Random Ramblings about stuff I see going on in biotech, internet and the stuff I read.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Taunton, a clueless publishing house

The following email, with names removed, is the response from Taunton to my wifes question... This is, while outside of my direct involvement, a walking talking example of how NOT to respond to customers. My wife really wants this book, so was trying to find out how to get it... These would be the publishers suing Google right now, which is a whole seperate other laugh.

Their response is at the top with my wifes original email down below.

I will say, upfront, that if I ever catch customer service at my company giving this kind of response I will be pissed. "We have no evidence"....um....$300 counts as evidence. Run a search yourself. The undertone here is telling the customer they are an idiot. If push came to shove, and they weren't going to ever re-pront, which is what it looks like, then just say "We are sorry but we don't have any" but saying "Look at Ebay" or "We don't see any evidence" just makes you look stupid and out of touch and pisses people off....

So - we post online and see if anyone ever see's it. With the other response, I would have just said "bummer" and let it go, but the stupidity assumption on their part annoys me a lot....

> From: CustomerService@taunton.com
> To: *****wife email address *****
> Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 11:47:32 -0400
> Subject: Re: Product Inquiry
> Dear Ms. ***wife last name***:
> Thank you for your inquiry. I apologize this book is so difficult to find.
> I have confirmed that it is out of print and there are no plans to reprint
> it. We really do not have evidence that this book is so high in demand.
> Unfortunately, we do not have any copies for sale. Perhaps you can try
> EBay or other online book sources. Good luck and thank you for your
> interest in Taunton Press publications.
> Sincerely,
> ***removed customer service person name****
> Customer Service
> To: <customerservice@taunton.com>
> cc:
> 10/22/2005 Subject: Product Inquiry
> Dear customer service,
> I've been trying to get a copy of a book called, "Knitting Lace: A Workshop
> with Patterns and Projects" by Susanna Lewis which was published by Taunton
> Press in 1992(?). To my surprise the only available copies I could find
> were selling used, online from 150 dollars (some in "good condition" for
> 300$)! Since there is no way I can afford to pay these prices, I have a
> couple of questions. If the book is that much in demand why was it
> discontinued? Is there a way I can get a copy at list price (between 20-30
> $)from Taunton Press directly? Please let me know.
> Thank you.
> Best regards
> ***Wife Name****
****Removed address and Name****


Alwen said...

So it's not just me looking for this book! The reply I got from Taunton Press was
Thank you for your email about Knitting Lace by Susanna E. Lewis. At this time we are focusing less on our Fiber Arts list, and more in other areas, but I want to thank you for your input. It is important to us to know who is reading our books and how you feel about them. I will pass along your email to the appropriate people in my department, so they know how much in demand this title is.

Personally, I am wondering if Taunton still possesses the copyright or if it has reverted to the author. If Susanna Lewis now has it, and I represented Taunton Press, I would be on her doorstep, hat in hand, begging to be allowed to reprint it. The last 4 copies that have showed up on eBay went for $57, $67, $68, and $127.50.

yes said...


We too have been watching the Ebay auctions, and are now sort of kicking ourselves that we didn't get it when it was "cheaper". I may end up paying more to acquire this x-mas present, but it won't be a surprise gift (she reads this...)

I continue to be blown away by the Taunton folks. Companies just shouldn't be allowed to be this stupid.

If Susanna Lewis has it now, she should self publish and put up a web site. Word would spread rapidly enough that she would come out OK on the deal! Or else, she could just sell on Ebay and do REALLY well on the deal...


Anonymous said...

Well, some months have passed and I have emailed Taunton Press asking about this book. It will be interesting to see there response. The reviews of this book are so good it is hard to pass up a copy.

Anonymous said...

I do not know if you have purchased a copy of Knitting Lace yet, but Taunton Press no longer holds the copyright. Currently, the Brooklyn Museum holds it, and declares that there is not enough interest in the book to reprint it. Author Meg Swansen has contacted both Susanna Lewis and the Brooklyn Museum about a reprint. The only way to change the powers that be at the Museum would be to write to the director and ask him to consider Meg's request to reprint Knitting Lace.
Arnold Lehman, Directo
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Anonymous said...

I too have been watching this book with great interest. Considering two years ago I decided to be frugal and not purchase it for close to the original price of $24.95. However, with some interest I have been watching it on Amazon.com and would like to note that the prices for this wonderful book are coming down into a real possible buy....which leads me to wonder if there isn't some advance knowlege out there that the book will be reprinted soon?

S. Weiland said...

I, too, am a simple sheep following the flock, searching in vain, for an affordable copy of Ms. Lewis'es definitive book on lace knitting. I, too, sent an inquiry to Taunton but was not afforded the courtesy of a reply. My thanks go to Meg Swansen for attempting to wrestle the rights to publish from the Museum. I intend to send her an e-mail of encouragement and will also fire off my own message to the Museum requesting that they allow the book to be published. Keep up the good work all of you who are hoping--like I am--to someday obtain a copy that doesn't cost anyone's first-born. S. Weiland in CA

G Goodson said...

I used to have this book but it was lost during one of my many moves. I am astonished at the cost of this book! I can't believe that the museum will not reprint..I emailed them and they aren't interested in reprint. Reason: not enough interest. What baloney! As much as I want this book, I refuse to pay these prices! Good luck to everyone..

stella said...

Love this Blog! I too have been searching for this book and cannot and will not pay the inflated prices, (although good luck to anyone who has one to sell!).
The response from Taunton is fairly typical of a business which lives in 'Cloud Cuckoo land' there are a lot around - just think of banks?!!
The good news is that it has been muted that Meg Swanson (Schoolhouse Press?) is hoping to get it back into print - can't wait!

John said...

My wife just received the reprint. My question is, Is the font this small in the original book? It is very difficult to read after 40 years of age.