Happy New Year! Welcome to 2013 first year of the next Baktun
Greetings and Happy 2013 from the edge of the Abyss! Or perhaps I should say from the storage locker at the end of time, because sometimes it seems that I am caught in a time loop, and will never manage to finish the task of sending out the printed editions to my loyal and (hopefully still patient) supporters.
But there has been and is progress, and the first day of the first post-singularity year seems like an appropriate time to post an update. Presumably we all got through the singularity, or if not, whatever has replaced the previous reality looks like a pretty close facsimile; and so, we continue. Here I wanted to give you a brief synopsis of the status of the fulfillment project, and of my schedule over the month of January.
As most of you know we have had problems with merging the databases from the Kickstarter site with that from the BSA site; mistakes made early on in setting up the site led to a minor datapocalypse (a new word which may well gain currency in the next few years) that has necessitated reconstructing the database, basically from scratch, and verifying all the names, addresses, and pledge data, and other information. There is apparently no quick and easy way to do this, or if there is, I am not familiar with the programming tricks that could accomplish the task. As a result, we have had to merge data from three different sources, the original Kickstarter database, the data base from the first BSA site, and the data from the current, redesigned BSA site, which is running well. Many thanks to those of you who have gone to the new site and entered or re-entered your information. This has been very helpful. I currently still do not have snail mail information for approximately 260 supporters. If you are one of them, you will be getting an email soon urging you to supply that information by going to the site (Brotherhoodofthescreamingabyss.com) and filling out the form under the menu item labeled Project Supporters. Once I have that information I will be able to proceed with shipping the books to you, and obviously, cannot do it until that happens.
On the other side, many of you have already supplied the needed information, and David, Dasha and I have been busy verifying each and every address. So, we have already shipped approximately 190 packages. Roughly 107 have gone to domestic addresses. Those are on the way or have already been shipped and if they are not in your hands already, they will be soon. Now that we have the addresses verified, we will be able to ship another 320 domestic packages on or about Jan 9. It’s a matter of generating the labels and sending them off. They are being sent using ‘media mail,’ the least expensive way to send, so they take about 7 to 10 days to arrive at domestic destinations. Unfortunately I am not able to send these off earlier than Jan 9, as I am going to New York to make a presentation at the National Arts Club on January 4 and do a couple of radio interviews, and will be back in Minnesota on the 8th. It will all be good publicity for the book, and hopefully book sales will generate enough revenues to cover some of the shipping costs, which are mounting.
With respect to shipping books to supporters outside the US, the logistics (and the expense) are much more daunting. We have so far shipped about 50 orders to Australia. A few of these were mailed directly, and recipients may already have them. The rest, however will be sent in bulk to a bookseller in Melbourne, who has kindly agreed to package and mail them from within Australia. About 35 orders will be sent this way and there may be more to come. (as we collect more addresses)
We’re seeking to send the other foreign orders using a similar approach. Currently we have approximately 70 orders to ship to Canada, 60 orders to the UK, and another 50 or so to miscellaneous addresses in the EU, Asia and Japan. We are looking for partners in the UK and Canada who would be willing to work with us to receive and remail the orders, and if anyone among our supporters has suggestions or connections, please put us in touch! Meantime, we’re working the matrix to identify suitable partners. Unavoidably, this process is going to cause delays for recipients outside of the US in receiving their rewards. I apologize for that, but as I have before, I’m asking for your patience. I don’t know of any other way to accomplish this and still be able to pay for it.
We’re working as hard and fast as we can on this. No one wants to get this done more than I do, but inevitably and unavoidably, other obligations do tend to crowd in. In a day or so I will post an updated schedule of my appearances and travels on the BSA site. My goal from where I’m sitting now is to have 90 to 95% of all the shipments to supporters completed by the 20th of January. I will be leaving for Brasil on the 23rd of January and that will take me out of the loop until the 5th of February. My goal is to have most of the shipping completed before I leave. I think it’s possible and will be doing all I can to make it happen.
Stay tuned and enjoy the first ‘new’ year of the next Baktun!