Adult Coloring Book Reviews Various

My Dud Coloring Book Purchase

Written by coloringqueen
Style: double page printing
Format: Soft cover

I’m often asked how I select coloring books that I do reviews on.   Out of the 400 odd coloring books that I own my system has worked pretty well until recently.   I wanted an Anime coloring book.   Looking around my collection I felt it was deficient in this area.    Naturally, I went online and did a search.      I did manage to pick up Anime Doodle Girls (watch for the review soon) but I did want another.

That’s when I purchased my dud coloring book 🙁

The book was purchased from Amazon UK with a number of other coloring books.    As I get quite a few books in the mail, and I’m really behind in my reviews, it wasn’t until Friday that I checked out the package and opened the book up.

I cannot explain how disappointed I was.   I went from happiness to anger within a minute.  Not only did I feel duped (statistically, it was bound to happen one day) but I was also very concerned how consumers were being treated.

See the video review below of my dud coloring book and why I was so disappointed:


Avoiding Bad Coloring Books

When you are purchasing coloring books for yourself try and avoid duds by:

  • purchasing from reputable sources;
  • reading the reviews first;
  • seeing if there are any images available or a “look inside” feature
  • checking out the artist.      Most artists, coloring book publishers have a website, etsy store, or facebook page.   In the “Author” section on most book sites there is usually a link to these.   Go and explore, often you will find that the artist is giving away a page from the book to promote it so you can see some of the art before you buy

If you are dudded like me, you need to take action otherwise other people that purchase behind you will fall victim to unscrupulous practices.

  • Contact the seller (if a private purchase eg Etsy)
  • Request a refund, giving your factual and honest reasons
  • leave a genuine, honest review of the facts (without being emotional, demeaning or nasty)


Happy coloring x







About the author


I'm Lea and I love everything to do with coloring! If it is a coloring book, a poster or even a bookmark that you can color in, I'm all over it. Of course, a girl has to have some pencils, markers, gelly rolls, pastels and what not to make those pictures pretty and I love those as well.

Whilst my coloring style lacks skill, I am enthusiastic and focused on enjoying the moment and having fun.

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  • This kind of thing is a HUGE problem within Amazon–both their kindle platform and createSpace publishing. Anyone can submit what they say are their own works of art to be published by CreateSpace, the publishing company owned by Amazon. And, very obviously, Amazon never verifies these works. Some of these so called “coloring book creators” have dozens, and some hundreds, of books they “created”. But most are either shutter stock images taken from the internet (available to anyone for free) and put into book form or worse, stolen images from actual artists.
    I’m surprised that it does not raise a red flag to Amazon when someone “creates” so many coloring books, but it keeps continuing, so I can only assume Amazon just does not care. It’s only a matter of time before Amazon is sued for publishing these pirated/stolen works. Even when customers complain, Amazon acknowledges the complaint, but still keeps selling the coloring books. That seems so wrong to me, and therefore, I refuse to purchase any book published by createSpace!
    In case you don’t know how to tell if a book is a createSpace book on Amazon, just look directly above the reviews. There will most always be a section called product specifications. It will have details such as publishing date, number of pages, and who the publishing company is. On book depository, look in the item details for the publisher. Surprisingly, book depository has begun to carry a lot of createSpace books.
    Truly, it amazes me that honest to goodness artists will use createSpace to publish their books. Not only is createSpace aware of the pirating problem and not doing anything to combat it, but the paper and printing quality is terrible. I purchased 10 or so books by createSpace before I knew that they were not a reputable publisher, and before I realized the paper and printing problem was a createSpace issue. For example, I love, love the work of Helen Elliston (inky garden, inky ocean, inky galaxy, and more)-she is a very creative and wonderful artist. But I refuse to purchase her work, because she uses createSpace. I can’t believe she won’t make the effort to get a decent publisher; and it makes me wonder why she is ok with substandard results.
    ****you should contact both Johanna Basford and Millie Morotta, as I saw their stolen images contained in that book. This will allow them to decide for themselves if they want to get their legal team involved. (Ms. Basford most likely would, as friends of mine have alerted her to this issue in other books, and have recieved a note of appreciation, and also saying the legal team had been contacted. I can only assume Ms. Morotta would feel the same. Authors work so hard on writing a story or creating a drawing, and you would think they’d want to know these issues) even if you don’t have the book anymore, you still have the video to show.

    Thanks for your reviews and the work you put into your site. I just discovered your site today, and have been browsing for several hours now! 🙂 I’ve found books I had not heard of but that I now must have. Keep up the awesome site and enjoy your coloring passion.

    • Hi Tammy, thank you for leaving your detailed comment. AZ & CS are just platforms where people can submit their works for print on demand publishing. Most independent artists unfortunately will never be picked up by an independent publisher so in order to get their art out to market they have to use a short run or print on demand publisher (POD). Unfortunately, POD publishers offer very set printing and binding options.

      Short run printers require artists to purchase often 100’s of copies of books which they have to store and they may not have the fan base to sell to and sadly they need to pay up front for this as well.

      It is not the job of the platform either Ebay, Amazon or Create Space to verify that people own the copyright to works being published. Sadly, copyright law operates that the holder of the copyright must enforce it legally. I say sadly because intellectual property law is an expensive area of law to enforce, time consuming and expensive. The other problem is that it is so difficult for the copyright owners to keep track of things when you think of how many people wrongly distribute images they do not have rights to on Pinterest, Google Images and in Facebook groups.

      A lot of creators have used stock image sites for their artwork. Sadly a lot haven’t realised that the terms of use for this imagery is to purchase an extended licence for use in commercial works (that would cost about $50 per image and be an extremely expensive proposition). Some artists buy the proper licence for stock images and then repurpose them ie adding tangles or the like to form a derivative piece of art rather than the same old stuff that is in a lot of books nowadays.

      AZ does take on complaints from consumers – for example the book above I immediately complained to AZ and the book is no longer available for sale. I also informed as many of the artists that I could find (many of which are working with AZ to try and stop this quickly). AZ cannot enforce an artist’s copyright only the copyright holder can do that and it is up to the artists concerned to do that.

      Unfortunately, some artists are having to spend so much time enforcing their copyright they cannot concentrate on their art work.

      Create Space offers a great opportunity to independent publishers to POD. If the book is successful you will find that many will create an artist’s edition with extra features and use a short run printer.

      When you publish on CS you have the option of using the free ISBN provided by CS – this will show the publisher as Create Space. You also have the option of using your own ISBN with the advantage that you can use your name as the publisher for example – Coloring Queen. An ISBN earlier this year was only $10 now one ISBN is $100 …so you need to sell a lot of coloring books just to recoup the cost of the ISBN, Amazon’s fees and the printing fees. There are a lot of great artists out there but sadly no-one knows about them so they will never sell the numbers to recoup this expense.

      Book Depository was purchased by Amazon earlier this year and they are part of the Amazon group of companies. Any book that is published will generally be available on Book Depository if the artist/author has elected for the book to have “extended distribution” which means other places like Walmart online and Book Depository can sell the product.

      I love Helen’s work too and have most of her books. I think she has made a good choice using Create Space and printing on single sided pages for her books. By laying the book out in this way the artist makes it easy to put pages underneath for wet mediums and it makes it easy to copy the page if you want to use a different type of paper.

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the browse on the site and my apologies for the delay in replying. Unfortunately, I’ve been sick for the last month and haven’t had the energy to do anything! I have so many things planned on my to do list I just need more energy and more time lol!

      Happy coloring x

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