Thursday, December 21, 2017

An Update on pre-order shipping of The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter


Hey all, Robin here. For those that don't know I'm Michael's wife and the "go to woman" for shipping Michael's books.  I'm getting swamped with emails about shipment of pre-ordered copies of The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter, so I thought I would take over Michael's blog and post and provide an update.

First, the easy things.  ebooks and audio versions went live on December 5th. You can get your audio version exclusively from Audible.com. Due to a non-compete clause in Michael's Del Rey contract you CANNOT get the audio book (or physical copies) in the retail chain...yet.  The books WILL be in retail sometime in June 2018.  Now, for those who don't want to wait that long, you can order the book directly from us and we have several formats for you to purchase: ebook, trade paperback, hardcover, and limited editions. I should also note that if you buy an ebook, it's not an automated process, and I email them a few times a day so you should get your copy within 24 hours of purchase.

Now some updates on shipping of the physical books. As some may know, we held a Kickstarter for this project to make hardcover editions possible (in three formats: rare, limited, and regular). It was a huge success (2nd most-backed and 4th highest funded fiction project of all time). The plan was to use a fulfillment house to process those Kickstarter orders (as well as any pre-orders that were "signed only').

Here's how that was supposed to work. When the books came off the press they would be shipped to a fulfillment house. While they were traveling, Michael and I would simultaneously be driving there and we'd "meet the books" where he would sign them, I'd add a bookmark, and the employees of the fulfillment house would ship them. Since all of the Kickstarter orders (and a large % of the pre-orders) were signed only this would take care of the bulk of the orders and all we would have to worry about was orders that had t-shirts, and books that needed to be dedicated.

Okay, so the books came off the press on December 7th, so I called the fulfillment house to make sure they were on the look out for them. That's when we got the bad news that they had some big orders come in and they are completely booked until the middle of January!  That wasn't going to work as I knew many people made their orders for Christmas gifts.  So time to think fast.

I arranged for the printer to ship the books directly to us in Virginia (yes, all 13,600 pounds of them), and I rented a storage locker.  We'd just have to ship them ourselves...and with the help of our daughter Sarah who has been helping me with some of the business stuff (and shipping) for some time.

After some trials and tribulations that I'll save for another day. The books arrived on the coldest night of the year in the dark of night (Tuesday December 12).  By midnight all the books had been moved out of the parking lot (where the delivery truck dropped them) to either the storage locker or the garage and there very cold and very tired people went to bed.

Signing table

Sarah and I started unboxing and stacking books on the dinning room table and when Michael got up he started signing...more than 1,700 copies!  Sarah and I organized and started the shipping. Now, I have to confess that we concentrated on the Kickstarter orders because after all those people's pledges made the printing possible in the first place. Our goal was to get all the Kickstarter orders done by Monday morning...and we almost made it. All the book orders went out but we still had a bunch of orders that involved both books and t-shirts. By this time Sarah was really showing signs of wear...with good reason. She generally stayed up until around 2:00 am packaging books and when I woke up around 6:00 am we'd start into it again. She fully expected to drop off all the orders on Monday and then be able to go back to her house in Fairfax.  The fact that we still around 300 orders to process after Sunday night was heart-breaking.

Still, Sarah was a trooper and by late afternoon Tuesday the 19th. All the Kickstarter orders were on their way and it looked like a good 95% of them would receive them by Christmas.  I didn't have the heart to tell Sarah that there were still another 233 pre-orders to go.  So, I had Michael drive her home Tuesday afternoon with the plan that I would finish up.


Garage turned into a shipping station

I spent most of the day on Wednesday organizing the orders and getting out critical packages for people who had written me that they needed their pre-orders by Christmas. And given that it is now Thursday...it is Thursday right--everything since last Tuesday night has been a blur. I'm going to cut off the "one-off" I must have it now orders since I can't get them out by Christmas anyway. This will allow me to do a more efficient shipping process - because those on-offs throw a wrench into everything.

So, with a last push I SHOULD be able to get the remaining 150 orders out today and Friday. Please don't email asking where your order is.  It takes time away from shipping. Just know that I'm working as hard as a broken-down 56-year-old woman can and getting the orders to you are my #1 priority.

Okay, I've already taken enough time away from shipping to write this post. Time to get back at it. Thanks all for your understanding. We are trying to get the books to you just as soon as we can.

5 comments:

  1. Wow, what an undertaking. Thanks for doing that! In truth I emailed because of the shipping notice and the long time it sat in pre-process, not because of a hurry or I thought you were going slow.

    Thanks for doing what you guys did, you are awesome, take some time to enjoy the holidays and get to mine when you get to mine!

    - Zach in Colorado.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Michael and Robin! Gray in Cornelia, Georgia here. I can wait also...this is a gift to myself And my gidt to you is GET SOME REST AND HAVE A great Christmas!! Love you guys! 💗

    ReplyDelete
  3. Robin, You're awesome. That is one heck of a lot of work. And right before the holidays when other things should be on your mind. I just want to say Thank you! I got my books and T'shirt in the mail on Wednesday and they are fantastic. Have a very Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your story. I think your wife is awesome. And I'm glad that you pushed through the 28 years to produce the many novels that have stemmed from Hadrian and Royce. My wife and I have both loved listening to the stories via audible books. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. An excellent information provided thanks for all the information i must say great efforts made by you. thanks a lot for all the information you provided.
    scarymazegames.co
    Mineblocks.net

    ReplyDelete