To say that things have been hectic over the past month with the Definitive Complete SNES books would be an understatement. All of my free time has been consumed with fielding e-mails and referring backers to my updates on Kickstarter.
Creating something never goes smoothly, and this one has to have been the release with the most issues to date! Luckily I’m doing this as a passionate hobby, so I’m eventually able to fix things out of my control as they rear their ugly head.
Here is what has went down (so far):
First thing is first, is after the Kickstarter campaign was funded, I sent the entire book over to an editor. While he did an awesome job, it took awhile (it’s a huge book after all!). So this pushed things to Christmas and I submitted the final book to the printing company at the end of the year, when people stateside were on vacation…thus we waited…
When the printing company did their checks and sent it off to the printer overseas, there was the holiday over there which closed down their services for a few weeks…thus we waited…
After the overseas printer got through their huge backlog of orders and printed ours, I finally got my advanced copy in the mail. However, it was missing the bookmark ribbon and the cover had a couple of tiny white lines on it (which I identified during the initial checks with the printing company and was assured it wouldn’t be on the cover). Things had to get fixed…thus we waited…
After going to the back of the line again with the overseas printer, things were finally finished, I received my advanced copy in the mail and everything looked flawless. Once the books arrived at the warehouse, I began entering in shipping. The warehouse indicated that there were some damaged books and I asked for some pictures. The damage was a dent on the cover, which I asked if they could inspect each book prior to shipping and set any damaged aside. They indicated that it wasn’t something they normally do, but would cost me more money for them to “pay extra close attention to each book”, which I agreed to.
I then inputted over 300 orders that weekend through the warehouse. Once orders began to arrive at people’s homes throughout the weeks, backers began sending pictures of the spine not being attached to the cover. I had the warehouse send me a box and on the case I was sent there wasn’t any glue on the spine to attach it to the cover. Because it’s a huge 630 page book, pages easily tear once the book is opened.
The fact that the warehouse sent them all out, and didn’t catch this problem with the spine, means that each back now is individually having to contact me with pictures of their book, which I’m logging in an Excel spreadsheet.
My Analysis of the Situation:
After talking with Kyle on a VGBS recording night, we think that the printer overseas took the books with the cover misprint, replaced them and had a different process than their normal one when putting on the new fixed cover. Then they put the books on an assembly line and near the end the glue they used on the spine began to run out, which they didn’t have anyone to visually inspect or check. This is likely why the books at the top of my palette, which would be used with the early orders, were the ones with the most issues. It’s also why there are some books with no issues and others with issues, as whatever machine they used may have been having spotty issues.
The slipcases were likely done last as well, as the books in those seem to also have the issue too. However, these could have all been done randomly as well. So now I have a ton of books all with spine issues and have to rely on companies to get back to me with answers for my unique situations…thus we wait…
I’m hopeful that the remaining books do not have the spine issue, but I won’t know unless I pay for a “special project” to have them all inspected by the warehouse. Because they didn’t even notice the initial issue, I’m not so sure I can trust them to identify the remaining books either…
The Way Ahead:
Fortunately, the printing company has always been good to me and is going to reprint the entire print run from scratch. However, the parts where things get tough for me is that I paid thousands of dollars shipping everything out to people, which was in the initial shipping costs. Now, to make things right, I will have to figure out how to pay thousands more to ship out the books again to those who received the books with spine issues. This was obviously not in the budget and I do not plan on asking people to cover the second shipping.
The warehouse obviously didn’t check each book before mailing them, but since they wouldn’t have known about the spine issue without opening the book, I can’t really hold them accountable. I also plan on getting the remaining books that I have repaired, but depending on how much another company quotes me, I likely cannot afford that either. I may do it all myself, but I also have to find time to manually glue hundreds of books, plus pay to freight ship it across the country to my house and find a place to store them all in my garage. In the near future, I may be moving move books to a different warehouse, as through this, I noticed they are nickel and diming me a ton (even charging per e-mail they send me!). The fact that they want me to manually do the postal claims myself, means they don’t offer much outside from storing and shipping whereas other companies offer tons more for less overhead costs.
Either way, everyone that sent me pictures of the damaged spines will be getting replacements. I will figure out the finances and make everything work out the best I can. The other aspects are going to be done over time, as I do not have the finances to make any huge moves currently.
I was planning on launching the next book on Kickstarter in middle of May (you can see the preview link to the campaign at the top of the right column here on the page currently). However, I won’t be starting something new until this madness is completely done and everyone has their books.
Thanks for your continued patience, and after writing this out, it’s a ton of crazy crap for sure!
…and thus we wait…