach out to him?

Please Help

Each of us is a writhing mass of contradictions, PH. We all have public personas and private personas, and there are always gaps between the two. And while those gaps, when exposed, can be mutually negating, that's not always the case. It is possible for someone to be a good dad and a shitty husband. The good dad you knew your dad to be? That wasn't a lie. It was one of your father's truths. That he failed as a husband and hurt your mom—with an assist from laws criminalizing sex work—is another of your father's truths.

You don't say why your dad was seeking sex outside the marriage, PH, and I can't imagine that was a conversation you wanted to have with your dad in your mid-teens—and it may not be one you ever want to have. But it's possible your parents' marriage was more complicated than you know. ("The victim of an affair is not always the victim of the marriage," as Esther Perel says.) But you're not an awful daughter for refusing to see your dad during a contentious, confusing, and most likely humiliating time. (I imagine there was press).

As for how to reach out, I think e-mail is the best way to reestablish contact after an estrangement. You can take your time crafting what you want to say, and your dad can take his time crafting a response. And you've already written a good opening line for your first e-mail to your dad: "I'd like to get to know my dad again, but I'm not sure what kind of relationship I'm ready to have. But I'd like to start talking—via e-mail, for now."

Give your mother a heads up, PH, so she doesn't feel blindsided. Good luck.


I'm a female masochist and super subby—I see nothing wrong with that. For the last couple of months, I've been pursuing "death wish" fantasies. When I start feeling low, I seek out guys on hookup sites who are sadistic enough that they might potentially help me carry it out. I've even gone so far as to put together a "blackmail package" for them, in case they start feeling like I might tell on them. I honestly wouldn't want anyone to get in trouble just because I'm not thinking right. My therapist knows about the masochist end of things, but I'm afraid to tell her this other part because I don't want to be put on any crazy pills. Is there a way for me to switch my brain from thinking about this and somehow find my way back to normal BDSM or something else entirely without turning off my sexuality completely?

Rather Not Say My Name

There are fantasies that are simply too dangerous to realize, RNSMN, even with a willing victim/sub and a reckless perp/Dom. And any person who pushes a woman's "death wish" fantasy into potentially-carrying-it-out territory deserves whatever trouble comes their way. Murder is wrong, even if the person wants it. And taking advantage of someone who clearly isn't in their right mind doesn't magically make manslaughter not criminal—"blackmail package" or no "blackmail package."

You must open up to your therapist about the risks you're taking, RNSMN. Some people with extreme and/or dangerous sexual obsessions have been successfully treated with talk therapy and low-dose antidepressants—meds, not "crazy pills." A good therapist and/or the right low-dose medication could help you find your way back to safer and saner BDSM practices without shutting off your sexuality completely.


I'm a woman in my early 30s having sex with a guy in his early 20s. The sex is more than casual, and we really care about each other. My concern is this guy has some alt-right sympathies that reveal themselves in our political discussions. He's a Trump guy, but hesitates to admit it because he knows I'm anti-Trump. He shares memes created by Mike Cernovich and Milo Yiannopoulos, he gets his news from hard-right publications, and his sister and brother-in-law are Holocaust deniers. This concerns and confuses me because he's such a sweet guy and, honestly, so goddamn good in bed. He might be the best lay I've ever had. I can't reconcile these two sides of him, but I also can't help trying to enlighten him a little bit. One of his best features is his open-mindedness. He's read books and watched documentaries I've recommended. I feel a responsibility to this young, confused, and frankly not-too-bright person who's surrounded by bad influences. I want to be understanding and gently guide him in a better direction, but sometimes his ignorance is aggravating. I can also sense that he's beginning to feel a little judged, which can only make things worse. I keep thinking of your Campsite Rule, and I wonder at what point does one give up throwing logic and articles at someone who thought Hillary Clinton ran a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor? Can I continue to have sex with someone who thinks the left is conspiring to turn everyone communist?

Conflicted Lover

Don't fuck Nazis.

If someone you just met tells you they're a Nazi, don't fuck that Nazi. If you're already fucking someone and they reveal themselves to be a Nazi, stop fucking that Nazi. If someone tells you they're a Nazi and you fuck that Nazi anyway and keep fucking that Nazi because they're good at sex (for a Nazi), your effort to "gently guide" that Nazi away from being a Nazi doesn't make it okay for you to fuck that Nazi.

Okay, okay: This guy might not be a Nazi at all—although it sure as fuck sounds like his family is, and they probably have more influence over him than you do. It's possible this young, confused, and not-too-bright boy is merely a Trump-supporting conspiracy theorist and maybe I'm still too upset about Charlottesville to be impartial. Or, hey, maybe this guy is already a Nazi and hasn't revealed the full extent of his odious political beliefs to you, CL, because the sex is good and he's hoping to fuck the Nazi into you before you can fuck the Nazi out of him.

Finally, good people don't worry about making Nazis "feel judged." Nazis should be judged—à la Judgment at Nuremberg, an old film with a feel-good ending that's worth watching right about now. Another thing good people don't do? They don't fuck Nazis. recommended


On the Lovecast, women in gay bars—we have a problem: savagelovecast.com.

mail@savagelove.net

@fakedansavage

ITMFA.org

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Posted by Tab

Such a cute ending for such filth! John has his hands full with these two.

This is issue 14 and with a total page count of 191 (JESUS) it’s time to start talking about rounding it up and making a book. I’m working on the last two stories on patreon right now but as I only do two updates a week on the main site that means the comics will probably finish January and I’ll launch a kickstarter for the book then.

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Posted by Tab

Hi all, this guide is a response to an email I got today from yet another person who has been conned out of money by the printer I used for the failed minority monster books. She got my details even down to my personal phone number from the company (sharing them without my permission) as a ‘good review’ for the Shades of A books.

She linked me to this article (https://www.printweek.com/print-week/briefing/1160236/serial-phoenixers-give-us-all-a-bad-rep) which talks about printers who go bankrupt, liquidate and then just start again, leaving a slew of people like myself in the lurch and luring new people in with their new shiny name. The printer they name in the article is in fact the one I used and has traded under:

UK Print Limited
Houseprint
The Printing House
Litho Printing Limited
Paper Press Limited
Ink Paper Limited

The Director at the time of my order was Stuart Ralph Poppleton who at the posting of this has 39 other companies under his control according to companies house. The other person I dealt with was Malcolm John, AKA Neill Malcolm Stuart John.

This is a warning post for anyone considering printing with these companies or people. I am currently taking them to small claims court as I was fortunate enough to have the money to do so and friends who have helped me work up the courage to file the paperwork. Not everyone is that lucky.

Obviously it’s best to avoid situations like this in the first place, so here’s a list of the red flags I now know how to spot now after having this happen to me. This advice is aimed at people in the UK but please feel free to add any other notes for international stuff in the comments.

Red Flags to look out for in printers

They have several past company names 

Check on the companies house website for the and see if they have changed names several times. You can use this opportunity to check if they are still solvent, how much money they have in their assets AND check the history of the directors. Company names change all the time but directors are much easier to track. Click on their name to see what they’ve been up to. Lots of companies under one person is a sign that they’re burning through them.

They want all the money up front

I was encouraged to pay the full amount up front to get a discount, which I did as they’d printed for me before and that worked out okay. From asking around at other places the industry standard is 50% upfront and the rest after satisfied delivery. Some companies even charge less. I am kicking myself that I did this, don’t fall for it.

They are weird about creating a physical proof

My printing issue (page layout) is one that wouldn’t have been seen on a digital proof. I asked for a quote that included a hard bound proof, only to be told after I’d paid that ‘they were a litho printing company so can’t do that’. Trust your gut when people go back on what they say. The printing company I’m now using for my books created a physical proof before I’d even paid them ANYTHING and took the time to deliver to my house as their office was nearby. Proofing saves so much time and waste, any company that won’t do it should be avoided.

They look too good to be true

Cheap, fast, good: pick one. Many printers in the UK don’t print in house, they outsource to factories in Europe which takes between 4-6 weeks as standard. Ask them where your books will be printed and avoid them if they don’t give you a straight answer. Get quotes from at least 3 companies to see if they’re in a similar price and time range.

And if the worst happens and you get screwed over…

Call up citizens advice or look on the website (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/)and see if they can help. They have been invaluable in my case and let me know exactly how to complain when the order went wrong, what letter I needed to send when the company refused to fix it, and where to fill out my court form when they didn’t respond. Small claims court isn’t actually that expensive (I paid £185 and if my case is successful I’ll get it back) so if you have the means to do it don’t be put off by the idea that going to court will cost you £££. If the company stops trading you might not see that money again but it will make it harder for them to make another company next time.

I hope this guide helps other people from falling victim to people like this. As the self publishing industry grows there’s more vulnerable people venturing into printing for the first time and it’s wrong for companies to do this. Many companies rely on the fact that people are small time and scared of causing a fuss and won’t chase them up. If anyone would like to contact me further on the issue or have anything else on the company I have named above my email address is Tab@khaoskomix.com

If you know anyone or have any followers who might appreciate this please share, the more awareness we can raise the better.

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January 2015

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