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Thanks to our loyal fans, we reprinted the entire back catalog of The Order of the Stick—and funded a bunch of new stories, too!
Thanks to our loyal fans, we reprinted the entire back catalog of The Order of the Stick—and funded a bunch of new stories, too!
14,952 backers pledged $1,254,120 to help bring this project to life.

Final Tallies and Other Stuff

Posted by Rich Burlew (Creator)

So we've gotten the final tally for how many pledges went through, and the total of all pledges that were dropped (due to irresolvable processing errors or the like) added up to just $3954.00 from 61 backers. That represents just 0.32% of our final pledge total, or less than one-third of one percent. That is shockingly low; you'll remember that I allowed for 5% of all the money pledged to drop out due to complications. So congratulations to you: As a group, you have excellent credit. We also have the final total for how much we paid to Kickstarter and Amazon in fees: $106,799.87, divided up among the two companies in a way that would require more math to explain than I feel like doing. It does represent 11.71% of my completed pledge totals, which is a little higher than I had counted on (10%). Still, given how much extra I had allowed for dropped pledges, it's not a problem at all.

Things are starting to move on reward fulfillment, albeit a little slowly. We won't be able to order any of the books or most of the swag until the money hits my actual bank account around the middle of this month, but there are a few items that I was able to pay for out of money I had saved. 

The Roy Greenhilt magnets are scheduled to ship from the manufacturer next Tuesday (March 6th) and should arrive at Ookoodook's warehouse for processing a few days later. That means that the lowest level pledge packages ($10, $12, and $14 rewards) should begin shipping around March 9th. If you have one of those packages and you haven't filled out your survey, you must do so as soon as possible. If we don't have your information by the time we're ready to start shipping, your order will go to the end of the line, to be shipped after all the other unsigned book and game packages.

Let's see how the Workometer stands:

Hmmm. Not as much as I would like, but a lot of those projects are being held up by the money (or the time I'm spending on the logistics). Let's hope the next one has more lit up.

I wanted to say a few words about the various PDFs I'll be making and sending out, too. I thought you should all know that I'm going to be producing these in the order in which I think I can get them done fastest (so the "low-hanging fruit" first), rather than in the order in which they were announced. And they will be released as I complete each story, so that means that you will get them one or two at a time, spread out over the next few months. Important: The information on how to download each PDF story will be sent to the email address associated with your Kickstarter account, so you MUST have access to that account in order to get the files.

I've also gotten a lot of questions about what the "Backer's Choice" PDFs are that were mentioned on the Monster in the Darkness' charts. Scroll down the list of rewards to the $1250 level: three stories where the main character is being chosen by a backer rather than by me. I'm also ready to announce which three characters these stories will be about: Therkla, the Cliffport Police Department, and a pre-Order Belkar Bitterleaf. All three stories will be delivered to all backers once they are completed, too, so that's three more things you have to look forward to.

That's enough for now; I'll try to get another update up early next week.

--Rich Burlew

Five Things I've Done Since the Last Update:

  • Sent out surveys for all unsigned book or game packages (check your email for them).
  • Reviewed a second paper stock sample dummy for the coloring book because the first one was cheap crap.
  • Researched whether or not the fact that this was a pledge drive meant that I could mark international orders as "gifts" on the customs form, rather than "merchandise." (Short answer: No, because GITP is not a registered charity.)
  • Found out how to reactivate my long-dormant Pennsylvania Sales Tax license.
  • Finished about half of the art for the coloring book.


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    1. Missing avatar

      James Mason on

      Heh Heh, I've had a Ninja named Therkla on an Iphone massive multiplayer app for at least two years. Who is cool now? Well, I guess someone else. Still, who got on the Therkla train first? (Other than Rich, seriously, cut that out).

    2. starfyre76 on

      Who us? Impatient? 0:-)

    3. Mictlan

      Week come and go :D No pressure here

    4. Chris Handforth on

      Meh, Rich will update when he's ready. No need to be impatient. Just keep hitting refresh here or on your email.

    5. TT on

      Tick tock tick tock... new update should be coming soon.
      PDF's to sate us hungry fans ?

    6. Missing avatar

      Donelle Thomason on

      I just had to say this, but I had to re-read this update about 4 times:

      I totally thought it meant that only $3954.00 was actually earned, and everything else didn't go through. (Hurray for brain not working!)

      Congrats Rich!

    7. Matt D. on

      @ Celine, Amazon/Kickstarter did not take more money then aggreed.... its Rich's maths at work...see earlier comments

    8. Céline .S. Sauvé on

      I certainly hope there won't be any delay for the reprints. *doubleknock wood* I really do need the perk of rereading my current book through the new ones... (As it is, I'm not even sure how long it would be before I am able to download the PDF material when it's released [no internet at home, and all]).

      In any event, I'm glad to see that the Giant's math went his way after all. Congrats.

      Not 100% sure why Kickstarter/Amazon took more than was apparently agreed on, but I suppose that's what big companies do...

    9. Ross Thompson

      Euodiachloris: Looking at the list here, I'm going to guess he means a pizzeria.

      And yeah. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that rich might not be an expert on customs law for a dozen different counties, just because he's recently been given a lot of money.

    10. Euodiachloris on

      Um... What's CPK when it's at home? :\
      Some of us making suggestions are actually international... so are used to being on the receiving end of things, so to speak. And used to having to stump the extra up for the odd unmarked (or incorrectly inventoried) delivery, etc. Just saying...

    11. Missing avatar

      wakelamp on

      @rich The shipper can be repsonsible for customs duties in two cases
      1- the recipient defaults or is not found
      2- if one of the incoterms that allows it is specified
      Companies like Amazon make a point of specifying that the receipent is responsible for that reason.…

      You will be a new shipper with multiple items going to multiple destinations in the same country at the same time. This will trigger closer customs inpsection in most countries. I suggest you invoice correctly.

    12. Sarah Vee on

      @ Lee Ann, that is a terribly clever (yet simple) way to do it, thanks for the idea :-)

    13. drow on

      i'm sure y'all mean well, but if your own experience with finance and business only extends as far as calculating the waiter's tip at CPK, you might care to refrain from trying to advise what's now literally a million-dollar enterprise. just sayin.

      and more bars = more done. don't try to muck up the UI.

    14. Missing avatar

      Lee Ann Rucker on

      I just used "open image in new tab" on both images and then flipped between the tabs.

    15. David Ortery on

      Yay! Some interesting choices! Well, Therkla was probably an obvious choice, being a major 'minor' roll. The PD story should be some kinda interesting, if not odd, and fleshing out more backstory on a major character is always nifty, too!

      Also, I just realized, shooting for backing up against 5% meant preparing to roll a 1, didn't it. ...And that is my horribly nerdy joke of the day, folks.

    16. Missing avatar

      Lynn Burke on

      I know I'm going to catch hell for this, but It's a shame to read so many comments that are nothing more than whining with punctuation. One complaint about the progress chart needing redesign. We, or most of us contributed to Rich's project because we're OotS fans and supporters. If I hurt anyone's feelings, I'm sorry.

    17. Missing avatar

      Tore Østgård on

      I have got a small suggestion for Rich.

      When updating the chart, choose a different color for changes made from the last chart. That way it is much easier for us to see where the progresses are made. Now I had to scroll up and down like 10 times to see that the coloring book and magnets had progress while all the rest stood still, waiting.

    18. Missing avatar

      Hirelena on

      @ Amy Fiori: OOHH I SEE! Lol now I get it, thank you so much! That cleared up alot x3

    19. Missing avatar

      Amy Fiori on

      Hirelena, please read the $1250 reward text. Those three backers each get to choose the subject of one short story. Then every pledger gets to read the stories. The backers have asked for stories about Therkla, the Cliffport Police Department, and Belkar before he joined the OotS.

    20. Sarah Vee on

      Blaine, I don't think any of the stuff being shipped by Rich (drawings, autographs, rarities) have been surveyed yet. I haven't gotten one for my full-price crayon drawing either...

    21. Missing avatar

      Blaine Rogers on

      Where do Broke-Ass Students fit in to all this? Should we have received shipping surveys yet?

    22. Missing avatar

      Hirelena on

      I feel silly asking, but I dont believe I understand the "Backers Choice" PDF's. Can someone please re-explain it?

    23. Missing avatar

      Lauren Sarley on

      I know the chart is deliberately unlabeled, since each item has different steps, but it would be nice to label each section. In Update #29, you mention, "It's different for every item, but suffice to say that the red dot is the initial "concept" solidifying in my mind, the yellow is the planning or ordering, and the green is the production (whether by me in the form of comic pages or by a printer)." It'd be cool if you could place those generalized labels of "concept," "planning/ordering," and "production." on the three types of colored areas.

    24. Caesar Wong on

      Just a thought: with the chart, can the "off" (incomplete) colour all be the same shade, maybe a dark gray, instead of being darker red/yellow/green? That would make life infinitely easier for us colourblind ones without necessarily any changes to the deliberate vagueness of what each represents.

    25. Shonen Hero on

      @Jessica Yeah, that confused me too, but I just checked no and left a comment. We should be okay. :)

    26. Jessica on

      @John Thompson - Thank you for the reply. I had looked over the comments, but I must have missed that. Going to fill out my survey now. :)

    27. James Miller on

      My thanks to the backer who paid for and requested the Clifport Police Department. All three are great choices, but this one is the one I'm looking forward to the most.

    28. John Thompson on

      @Jessica - over in the main "comments" section Rich addressed this (w/ the $114 pledge, but later recognizing that it happened elsewhere). I would add a comment if I were in your situation, since it's possible that some people wanted a *second* Shticky-Sticks addon, and *did* add $6 so they could get it.

    29. Jessica on

      I've got a small problem with my survey. I selected the "$80 or more" pledge (the "JUST THE GAME" one), which says I will get the OOTS Adventure game deluxe edition (so, already with the expansion), and also a copy of the "Sticky Shticks" packet. However, now the survey asks me if added $6 dollars in order to get just that packet. O.o I didn't add these $6 dollars, since the way it is phrased it implies that I automatically receive that extra, without having to pay extra for it.

      I am not accusing you of cheating, don't worry. I guess you just got confused with all the overlapping rewards and optional rewards available for the different pledges. What I want to know is, should I tick that I added $6, or should I check no, and maybe add a comment or something?

    30. Steve Jensen on

      The Workometer is DISAPPOINTING! No, NOT the level of progress, but because it is MISSING the OOTS characters. :-(

      They were deeply involved in the progress graphs during the first 28 updates - they deserve to be somehow involved, at least a little, in these Workometer updates, too!

    31. Chris Schlesiger on

      I certainly hope you included income taxes in your estimates!

    32. John Thompson on

      @Rich: Re legitimate business expenses... don't forget that the "research" trip to a tropical locale, in order to study the landscape so you can better represent it in future drawings, is perfectly legitimate! :-) :-)

    33. Missing avatar

      Helen Keier on

      Is it too late to add a patch to my order? I somehow missed that during the pledge drive.

    34. Missing avatar

      Atilla on

      Proper invoice is only fair, but indeed, clearly marking its contents - books - is very important. F.Ex. - Norway has no import tax on books, so they don't get stuck in customs.

    35. Rick on

      I think most of us will be happy with a "proper" shipping invoice on the box with the actual cost of the goods ($30 per book?) and having it labelled "books". Rich's autographs and the custom artwork aren't worth actual money anyway right? *wink wink*

    36. Declan Feeney

      The UK places significantly lower Import duty on books than other merchandise. Can you label it 'Books'?

    37. Missing avatar

      Michael Jacob on

      My last high-value international package failed because there was no invoice on the outside of the package but just a CN22. (I could have picked it up at customs---if someone had notified me about it. But I don't visit them weekly just in case someone sends me a package...)

    38. Missing avatar

      Taz on

      @ManuelSRT - but Belkar's origin story is the shortest and least revealing of the lot pre-joining the Order. Which in itself kind of says a lot about his character, I guess, but I for one am glad someone chose him.
      And the CPD are always funny. Therkla, though? :( I was hoping someone would pick someone from the Linear Guild.

    39. Missing avatar

      Frenge on

      Yes labelling it 'books' will reduce costs here in Netherlands as well! In any case, yay progress!

    40. Missing avatar

      QDI on

      Therkla AND Belkar? My two favorite characters?


    41. Karl G on

      Hopefully the shipment can be marked as "books" and that would help out with customs here in Norway. Dunno if packing a pair of magnets with the books will cause a problem though.

    42. Missing avatar

      Robert Schoene on

      I'd appreciate a 'books' marking for my books-pledge as well

    43. Justin M. LaFleur on

      sweet... I didn't have to pay $1,250... and I still get a story about Therkla... WOOHOO! Thanks a lot to that unknown backer, she was my favorite character so far.

    44. Missing avatar

      Mutant Waffle on

      Yep, marking the package contents as 'books', 'comics' or 'comic books' should all avoid import VAT here. No shenanigans/dishonesty required.

    45. Missing avatar

      Katrin Kania on

      I'm all for keeping import tax & customs to a minimum, but trying too hard to lower the value in the package may also lead to trouble. I'm in Germany, and we can be required to bring proof of purchase (including credit card receipt and invoice or similar documents), and when the value on the box label is much different from the value on the invoice, that might also lead to trouble. For, as far as I know, both parties - the sender and the recipient. (Kickstarter, by the way, was a concept I had to explain to them... good thing I had wisely brought a printout of the reward levels for that drive.)
      So I think using a discount rate for the books, game etc. (or the normal ookodook rate) and declaring the other swag as gifts might still be fine, since we can tell the customs folks that the rest of the fee is for the digital-only rewards, but labeling with a given fixed small amount of money... that would need to be very low (under 22 Eur, including shipping, for Germany). And if a big box from the states comes here, no customs guy in his right mind will believe that this cost so little in shipping... Sorry, but I'd rather pay my import dues than get kicked for having tried to cheat.

    46. Rich Burlew Creator on

      @Kdansky: Yes, I know all about taxes, but I promise you I will not be losing "half a million" to them. This is still business income; I'm taxed on my net profit, not my gross revenue. So the more I legitimately spend on expenses (like book printing or postage) or put back into the business (like a new work computer), the less gets taxed. So it's under control.

    47. Aras Kubilay on

      Full support from me for anything that can ease customs procedures for overseas :) Labeling it "books" and keeping the declared value as little as legally possible would be great.

    48. Esko Gardner on

      For international orders, you could put down the value at 30 (USD), this means that it might not get stuck in customs (the value varies by country to what is the smallest value of item that you can import without it).

    49. Missing avatar

      Kdansky on

      I second Tom Pedersen: If the package says "books" it will be a lot less annoying at customs.

      Also @RichBurlew: Don't forget that you will lose like half of this million to tax.

    50. Missing avatar

      theangelJean on

      Also, a suggestion for when Rich sends out the surveys for the Patience packages: since he needs to send surveys out now (to determine sales tax revenue), might be a good idea to have a radio button for "Do you think your shipping address will change between now and December?" If there isn't, then putting a note in the comments section might help, maybe they can take that into account and expect another email from you later on?