Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blurring of Dust Jacket Images

Sometimes dust jackets have a flaw in which the image is blurred or shadowed. This is a printing defect that is caused by a problem with the printing equipment. This flaw is easily missed by sellers, and buyers are never happy when they receive a jacket which has this flaw.

I usually catch this problem when I am listing a single book from a series, but when I have a stack of books in a series, I tend to miss the flaw, such as when I list a bunch of Nancy Drew books with dust jackets. When I list a number of books in succession, I look for chipped edges, tape, and other flaws, and I tend not to focus on the actual image on the dust jacket.

The good news is that if I miss the flaw while listing the book, I will almost always notice it when I pull the book for packing. The bad news is that when I notice the flaw at that point, I have already sold the book. I then have to tell the buyer about the flaw. Since this just happened to me, I decided that now would be a good time to write about the problem.

Here are two books that have dust jackets which have the flaw of the blurred image.

At the default image size in Blogger, the Kay Tracey jacket on the left looks fine, and that is the problem. The flaw is very easy to miss when viewed in a seller's listing. Make sure you click on the above image to see a larger version, and I believe that you will be able to detect the flaw. The red is out of alignment. The man's face is blurred as is Kay's. You can see red underneath Kay's shoes. At a glance, the jacket looks fine since the only part of the image affected is the illustration itself.

The flaw in the Linda Carlton jacket is easier to spot, since the red in the lettering is noticeably out of alignment. I paid quite a lot of money for this Linda Carlton A. L. Burt edition in dust jacket. I failed to notice the flaw in the seller's image, and the seller did not mention the flaw. The flaw is so obvious that he had to have noticed it. I decided to keep the book, but I was very displeased with the transaction.

I have seen several cases of sellers of series books getting negative or neutral feedback on eBay for failure to disclose the blurred image flaw. Since photographs often hide this flaw, it is very important that sellers disclose the flaw. The Kay Tracey jacket shown here looks much worse in person than it does even in the enlarged photo view. In fact, the Linda Carlton jacket also looks much worse in person. The fact that both jackets look worse in person should tell you how very important it is to make certain that this flaw is fully disclosed to potential buyers.


LuAnn Sgrecci O'Connell said...

I had this happen to me when I bought a DJ version of The Password to Larkspur Lane. I missed the bluriness in the photo, and it was disclosed in the description. Live and learn!

Jennifer said...

That's so true. I try to make sure I read descriptions, since it is so easy to miss this type of flaw in the picture.

Also look out for reproduction/copy/laser dust jackets. Most sellers disclose that the dust jacket is a copy in the description, but that information is easy to miss. I bought a copy dust jacket one time and was upset with myself for not reading the description.