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I wrote The Monster Alphabet for my son. I'm printing it as a board book, so I can teach him that B is for Basilisk.
I wrote The Monster Alphabet for my son. I'm printing it as a board book, so I can teach him that B is for Basilisk.
1,166 backers pledged $25,078 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Shipping update

So apparently, when you spend about $350 on shipping materials, Uline starts shipping you stuff by the pallet. At least half of this is not Uline catalogs, too. There's a lot of new envelopes, some structural cardboard, and also some boxes for my first Kickstarter (Scurvy Dogs).

We are now looking at the week of August 20 as the last of shipping out Monster Alphabet packages. Here's our current calendar:

Aug. 15-19 - Dern will be in Indianapolis for GenCon at Booth 1949. We'll have some Monster Alphabet stuff there, along with demos of Scurvy Dogs and 3v3: Commissioned.

Aug. 20-24 - The Final Countdown for Monster Alphabet.

Aug. 25-28 - Scurvy Dogs shipping begins

Aug. 29-Sept. 4 - meeting up with O and doing Dragon*Con together.

And because we're never busy enough, O and I are currently running a Kickstarter for our new card game, 3v3: Commissioned:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dernjg/3v3-the-commissioned-comic-card-game

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Short Delays

We're currently trying to fix some packaging problems that we've been seeing. Massive shipments will resume this week.

Injury report

OK, it's not that big of an injury, just annoying and stupid.

Tonight, I started printing out the shipping labels for the $22 level backers. When I started, I was able to cut through four sheets of thick address labels at once. But the scissors I was using were either dulling or gumming up with glue from the paper. So I tried to clear out some of the gunk from them, only to give myself a dumb cut on the tip of my left thumb.

Anyhow, the label-printing was making some good progress. My postage software is starting to encounter some bugs with the sheer amount of postage printed - 246 labels in the past two hours. I'm letting my printer take the rest of the night off, too, as I start to put these onto envelopes.

I spent $1127.26 on postage today alone, and packed up 25 more books before getting the load ready to ship. There's now 492 books in the "almost ready" category, too.

Also, a quick update on the Flash Cards and Magnets. I'm delaying on those right now because I don't like how they fit in my current shipping material. I've got some better stuff coming in this week. After we're done shipping them out, the Flash Cards will be a regularly stocked item on Swag Shark. The magnets, however, are extremely annoying to sort out, and will not be a normally stocked item.

Stats:
774 books sent
492 books almost ready to ship
215 customs forms filled out
$3203.71 spent on postage
43% of all books shipped

70.3% of books will be shipped once the current labels are used.

Sorting it out

Today's picture is from me sorting out the flashcard sets. I was using our big dining room table, a rolling office chair and a hardwood floor to put these together. I was cruising from side to side like an old school typewriter, getting these all together. I think of all the side pieces we're doing, these are one of my favorites (that and the bookmarks).

I went to start packing the flash cards and magnets, only to run into a small logistics problem. For most of my backers, it's cheaper to get a flat rate bubble envelope, to the tune of about $500 overall. So I'm ordering some of these envelopes, and instead tackling some of the tougher forms to fill out - customs. With this latest run of labels, everyone with $12 and $17 backer levels should count as shipped now. $100 and $80 backers will be completed tomorrow. While we wait on the packaging materials, I'll start work on the $22 level tomorrow.

Sometimes writing these reports feels like I'm sending letters from a battlefield. Today we had some casualties. Our first printer cartridge went down from the sheer amount of shipping labels. The printer, newly bought to make sure I was ready for this task, is so far handling it. The only jam happened when I switched from label paper to regular paper. The scissors I'm using are also taking a beating, having to carve through so many glue-coated labels.

Also, we should be getting in daily updates for today, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with a possibility of Thursday. I'll be at Otakon on Friday, working the Scallywags International booth.

Stats:
545 books sent
204 more books packed and labeled in my van
123 customs forms filled out
$2076.45 spent on postage

41.6% of all books shipped or ready to be shipped

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Wednesday's Update

So today's great news is that my post office has a loading dock for bulk orders. I snapped a quick picture of what happens when I'm allowed to bulk. Every white tyvek envelope on that dock is from me. The priority boxes on the edge are not.

I also snapped a photo of Bill, my van that's delivering said envelopes.

Other good news - we figured out why my postage software didn't like the UK. We had to specify which country it was going to (I may have mentioned this last update).

O's flight in was surprisingly uneventful, so the first thing I made him do upon arrival was sign 20 books. He's got another couple hundred to sign this weekend.

Counting the one we're hand-delivering tomorrow, 11 of the 17 $100 backer packages are labeled and ready to ship out (if you ordered extra books, flash cards or magnets, your package will be sent out next week).

All other shipping activity now needs to take a planned break for ConnectiCon. I'll be back to work on Monday.

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