Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Classy. Refined. Laminated.

Volume III hit the stands September 1st and from the feedback we're getting from our retailers, it's a smash hit! It seems that with our new gloss laminate cover, people are mistaking us less and less for the Old Farmer's Almanac. That's a good thing, I think. If you haven't yet ordered your copy, get it now while we still have it in stock.

Folks have been asking me about something that we haven't really brought up before in public. I figured it was time to address it. I got an irate email from a reader in Des Moines who wanted to know why her cousin in Vermont got a signed and numbered version of Volume III while hers was the standard non-numbered edition. She felt as though she had been slighted.

BWAAHHH! You no send me limited edition! BWAAAAHHHH!

The explanation is really quite simple. See, most small printers have a batch number of printings per day that they do for each client, that way every customer's project moves along at a comparable rate. If I order 5,000 copies of The Ephemeris to be printed up, it usually takes a week to complete my order because they only print up between 500-1,000 copies a day. (Another reason for this is that if a flaw is discovered in one batch, it's a lot easier to toss out 1,000 copies than it is to toss out the entire order.)

Because of my OCD, I'm usually on hand in the print shop while the first batch is being printed. This leaves me with nothing to do for several hours except watch the print guy putt around back and forth touching machinery and answering phone calls. Usually the covers are printed first and later married to the rest of the manuscript. While I'm waiting for the interior pages to be printed and bound, I keep my sanity by numbering and/or signing each cover from the first batch before it goes back into the bindery.

We call these copies "First Day Printings", and they're limited to 500 copies and sent out to our first 500 pre-ordering customers. All copies are shipped out in the order in which they were received, so if you placed your pre-order as soon as it went up for sale on our site, you stand a much better chance of getting a Limited Edition copy than someone who places their order on the day before it hits stores. And that's exactly what happened to the lady in Des Moines. She placed her order August 31st while her cousin placed an order earlier in the month. The early bird got the worm, so the saying goes.

To answer another question, the copies aren't sent out sequentially. Just because you got issue number 49 doesn't mean that you were the 49th person to order that Volume, it just means that number 49 happened to be sitting on the top of the stack when Jasper stuffed your envelope. It could have just as easily been number 499 or 94, it really all depends on how that case was filled at the printer. (I do have Jasper set aside a few copies when he finds them. #1 and #500 go to me, and Mick usually gets #2,3 and 4. Other than that, every number is fair game).

So there you go, the inside scoop on our limited edition copies. We've never publicized these limited editions, even though we've done them since Volume One. We just thought it would be a nice Easter Egg for our faithful customers, and we appreciate everyone who places early orders. It helps us protect our bottom line and in the case of Volume III, it allowed us to add the last-minute laminated cover upgrade. This was something I wanted to do in the first place, but it wasn't in our budget until we had a massive wave of pre-ordering customers. (We could have very easily pocketed the money and gone to the strip club like Mick wanted to do, but common sense won out and we stayed home watching Breaking Bad.)

In non-related news, Chad and C.Nash have started their own forum. It's called and I think (though I'm not positive) that it has something to do with smokeless tobacco. Go find out.

Chad (left) and Nash (right) urge you to visit their most excellent new forum.

Till next time!

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