After a couple of successful years with Amazon handling the printing and distribution of our printed tide tables, we have decided to take the service back in-house. There are a two main reasons for this:
Reliability: Amazon's printing process was by no means perfect. Over 99% of the books we sold turned out fine, but we occasionally had books printed with blank pages or even the wrong inner. The lack of human checks meant that mistakes slipped through every now and again.
Price: When we first moved we had reservations about increasing the price beyond what we thought was reasonable, but the increased size and quality seemed to make up for this. Recently though, we've been moved to a different pricing model which means we had to increase the price again just to make a smaller profit.
Bringing the printing back in-house means a return to the old days of spare room production, and we've had to invest in new labour-saving machinery to do this, but it brings the price back down to something sensible while retaining the popular size and layout. It also means we no longer have to charge £2.99 shipping for a single book.
Credit Card Payments
Quite a few users have mentioned past problems with PayPal, so we've opted to go back to Nochex for payment processing. Using Nochex means you can use your debit or credit card without creating any kind of account. If you've signed up to TideTimes you'll be able to check your order history under 'My Account'.