Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Ups and downs

As I walked into my office today, I was excited to see that I had received a package from the publisher of my book Democracy in Peril, which meant that I would finally get to see what the end product of more than two years of hard work looks like. I must say that iUniverse did a commendable job; the front cover looks good, the print is of fine quality, and the paper is nice and thick. I am, by and by, quite satisfied with it and was thrilled that I was finally holding it in my hands.

Only after the initial excitement had subsided did I look at the package itself. To my horror, I discovered that the DHL sticker read “Neihu, Taipei TA, 114 Taiwan Province of China.” Sparing the reader the expletive that escaped from my lips, I then pointed out to my coworkers how ironic it was that a 440-page book arguing in favor of Taiwanese sovereignty would be shipped in a package with a “Province of China” sticker affixed to it.

I now need to determine whether it was the UK-based printer of my book that provided this address (the one I gave them obviously didn’t have the unfortunate addition) or DHL UK. Either way, this warrants a letter of complaint.

Ups and downs, news good and bad. Everything in balance. Well, maybe not. The book is out and I like how it turned out.


Arthur Dent said...

I've ordered my copy by amazon to arrive Aug 14th - cost me 35US$ including postage. Hoping to use it as one of the core texts for a paper i hope to present in Oct in the USA on the sustainability of Taiwan's democracy.

dennis said...

letter of complaint is indeed needed

Dixteel said...


talk about irony...

I will buy the book for sure.

Thomas said...

Just how widespread is the use of the very stupid "Province of China" designation? I am not in Taiwan, so I never see packages with that on it. But I would be curious to know to what degree the rest of you see it.

MikeinTaipei said...

Thanks to all for your kind interest in my book!

Arthur: Aug. 14 sounds a bit long; from my extensive experience dealing with Amazon, I think you’ll receive it before that. I hope you find useful material in it for your presentation. Speaking of which, can you tell me more about the event in the US? — sounds interesting.

Thomas: It’s pretty widespread, sadly. Sometimes, a letter of complaint will result in corrections (in my case, it worked with Royal Bank of Canada); on other times, it’s simply ignored or rationalized as “we’re just following what country X’s department of foreign affairs says,” etc. I’m not so worried with what the address says; what I fear is for uninformed people who may believe that this is geographically/politically correct, or for the practice to become customary — in other words, unconscious cognitive drift by dint of repetition.

Jade said...

Ordered a copy from Amazon. Can't wait for it to arrive.

Arthur Dent said...


The conference run out of ASU is for graduate students in the field of Asian studies (masters and phd). Check this address for details:

Amazon says the book already on its way.!