Josh Aho – “Climbing Colorado’s 14ers with Sawyer.” There are so many good things I could say about Star Print Brokers, I’m not quite sure where to start. For background, I spent 15 years working on my first book project, which is a coffee table book documenting my high alpine mountaineering adventures with my dog. I have been a professional graphic designer for 16 years. The files I gave SPB were ones I designed and got ready for them.
Edward and Nancy were both VERY helpful, polite, quick to respond to all of my questions/emails, and treated me like a client even when I technically wasn’t one. From the moment I met them online, until the moment the book went to print, we exchanged many emails — possible around 50 to 100 of them. In all of these emails, they answered all of my questions. And they did so very quickly. Usually they did so within the same day.
There are two main reasons I chose SPB for this project. The first is that they exchanged emails with me several times a day for a more than a month before I finally made my decision to go with them. During that time, I was emailing other printers and those companies were not getting back to me in a timely manner. Sadly, some of them never got back to me at all. One got back to me 4 months later after my book was printed. Edward and Nancy seemed to get back to me within an hour, sometimes less, each time I emailed them. I was treated as if I had already signed a contract even though I hadn’t signed anything or given them any money for the project.
I think it is important to mention at this time that I went through a list of the 250 top book printers in the world. And I did it TWICE! I’m sure most people wouldn’t do this, or want to, but I did. To be honest, I didn’t really want to do it, but felt I should because of the importance of my project. Something that is interesting is that I weeded out printers using two different methods for the top 250 book printers in the world. Both times, SPB finished in my list of top 10 before I had contacted anyone.
The second reason I chose SPB, and this was the big clincher for me, they pointed me to authors that they had worked with, that had printed books in a similar genre that I was planning to print. SPB mailed me one of these books free of charge (and the retail value of that book was $50). They also paid for the shipping on that book. I paid for another book, from another author they worked with, and that experience was ultimately what sealed the deal for me. Edward had pointed me to this author and basically said, “Call him. You can ask him anything about his experience with us.” I thought that was important that SPB was willing to put themselves out there in a sense. They had no guarantee the author was going to say what they hoped he would, or that he would even recommend me to print with them. The author was very honest about his entire experience and I was able to see that Edward and Nancy would do everything they could not only to deliver a great finished product, but also make right anything that might go wrong if it did.
When I signed my contract with SPB, I ran into some design and photography issues that held up my end of the deal in getting them files on time to meet the contractual requirements. They held my price quote 30 days past the day it had expired to accommodate my delays that had nothing to do with them.
Even though I have been a professional designer 16 years, I had never produced and/or printed a book. I had never worked with a printer that printed overseas either. Edward’s patience allowed me to have the time needed to adjust my files and fix the necessary things so I was completely satisfied with the project before sending it. SPB never questioned my delays, or threatened to change my pricing, or got upset with me in any way.
In the end, just before final delivery, the trucking company was wanting to delay delivery of the books about five days. Edward got involved immediately, and the books were delivered the next day. Had Edward not done this, I would have had to wait almost another week to receive them. It was nice not to wait, because I had buyers already waiting.
If I am blessed enough to sell this first round of books, I will without any hesitation work with SPB again. Edward and Nancy, and the entire team working for SPB, have EXCEEDED my expectations in everything they did to help this project get to completion. And I am kind of a picky guy to put it plainly, even a perfectionist, being a graphic designer. Again, SPB produced a finished book [Climbing Colorado’s 14ers with Sawyer] that actually was so good, it exceeded all of my expectations. And I do not say that lightly.