Another shipping update
about 6 years ago
– Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 08:13:37 PM
Robin again...okay so here is where we are at.
- Over the weekend Sarah and I packaged up all but 2 of the "books only" and had a huge shipment for the post office. Sarah came out to "the land" last Saturday to start the prepping process (we thought the books would arrive Monday), and she's been a real trooper. She's routinely stayed up until 2:00 am, and generally wakes around 6:00 am to get back at it. I couldn't have done this without her but she was starting to show signs of wear. She REALLY wanted to be able to go home on Monday as she'd been out here for more than a week and still had a lot of Christmas stuff to do (including some artwork that is an annual thing with her). Anyway, after Monday's delivery, \ there were still several hundred orders remaining (those with t-shirts).
- Yesterday (Tuesday) - we got out all the remaining orders that had books plus t-shirts - except for 3 (which I'll talk about more in a minute) and by late afternoon they were delivered to the post office. The good news is all of those orders are shipped Priority Mail - with 2 to 3 day deliveries. So I think it's safe to say they will "Just sneak in" to getting before Christmas. Also, I'm already hearing from people about receiving their "book only" deliveries. I've "spot checked" a lot of the tracking numbers and so far I've not seen a single package in the US that is after Christmas. Does that mean everyone will have theirs by then? No...but I think it's safe to say that at least 95% of the books only (which are shipped Media Mail and can be a little slow) will make it into people's hands. As for the Overseas stuff...I have no idea how long it takes but I also did some spot checking on those packages and everyone I saw showed it had left the country so, again, it's in the hands of others and I'm keeping my finger's crosse.d
- Okay, last thing. One of the first things Sarah did was package up the "shirts only" orders and they can be quite complicated because of the various styles (and the fact we were shipping some "older shirts" which mean we had variations including color, men/women and an additional design. It's REALLY easy to get these wrong - shipping a black Riyria small rather than a black Rose and Thorn small or a larger rather than an extra large, so they take some extra time and attention and I wanted to "be sharp" when going over those and I've not been "sharp" in the last 5 days or so. I got 50% of them shipped out while Sarah cleaned up and organized the garage - which was a mess after several days of shipping. It was going MUCH slower than I would have liked and I really wanted to get Sarah home ASAP. So I did leave about 25 orders left undone so we could get her on her way, and I spent the rest of the afternoon looking at email which I've not done in a bout a week. As soon as I'm done with this post, I'll finish up the last of those orders and get them out.
Now, I still have to go through and double check everything and it's possible I find a few orders still not processed, but I think we are definitely 99.99% done with shipping all the books and T-shirts. As for the posters...I'm going to ask people receiving them to bear with me for just a bit longer. I have to untangle pre-orders that have come through PayPal yet today and so I'll probably start shipping them on Friday. There aren't many of those orders so if someone had to get short-shifted I'd rather have it be those than something else.
As for the 3 orders that didn't ship - the reason is t-shirts. We came up three short which means either we sent the wrong t-shirt to someone else, or we miscalculated the order. But in any case I will send the books for those people now, and I'll be doing a re-order on shirts and get them out as soon as possible. Because I have to re-order anyway...it will be possible for people who missed out on shirts to sneak in an order. Since your packages have already shipped it will have to be a NEW ORDER and you can do so from here. This will ONLY allow for shirt orders (and tips to Sarah), and I'll close it a week from now so I can get the shirts ordered.
An update on shipping
about 6 years ago
– Sun, Dec 17, 2017 at 12:23:36 AM
Hey all, Robin here. Shipping is going well, although totally exhausting. I'll detail the entire ordeal in the "Making of" but here are some highlights.
- So the books arrived in Winchester VA - about 90 minutes north of our cabin in Luray on Saturday Dec 9th. The shipping company isn't open to incoming calls on the weekend so I made sure to call them first thing Monday morning.
- Living in rural Virginia means that certain things available to me last time aren't available this time. In particular, a storage facility with a loading dock. Oh what I would give for such a thing!! Had there been one things would have been MUCH easier. There is NO WAY a big truck can fit it's way onto our land because we have a stone gate and a tight turn. In the past, when big shipments arrive the trucks leave whatever it is we ordered on the street about 700' from where the house is. Knowing that dropping off 9,000 books on the street wasn't going to work, I had arranged for a storage facility -- you know the type. Rows and Rows of little buildings with individual doors, set once against the other. This one had the size I needed (good) but the buildings were surrounded by gravel (rather than cement) - which is bad. You'll learn why in a moment. The reason I bring up the storage facility is it is basically in the middle of nowhere and I have to arrange to be there when the truck shows up or they'll have no idea what do.
- Okay Monday morning I call to tell the shipping company that they MUST call me a little bit before the books are to arrive so I can meet them there. I also wanted to remind them they needed a truck with a lift gate because there was no loading dock. A lift gate is a hydraulic lift on the back of the truck that allows shipments to be lowered to the ground. The shipping company tells me they won't have a lift-gate truck available to deliver our shipment until Tuesday morning...no problem I thought, what's one more day. Sarah and I spend all day Monday getting out stuff organized...printing packing lists, organizing how we'll do things. Figuring out where the books will be signed, etc etc.
- The shipping company has a really good tracking system so I could tell exactly where the books are and since my scheduled appointment was 8 am - 12 noon I knew they would have to leave Wincester by like 10:30. At 9:00 they still haven't been moved to the "out for delivery" stage so I called the shipper. They said, "Well we won't make noon but probably by 1:30." Okay, I said, no problem. A few hours later I knew 1:30 was impossible, so checked in again. "Your driver has 2 stops before you, it'll probably be around 3:00 before he can get back here to get your shipment. At this point I'm wondering if I should take the pick-up truck, drive the 90 minutes and bring back some boxes so we can get started. Michael, convinces me to wait...but anyone who knows me I don't take "waiting" easily. The shipper got a different truck at around 2:00 and they started heading our way. Yeah!! Okay, 3:30 rather than noon - but that's okay. Or so I thought. I got another call from the shipper saying the lift isn't working and they have to have it return to them for charging. At this point I'm about to pull my hair out. Around 3:30 I hear the truck has loaded and left and is finally on it's way here, but night is coming on soon and the temperature is falling. Not good.
- The truck finally arrives at around 5:00.
- He drops off the first pallet as close to the unit as he can, the second one a few feet away. We decide to put the third pallet directly onto our pick up so it can be carried easily back to the cabin. While Michael is working with the driver to do that, Sarah and I unload the two pallets into the storage facility as quickly as we can (to make room for him to drop other pallets after the one on the pickup truck. I'm not sure what happens with the "dropping on the truck, but it seems to take longer than it should. By this time it's pitch black and the driver says he's already been there too long. He's had a hard day after the lift gate problems and I can sympathize with him. We tell him to drop the remaining 7 pallets in the paved parking lot and we'll figure out how to get them from there to either (a) the storage locker or (b) our garage.
- Around 7:00 all 10 pallets of books (13,600 pounds worth) are deposited and the driver is back on his way. While Michael and Sarah take the pallet on the pickup to the garage, I start moving some of the boxes from the parking lot to the storage facility doing 12 boxes at a time using my truck. At some point Saran and Michael return and tell me to go make some dinner while they move the books via the pickup truck from the parking lock to our garage. They arrive with the first load, we have some cheese and broccoli soup I whipped up and they forbid me to go near the boxes (or even stand there holding a lantern). They transport another 2 pallets worth of books to the garage and by the time are pretty ragged. I tell them to put the remaining pallet in the storage facility as it is a much shorter drive than bringing them all the way back to the garage and they realize that is the best way to go. By around 10:30 all the books are "under cover" in either the garage or the storage facility and everyone is sore and tired, but glad the books are where they should be.
- I stacked up a bunch of books on the dining room table for Michael to sign in the morning. (I have pictures which I'll post in another update). We start shipping on Wednesday and as of Friday we have shipped 63% of the orders. The post office is not open on Saturday and Sunday but we are hoping to have the other 37% done by then.
A few notes....NONE of the posters have gone out yet, and they will be the last thing. I was hoping to get all the t-shirt only and the posters shipped before the books arrived but the posters were in Fairfax and I picked them up the same time I picked up Sarah to start helping with the shipping and since then we've been 100% concentrating on books. Also...people who have "Shirts only" -- those are packaged (and some went out) but I have to double check those orders so they will be hitting with Monday's big shipment.
Well, that's all for now. Gotta get back at it. Probably won't see much in the form of updates until late Sunday or early Monday.
The books are off the presses!!
about 6 years ago
– Fri, Dec 08, 2017 at 12:32:57 AM
Hey all, Robin here. So this is one of those good news, bad news, situations. Just heard from the printer that the books will be ready to ship today! Such good news!! Immediately called the fulfillment house to make sure they can get them mailed starting mid-next week (giving some allowance for shipping) and they replied that several big jobs came in ahead of mine and that means they can't do the job until mid January!! That's the bad news.
I know many people have their orders for Holiday gift giving, so we're just going to have to pivot and get this done a different way. I told the printer to ship the books to me (rather than the fulfillment house) and I, Michael, and Sarah will have to power through them. I "think" we'll be able to get them out in a timely manner especially since the fulfillment house would have needed two days for inventory setup and preparation of the address files. It'll certainly help that they are all identical (i.e. no matching signatures to orders). But I'll want to start preparing the shipping labels while the books are traveling to here. So here's the deal.
YOU HAVE 48 HOURS to update your shipping addresses. After that I'll be locking down the records and starting to make the labels. And I still have 10 people who haven't provided addresses - so your orders are going to be late -- obviously. Also, one person is in the process of moving and I'll hold your order as we agreed upon.
This is going to take a pretty monumental effort, but I'm up for the task and doing all I can to get your orders asap. I'll keep everyone updated as this rolls out.
For non-US audio backers
about 6 years ago
– Wed, Dec 06, 2017 at 03:03:16 PM
Okay, so here's the deal.
- The codes only work in the US store, and it is possible for you to have both the US and the UK (or AU) apps and switch between the two. So you would sign out of the UK, switch tot the US, enter the code, listen to the book from there and go back to the Uk site when you want to listen to your other books. Yeah, this is a pain, but several people are doing it that way and it seems to work. There are instructions from James at the bottom of the post to help people who are using this.
- I'm having Audible generate some UK specific codes, so if you would rather have one of them instead of the US you can trade in your US code for a UK code.
- If you can't get your code to work, then just go ahead and get the book from the site the way you normally would and I'll refund the pledge amount so you can pay for buying it yourself. You'll still have access to all the other perks as a backer and you'll remain a backer.
So, there are options available to you. If you are are a non US customer (there are only a handful of people that are according to the report I ran), let me know which method you are going to use and we'll fix up your account by hand.
If you are taking approach #1. This is how you do it (thanks to James for providing the step by step).
- I logged into audible.com using my normal Amazon login to redeem the code
- I signed out of my audible app and switched to US - at the bottom of the main login screen it says which domain you are signed in on i.e. audible.co.uk, tap where it says that and it brings up a list of all domains so you can select audible.com.
- Sign in as normal and it shows the library for the US site which should have your copy of the book ready to download.
- Download to device and once downloaded sign back out and sign back in on the UK version and the book is showing as part of the device library. Sounds long winded but is actually pretty simple.
Audio codes are posted!
about 6 years ago
– Tue, Dec 05, 2017 at 11:45:18 PM
Sorry all, Audible ran into a technical problem when testing the codes (starting early this morning). They were too long and not working, so they had to go through and shorten them and retest. I don't know all that's involved but rest assured they worked on getting the fix just as soon as they could.
In any case, they are posted now, so look for them in your digital download area. Apparently they are "links" that have a code embedded in them. Instructions for what to do after clicking the links can be found here. If you need access to get to your digital download, use this link. If you have problem using the codes, contact Audible technical support. If you are overseas and having problems with the code, let me know right away and we'll see what we need to do to address the situation. If we can't get a code to work in your country, then we will refund you the audio portion of your pledge and you can do a download through your localized audible site.