This weekend was a doozy. On Friday, we received a shipment of 8,184 copies of Good and Cheap — more than 4.5 tons of books! We also received 6,400 padded envelopes in which to ship the books to all you fine people. I must say I was unprepared for the sight of this many boxes.
Nearly 30 wonderful and generous volunteers joined us to stuff, seal, and stamp all the envelopes. Many stayed for so long that I bet their forearms are just as sore as mine still are today. Did you know you have a special set of muscles for folding things, and that those muscles can get pretty sore? The things you learn!
Other cool things we learned:
1. Renting a 16-foot truck in Manhattan is possible, if not advisable.
2. Driving that 16-foot truck and packing it with pallets of books is surprisingly OK, especially if the building guys handle the pallet jacks. (Man, what skill!)
3. Backing the truck up to a loading dock is tougher.
4. No matter how many times you meet with USPS, you will always somehow be told you have made errors. Bear the pain with as much grace as possible, be as kind as possible, and move on.
American orders: shipped!
Bottom line: On Monday, we delivered 5,024 individual American orders to the post office — for everyone who gave us their address before last Wednesday, Sept 17. If you gave me your address after that, I'll ship it out in my next weekly batch.
And today, the very first copies arrived in a few people's mailboxes!
The rest should arrive shortly, although they'll take a few days or maybe even a few weeks, so please be patient. When you get yours, would you mind posting a photo on your favorite social-media site? See below for details.
International orders: ready to ship!
Meanwhile, last night, we finished labeling the 875 international orders, and we'll start taking them to the post office in the morning.
Sorry for the slight delay with those: glitches with the postal software resulted in a bunch of messed-up labels. Did you know that USPS's software for generating international labels can't even handle the accent in Québec? Think about how it does with Finnish, Turkish, or Japanese. Yeah.
Anyway, all the international orders will be out by the end of the week. Thanks for your patience.
Non-profit orders: already arriving!
We've also shipped hundreds of boxes — nearly 11,000 copies — to non-profits directly from the printer in Wisconsin. Many of these are the copies you donated, and the first of them are starting to arrive:
In a few weeks, once more of their orders have come in, I'll share a list of all the great organizations who got copies.
They have been very thankful, so let me pass that along: thank you.
Social media extravaganza!
For those of you who use social media, we have a favor to ask.
1. Can you please share pictures of yourself with your book when you get it?
2. If you can, add a little story about where you live or what you're doing with the book.
Then we can make some kind of awesome collage of Good and Cheap love!
This week has felt like a colossal step forward. I'm feeling tremendously grateful to all of you for giving me the opportunity to do this project. I can't wait for all of you to get your books and I'm even more excited to show you how many other people you have made happy through your generosity.
Thank you, everyone!