Monday, February 28, 2011

It's here! Almost ...

The new issue is right on schedule... for the most part. I've got the first copy off the press today and overall I'm impressed with the results. I stopped into the bindery today and got to see the first batch rolling off the presses. While I was there, I added a special "finishing touch" to the first case of issues. These will go out to the earliest pre-orders we received, so if you placed your order within the first week of February there's a good chance you'll be getting one of these special editions.

Someone emailed me earlier and asked when he can expect to receive his issue. That's a good question, and I'll try to explain it as best as possible here.

When the bindery is finished with all the books (late Monday night 2/28), all of the copies are split into two groups. One group of books stays at the bindery; these are the newsstand copies. They are mailed out from the bindery straight to the newsstands and stores that sell our magazine. The reason that we don't handle these copies ourselves is because we're fortunate to have a printer that offers free shipment to distributors if they order a set amount of issues from us. That saved us a lot of time this issue compared to last issue, when I spent an entire week shipping out the newsstand editions.

The second group of magazines are the important ones. These are cased up and delivered to our personal shipping department, who then mails them all out to you. Our shipping department consists of only one person: the Hardest Working Man in Snuff Business, Jasper Jones. Jasper is a good friend of ours who has been in the drop-ship business for years and works out of his home, where he is sometimes assisted by the lovely Ms. Jones and one or more of their children.

Jasper is faxed a list of all the orders that have come in for this issue, and he chronologically goes down the list printing envelopes and double checking the addresses. Then he puts the books in and seals the envelope and crosses the order off his list. Sounds simple right? It is. The hard part is doing this over and over again, a thousand times a day without blowing your brains out or wiping out your family. (Trust me on this. Before we found Jasper, me and a friend of mine were trying to handle most of the shipping. We were lucky to get 100 copies done in a 12 hour period.) How he does this is beyond me.

So then, by the time 3:30 rolls around, Jasper gathers all the issues up that are ready to ship and hands them to Ms. Jones, who goes down to the post office and mails them out. Usually she's finished by about 4:15, right when the Postal Workers start turning off the lights and locking the doors. Meanwhile, Jasper keeps stuffing envelopes until he passes out at his desk. Then he wakes up and does it all over again.

So, it's true that Volume II starts shipping March 1st, just like we announced. But it's also true that it takes a few days to get all of the orders out, so your issue might not ship until March 4th or 5th (at the latest). We don't want anyone to think we're holding their issue or we forgot to ship it; we're just such a small operation that it takes Jasper a few days to get all the copies out.

We initially scheduled the book to get printed on the 24th, which would have given Jasper a few days worth of jump time to get the packaging done and have all of them ready to ship by tomorrow. We hit a couple of delays at the last minute (we had a new advertiser come out of nowhere and we had to excise an article at the last minute due to legal red tape) so we didn't get everything out to the printer until last night. We're all working double time and I've slept about four hours in the last two days, so if you spot any weird typos or inaccurate photo captions in this new issue, blame it on my insomnia and diligent work ethic.

Or blame it on Jasper. He's used to it.


No comments:

Post a Comment