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A monstrous collection of all-new, original terror tales from the darkest and most brilliant minds in comics.
A monstrous collection of all-new, original terror tales from the darkest and most brilliant minds in comics.
1,588 backers pledged $75,350 to help bring this project to life.

Almost finished, but I may need a little help!

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Hey folks!

So I've shipped out all domestic books, except the 10 copies with the flash fiction stories. I'm working on writing those this week, and I'll have them all in the mail as soon as they're finished! If you haven't received your book yet, and you live in the US, you should be getting it very soon.

Those of you outside the US will get yours as soon as possible. I hugely underestimated shipping costs on this massive book, and I'm having to ship them out of my own pocket, which has me staring down the barrel of about $11,000 in debt. I will make every effort to get these things out as quick as possible, though, I promise.

If you've received your book and enjoyed the heck out of it, might I humbly ask you to check out my Patreon page? With a small monthly donation, you can help me ship these international orders and dig myself out of that $11,000 hole. There's some really cool incentives I'm offering to people who donate, and you will be the first to hear about the kickstarter campaign for In the Dark II, so that you can be sure to snag the best rewards before anyone else! No pressure to donate, just please give if you can.

www.patreon.com/theironrachel

Thanks so much to all of you for your continued support!

Charles Wilkins, Alicia Vega, and 11 more people like this update.

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    1. Missing avatar

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    2. AlyssaCrow on

      Thanks for the extra clarification, Rachel. I hope you get the help you need with this. In a perfect world, Amazon would say, "Hey, you've just started selling a super high quality book on our platform- here's a free Amazon Fulfillment deal for ya!"

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    4. AlyssaCrow on

      @Akule, thanks so much for posting additional resources, and to everyone who's chiming in with advice. I know Rachel's already thanked you all for the info, but I just wanted to add that your help is appreciated by those who are lurking and learning from this issue.

      Regarding rude/negative backers, perhaps it would help to allay some of that negativity by providing a little more information? Rachel's by no means obligated to give more info of course, but some of the vagueness is opening the way for (negative) speculation. Please understand that I'm saying these things in the kindest way possible- I don't want to make the situation worse, but rather improve the viewpoints of those with ruffled feathers. ;)

      1) This isn't the first time Rachel has failed to fulfill backer rewards (there's a number of folk who wouldn't have pledged if they realised earlier that this was the case).

      I guess folk want some extra reassurance that these international rewards ARE going to be fulfilled. Preferably within an acceptable time-frame. A solid plan would be awesome (which folk are trying to help you with). Asking for help via patreon to fill the deficit doesn't seem like the most effective plan.

      2) We don't understand IDW's role in this, and why a misunderstood deal with them lead to drying up what shipping funds you did have. You had $20 per int. backer to help cover their shipping. Why was this money used on paying a bill to IDW? Although it's nowhere near as bad as what some other Kickstarter campaigners have done (i.e. use pledges to buy a new car), that money was slated for international shipping, and should have been used for that. We're confused as to why IDW came into the picture. It seems to have just made a bad situation worse, which has increased some of the negativity about this issue.

      3) My last comment didn't get a response, but the suggestion still stands. There have been comics successfully fulfilled on Kickstarter that took much, much less than $55 shipping for internationals. These are comics that have the same page count (though some have as much as double the page count) as In The Dark, and are also oversized hardcovers. Again, if these campaigners knew some tricks regarding getting cheaper shipping (and that does seem to be the case), then you should contact these creators and ask them for advice. Again, this is about setting a solid plan that will help everyone, yourself included.

      4) It's concerning that Rachel hasn't fulfilled her previous campaign, and hasn't fulfilled this campaign, yet she already has the ball rolling on yet another book. I mean, personally, I'm stoked at the prospect of having more high-quality comic content travel out into the world. But this kinda stands at odds with Rachel's efforts to keep everyone positive.

      Rachel, me and the other (quieter) folk following this issue would super duper appreciate any response to help clear up the above concerns. Thanks for staying active in the comments section!

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    6. Kevin B. on

      Ak, another international shipping costs horror story. These are a lot more common on this site than you'd expect, so you're far from the first Kickstarter who is the victim of her own success and inexperience. I'm really sorry to hear that you have to go through this.

      I didn't back for a hardcopy, but I've been wanting to check out Patreon and support a couple of other artists on there for few months now, I'll make work of it tomorrow when I'm back home. I did enjoy the heck out of your book after all. :) It might only be for a month or 2-3 though, since my position at my job is a bit uncertain at the moment (job interview to keep my own job tomorrow ... yey, delayed effects of the recession!)

      Other than that I have to say that I'm really amazed at some of the negative (not to say, rude) reactions you're getting, it's like those people read an entirely different update than I did.

      Anyway, I'm glad to hear that this experience hasn't turned you of Kickstarter and/or crowdfunding. I'm looking forward to In the Dark II!

    7. Akule
      Superbacker
      on

      Ah, sorry to hear that. Well, at the very least the links might be helpful for the next kickstarter. :)

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    10. Akule
      Superbacker
      on

      Hi Rachel. I was reading some of the problems that you were having with International shipping, and I figured I should give you these links:

      http://stonemaiergames.com/how-to-provide-free-shipping-worldwide-on-kickstarter-a-comprehensive-guide/

      http://stonemaiergames.com/lessons-learned-insights-mistakes-and-solutions-for-offering-worldwide-shipping-on-kickstarter/

      http://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter-face-off-4-international-shipping/

      Jamie Stonemaier does a blog on his experiences for his kickstarters, and what he has gathered from other people who create kickstarters. It primarily focuses on games, but he has been interested in branching out. You might want to contact him and swap stories. I'm sure you could pick his brain in exchange for telling your experiences with this kickstarter.

      One way to do the Amazon shipping for the special copies, is to make the bookplate and signed copy a "Limited Edition" and assign to it its own special UPC. Then you can use the Amazon fulfillment service by shipping it to Amazon, and then having Amazon ship it out through their network.

    11. Aaron Cohen on

      Rachel, thank you so much for this book. I was astonished as to its size and quality and am halfway through reading it and love everything about it. One thought on the international shipping side of things..what if you used amazon to fulfill orders for these backers but then mailed them separately the signed signature sheet? Just a thought..

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    17. Missing avatar

      Rainer Koschnick on

      If the shipping costs are more expensive than the end product I don't think it makes much sense to most international users to back such projects. I have seen many projects which don't offer international shipping for that reason. And I think it's understandable.

      I buy a lot of stuff from the US and usually buy more than 1 item per seller to offset the high shipping costs. Sadly for single items it doesn't make much sense anymore since USPS has raised the prices last year.

    18. Crimson Ghost on

      I was under the assumption that our book is larger than the retail version so if that's the case we got a superior product.

    19. Rebecca Mutton
      Superbacker
      on

      Hi - I'm an international backer and hate to hear you being so out of pocket. I dont care about the delay and will gladly pay the extra without hesitation-just message me your paypal & its done. Don't forget what an awesomely amazing book you have done!

    20. Timbo on

      I'm a backer from Germany and I backed some projects from the US with a similar weight, like board games and comic books with figurines, and I always got my rewards in time. I think most of the projects sent their rewards in one big box to some service (in Europe) that then sends them further to the backers. Maybe you should have considered an option like this?

      But it's OK for me, now that you have honestly posted your difficulties in this update. But what I didn't understand is, when exactly will you send the remaining books? Do you still have to wait to get money to send them or will you send them now? When can I expect my book to arrive?

      I also want to say that it would be a bad idea to keep international backers out of your next campaigns at all. With some more research and experience this is no problem, as numerous other campaigns prove.

      So, thank you for your honesty and hard work. Please keep us updated.

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    22. gryphonent
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks Rachel for the explanation. It’s reassuring to hear you still plan to keep to your word and send out the book to international backers. I for one cannot wait to see and reread it (although I wished the stories would’ve been more satirical, cynical, darker in the old fashioned way).

      Having said that, if you cannot get Amazon fulfilment services (reread an earlier message sent to you during the project’s Kickstarter) for shipping to Europe then you should avoid shipping internationally at all. I rather wait for the book to come out and order later. This however creates a conundrum as most projects on the site won’t get funded without international backers paying through their nose for shipping on top.

      Maybe patterning up with somebody in Europe or Australia could help. Shipping a massive load in one go is cheaper than many single copies. Work on your logistics. I will most likely wait for Dark II to show up on Amazon.

    23. AlyssaCrow on

      @Rachel, sorry, I didn't realise you didn't have any input on Amazon's retail price.

      I'm happy to see folk rallying in support- after all, from what I hear, the book is awesome- but I also feel that the reactions to folk's comments below are being blown a little out of proportion. I've seen comment sections on Kickstarter get downright nasty. From what I've seen people write below, everyone's being pretty forgiving and polite about the delay.

      Perhaps one other option for you, Rachel, is to contact some comic creators who've successfully kickstarted books of comparable size, and ask them how they handled shipping, and what costs came to. I've backed a few books that are the same size (# of pages, hardcover, oversized) as In The Dark- if not bigger- and I haven't paid more than $30, let alone $55. There might be a trick of the trade you haven't found yet.

      I hope this all works out for ya.

    24. Petter Wäss
      Superbacker
      on

      I won't be able to become a Patreon (since my monthly salary is extremely inconsistent) but if you wnat me to pay some more of the shipping cost, then please contact me or send me a paypal invoice. I am willing to pay what is needed.

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    26. Sambo Virak Touch
      Superbacker
      on

      This shipping cost issue and the amount of debt this has put you in is a horror story on its own.

      I'm an international backer and I value your efforts in making things right. For you to own up to the mistakes that have been made and to do the moral thing which is to be honest with us shows you have good character. It's so easy just to say - "F--- it I'm done" and give up like so many other campaigns have. But you aren't a quiter, and us backers shouldn't give up on you either. A lot of hard work has been put into this and more hard work will push this through to the very end.

      I hope people can show some class and help by at least showing further patience and understanding. Money doesn't grow on trees. Shipping is expensive. Saying thank you is free. Thanks Rachel! I got your back.

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    28. Sher on

      Okay, I feel like I need to add my two cents here. While I sympathize with international backers, I commend Rachel for owning up to her mistakes and telling people about the problem with shipping to international backers. Also, since it costs so much more to ship to international backers, of course it would make sense to ship those last. If she fulfilled them first, then less books would be shipped out and there would be more unhappy customers. If the cost of international shipping vs. domestic shipping is $55 vs. $5, then fulfilling one (1) international order would be equivalent to shipping ten (10) domestic orders! I'm not saying international backers deserve having their rewards shipped last, but please understand that Rachel has done this to try and be efficient as possible.

      I have backed over 50 projects on KS and I've read extensively on 25+ KS campaigns that have funded but failed to ship rewards. Primary reason? Insufficient funds for shipping. I can tell you, based on my own experience and based on what I've read, that backers should really be grateful about how Rachel is handling this situation. She has been upfront about the shipping issue and is still working to ship books out. Several creators, when faced with this similar problem (insufficient funds for shipping), have done one or more of following: 1) Made excuses for the delayed shipping 2) failed to give shipping updates for several months 3) halted all communication with backers or 4) stopped shipping rewards altogether. I can see why people are upset, but honestly, Rachel is trying to do the right thing, and it's so rare for me to see creators with this problem own up like she has. I mean, it really sucks that even when trying to do what is right, she's getting so much negative feedback and hardly any support... it's no wonder not so many creators on KS own up to problems like this!

      In regards to the Amazon prices... if Rachel isn't controlling the price, then I don't see how you can blame her for that. If she was selling this book for a cheaper price at her own online store, where she controls the price, then I can understand that. At least the KS version has the bookplate & numbering. I know some people won't see these extras as worth the difference in amount, but it's still something that makes it distinct from the retail books. I backed Chineasy, bought a personalized signed hardcover book for approximately $120, only to find out later that the Amazon hardcover version of the book was only $20. This stung, but a part of me didn't mind because the KS version was different from the retail version in many ways (KS version had a cloth cover, gold detailing, personally signed, and included a slipcase). I admit, I do wish I had at last part of that $100 back, but I was glad I was able to contribute to making the book happen in the first place.

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    30. Josh Crews on

      I'm assuming that most people that backed this project had faith in Rachel. Keep that faith and have some patience. Look at how much patience and class she continues to show even when people who don't understand the situation are giving her a hard time. Love you Rachel. <3

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    32. Rachel Kristine Rovere on

      @Alyssa - My comment was not directed at you, specifically. I understand why people are upset, and why the Amazon cost would frustrate people. I can only imagine that it was also frustrating for Rachel. That book is well worth $50, if not much more. As someone that would always prefer to support their local comics shop, that Amazon price is hurtful. Especially since there was no way of knowing what it would be sold for once the product became available to online vendors. However, I'm glad people who don't have as much money will still be able to purchase a copy for less than the retail cost.

    33. Marmæl
      Superbacker
      on

      @ Tim. Here: "If I don't get any international orders through the next kickstarter, I'll actually be coming out ahead."
      Combined with this explanation: "To any others who may be curious how I wound up "in the red", there were some details with my publishing deal that were not clear and cost me over $12,000 in the end. I didn't talk about this publicly because I didn't want people to think I was bad mouthing IDW." there are certainly decisions to be regretted here.

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    35. AlyssaCrow on

      @Rachel Kristine, just to clarify my own original comment regarding Amazon:
      I wasn't saying that I should've just waited and bought the book through Amazon. Obviously, if we'd all done that, the book would never have happened. What I WAS commenting on was the fact that the book is so much cheaper on Amazon (not just the shipping, but the retail price) than what we pledged on Kickstarter. It's a known rule of thumb that pledges should be priced no higher than the product would cost in a retail environment. Otherwise, backers feel stung. Bonuses that aren't included in retail editions (e.g. a "backer only" label) are usually just used as an incentive to people to back something that hasn't yet come to fruition and received social proof yet (in the form of reviews, stock in shops, etc).

      In the end, that was all just a side comment, anyway. International backers are going to be understandably upset by any further delays or inabilities to deliver on pledges, that's just the way it goes. Like I said, I don't envy Rachel's situation. Hopefully it'll prove a good learning experience for any backers here considering launching a Kickstarter of their own in future.

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    37. Tim Branan on

      wasn't trying that is

    38. Rachel Kristine Rovere on

      It's pretty obvious that Rachel is well aware of how unhappy international backers are over the situation. If you understand that she is trying her best, maybe you should consider keeping the negativity to yourself. Your opinions aren't going to make anything better, and are only adding stress to an already stressful situation.

      A lot of hard work and passion went into this amazing book. There wasn't a single moment during this project that Rachel didn't consider everyone involved (especially the backers). Does it really need to be repeated that Amazon wouldn't even have this book for sale if we didn't help fund it? If you are backing a kickstarter project, your priority should be helping the creator bring their idea to life, which we did. All that is left is a shit ton of hard work (on Rachel's part) and money. Is patience really that much to ask for?

    39. Tim Branan on

      @Marmæl you seem confused. show me where she blamed anyone else for what happened, or trying her best to fulfill the obligations out of her own pocket?

    40. AlyssaCrow on

      Just trying to assist in getting those books out. ;)

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    44. AlyssaCrow on

      http://services.amazon.com/content/fulfillment-by-amazon.htm/
      This is the alternative to buying through the storefront. I imagine it'll work out slightly cheaper than sending them yourself, even if you do have to deliver twice (first to Amazon's warehouse, then from the warehouse to the customer).

    45. Marmæl
      Superbacker
      on

      Extra waiting time doesn't matter much. The way you are handling this throughout does, Rachel. You might want to rethink who you are blaming and why.

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    47. James Moss
      Superbacker
      on

      @Tim Branan - I've just stated the inconvenient and ugly truth that it's international supporters that suffer here. It's not an equal footing situation where everyone suffers but the people who donated more that do. If the reverse were true and all people in Ohio were the group affected and not receiving their books until later after paying extra and top of that the kid down the street gets a copy before you because he bought his at the local shop, then I'm sure that all backers in Ohio would not be too happy.
      The sad fact is, those who paid more whether justified or not, are the ones that suffer.
      The second sad fact will be less support on the next Kickstarter campaign.
      I'd also like to state that at no time did I say that Rachel isn't trying to help the situation. It's a bad situation to be in and I see her trying her best. But I'm certainly not going to say that I'm happy over it and I think you'd be very hard pressed to find any international backer who is.

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    49. AlyssaCrow on

      Rachel, if you're looking at "$55 and up" just in shipping costs as an indie, would it work out better for you if you just fulfilled the international rewards through Amazon? Either just order each book one by one through the storefront, or through Amazon's fulfillment program (where you send the books to them and they distribute for you)?

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