I have emerged from the hazy land of cardboard mountains and permanent markers. And lo, I bring an update, tho it be delayed greatly from the last of its kind. For ease of reading, I'm going to divide this up into the Signed and Unsigned packages, since they're being handled by two totally different groups of people (myself and Ookoodook, respectively).
Signed: I started sending out autographed books last Saturday. Of the 397 orders that included signed books (and were not crayon drawing, digital illustration, or "patience" packages), I signed and mailed 242 of them, for a total of around 800 books. Which is good, because there were too many books in my living room for me to move around. I even mailed some of the domestic autographed packages that should have had Sticky Shticks inside with an I.O.U. slip instead, just to clear more boxes out. (Don't worry, I'll mail the cards separately later in the summer when they're done being printed.) Almost all of the packages left to be signed and mailed are international orders at this point; I plan on getting all such orders without Sticky Shticks into the mail in this upcoming week (and a half?), if I can get the customs forms filled out. Oh, and we're way behind on the shipping emails, so you might actually get your package before you get notification that it shipped.
Unsigned: Ookoodook has steadily been shipping more packages every day, and I've gotten lots of feedback from people who have already gotten their orders. But overall, it's been slow going. While the warehouse staff is doing a great job, I don't think any of us are happy with how long the process is taking. It turns out that all the different options (and add-ons, and free stuff at certain dollar thresholds) are bogging down the packing process because they need to be checked and rechecked so that everyone gets the right swag. They're about halfway through the unsigned non-Sticky Shticks packages now, as near as I can tell, and it will probably take at least two more weeks to get to the end. So nobody panic if you haven't gotten your confirmation email yet; my previous estimates were a little optimistic, it turns out, because the packing is getting slower as they get to the more complex boxes. The good news is that I've talked to the folks over there and they have some ideas on how to speed things up that may work out. Hopefully I'll be able to announce that the pace has quickened by the next update.
Also, keep in mind that for both signed and unsigned packages, the fact that one backer gets a given reward package in the mail is not a guarantee that everyone else with the same reward package will get theirs shortly thereafter. There are a lot of stragglers or special exceptions, and a lot of orders got moved to the back of the line because they didn't have their surveys filled out, or didn't add their shipping money, or whatever.
Let's take a look at the Workometer:
Note that the "patience" packages aren't reflected on this graph at all yet, so those six green bars for Signed Books/Prints reflect only the "impatient" orders.Five Things I Did Since Last Update:
- Sketched my six main characters in Sharpie at least 100 times each, plus a smattering of Redcloaks, Xykons, Thogs, and O-Chuls.
- Did a very short phone interview with Wired magazine about Kickstarter.
- Learned a lot I never knew about international tariff codes and other details of customs declaration forms.
- Found a mistake on the Sticky Shticks cards that delayed their release to the printer until probably Tuesday or so.
- Repeatedly regretted using such heavyweight paper for the pages of my books. My arms are killing me.
I'm sure there's more to tell about my exciting adventures in autographing, but I'm suffering from marker-induced memory loss at the moment. Which reminds me, I need to do a Kickstarter update today.
P.S. New OOTS is up.