- I’ve paid a fulfilment company to package and post all the 500 books that
arrived on pallets from Belgium yesterday (it was just too much to handle for me
and my elves - it was OK to ask for emergency help for the first big load but I wouldn't have any friends if I asked them to continue into the thousands that have got to go out). I've just heard that all 500 are in the post and have just emailed the recipients to let them know they're on the way.
- The reprint is arriving on 30th December and again I'm paying the fulfilment company to get them in the post as early as possible - they're starting work on that on 4th January.
- In case people are not checking my blog, I'll be doing another email out to everyone waiting for orders and I'm just working on an exclusive item that you can print out so that your loved ones have something to distract them from the fact that they haven't got their present.
- With all the efforts to get the parcels in the post this week, I've got very behind in responding to emails - I will do my best to catch up over the next few days.
- I've had quite a number of requests to sign books and I'm afraid that hasn't proved possible in most cases - other people are getting the books out of the boxes and packing them for posting, and so I'm not anywhere near them with a pen when they're being packed - and that's even more the case when they're going out via the fulfilment company.
- I've been discovering the hoops I need to go through in order to get the book into major bookshops - and it sounds like it's going to be some weeks before that gets sorted out.
- This has all been a very steep learning curve, going from a small cottage industry (literally) to a mass-dispatch operation. I've been making mistakes but getting better at doing certain things. And it's been interesting (!) having to deal with both Amazon & Paypal wondering what on Earth's been going on and wanting me to prove that I'm legit and have got everything in hand.
- One of the biggest barriers to getting this many parcels out quickly has been sorting out the postage for each one. No longer can you just order a vast number of stamps and then just stick them on each parcel as you do them. And without access to a franking machine, you have to either go up to a Post Office counter and get them to print out postage stickers for each parcel (not practical with 600 parcels, particularly at Christmas time), or you have to print out your own labels via the Royal Mail website - and even at full steam I was struggling to do more than 50 an hour. And then when you've printed out the label it's got to go in the post on the next working day, and with this volume you've got to get them to the sorting office before 3 pm. And it's been difficult to farm this out because everything's coming through my email and only I know what's what. So I've done the lot and not much sleeping has occurred this week (how on Earth does Santa manage to do it and still maintain his Ho Ho Ho rosy cheeks?).
Friday, 18 December 2015
Delivery news and more
Most important news up front: