Frequently Asked Questions
Unsolicited Advice is self-published by me, printed here in New York, in a (relatively) small quantity. As a fully independent person, it's very hard to make this project work both logistically and financially.
Many agenda products produced by smaller independent brands are actually $25+ for just one copy. Unsolicited Advice has always been intended as the antithesis to that and I am proud to be able to price them at $12.50. But in order to make it work and to get the production cost lower, it does need to sell more copies. So pairing them has been the answer, and how I've made this project happen for the last few years.
Preselling in pairs lets you and a friend split the shipping cost, or gives you a perfect and easy holiday gift to give to someone else. (This project first started because I love giving gifts but was completely broke as a 21-year-old college grad working at a diner and living in a big gross house with 6 roommates so I decided to make something I could give my friends... but anyway).
To summarize, because I am drinking a lot of coffee right now and very excited, the planners ship in pairs because otherwise I'd have to price these at like $16 for just one, and that kind of sucks. Maybe one day I'll do this project with a publisher, not on Kickstarter, and benefit from their business connections and printer relationship and they probably print overseas somewhere. But in the meantime, this is the best way to make it work, we're able to support a great local printer, and I can make sure the individual cost stays as affordable as I can get it.
Thanks for your support and understanding!Last updated:
THIS IS THE SINGLE WORST PART OF BEING A USA-BASED INDEPENDENT CREATOR OF ANYTHING AND I DO TRULY HATE IT.
The postage costs on this project have been meticulously calculated to be as fair as possible. They include the USPS postage costs for First Class, First Class International, Priority Mail, and Priority Mail International, as well as packaging, labels, Kickstarter fees, and credit card processing fees. Every reward weighs a different amount, pushing it into higher price ranges or disqualifying it for First Class (the cheapest option) or whatever else.
INTERNATIONAL POSTAGE IS ACTUALLY MORE EXPENSIVE THAN WHAT I AM CHARGING HERE. Last year I charged the accurate amounts. This year I am charging $3-5 less per package than it actually costs, and not even charging the fees and packaging at all. This was a personal decision to cut into the planner earnings to make the project just a little more accessible to international backers.
This year I tried so hard to find alternate solutions. I got quotes from two different fulfillment companies – these services would receive, store, package, and ship the planners from a UK-based warehouse, which would lower the cost for backers across Europe. But it would raise the price for North American backers, and not help backers in Asia or Australia at all. Plus, I wouldn't get to package them myself which means no personal touch or signed books.
I also looked into alternate delivery companies like UPS and DHL. There are services offered that can help lower the cost of individual international delivery, but due to my size as a business (1 person who doesn't ship THAT many packages actually) I didn't qualify for those programs.
All this to say, I really tried. The shipping rate prices are lower than actual cost. I wish I could do even better. I wish I was Amazon.com and I could somehow offer totally free shipping while also majorly reducing product cost. But I'm just 1 person with really limited resources and I couldn't make it happen any better than what it is for now. I promise to keep trying to find new solutions and keep getting a little better at this every year.
I hope the shipping discount helps (it's $5 less than I charged here last year) and that maybe you can split the order with a friend to offset the cost. If not, and backing this project is just not realistic for you, I totally understand.Last updated:
My new book THINGS ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM is a really special baby to me, I'm so lucky that Penguin agreed to let me try something new and gave me everything I wanted in terms of production, size, quality, content, and everything. I really am so proud of it and want people to have it.
I know a lot of people are probably already getting it from Amazon or somewhere else so that they don't have to wait longer for their copy, but I still wanted to make it available here too. And even though the cover price is $14, I priced it out as $10 here because I really want people to get it. Since I don't make it myself, I actually do have to buy my own book to be able to include it here, and I'm not making a profit off of it here. That's one reason the "fundraising total" is going to seem way higher than the actual amount I end up with to print from. I just really want people to get the book.
The new keychain is "priced" at an extra $5 from the previous level, even though similar keychains in my shop cost $14. I wanted to encourage people to treat themselves to the book too, and am happy to basically make zero money off of the keychains in order to do that. The keychain art is really special to me and I've resisted selling any products with that art for a long time. But it once appeared in a previous edition of Unsolicited Advice, and making it available here with the 2018 planners and with the new book seemed like a personal and special way to do it.
When you order the book from this Kickstarter you're also directly supporting the first week sales (since it's released October 3rd but this campaign ends September 28th). Those first week book sales are really important for any new book, since they signal to book retailers that there is a strong interest in the book and they should put more books on shelves, which is how people discover it for themselves.
Basically, I am not making money from the books and keychains here, but you are helping support the new book in a big way. Plus you also... get the book... which I think is very good... and I will sign it for you. If you've already preordered, or want to make sure you get it right away, I'm super grateful for that too. It's exactly the kind of book that's perfect to gift to a creative person you know, a writer, an inventor, an entrepreneur, your bridesmaids, anyone who's working on, making, or building anything. I know I've said it like three times in this answer (I've had a lot of coffee which I am still currently drinking) but it really is a special book and even though it's not self-published it feels as personal to me as if it were.
Okay that's all for this long ass answer, thank you so much for the support, for believing in me, for liking anything I've ever made, and for helping get this book into your hands, the hands of people you know, and onto bookshelves where it can be discovered by people who don't even know they "need" it yet.Last updated:
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