Self-publishing in Japan

I had "Letters from an English Public School" printed in Japan, and it was also a 'learning experience'. Just for the ease of handling the MS, I write each chapter separately and join them together at the end into the finished book.


When letters was completed I was surprised to find that on one chapter the margins had changed, and the text was very close to the fold. I asked the printer what had happened, he replied that he had printed it "according to my instructions." What he meant was that the formatting was slightly different in the one chapter and the page number was off-center. Japanese printers align the pages based on the position for the page number. Who knew? But why didn't he ask me before the printed thousands on book? Because Japanese shokunin are ganko! (stubborn!)


Secondly, they lost the photo of me that I sent them and used a photocopy instead, so the resolution dropped. Again they didn't contact me for a new photo.  Aaargh! But the finished book is nice, though the paper could have been a lesser quality as it makes the book heavier and therefore more expensive to send overseas. All these decisions are now part of the writer's job.