The last 48 hours have been nuts. When I launched the Kickstarter campaign for my book, I really, really wanted to get Peanut Butter or Jelly to backers before the holidays. I know a book isn't as cool as a toy, but people gave me their hard-earned cash and the least I could do was get them the books they ordered.
Creating the book was fantastic, the Kickstarter campaign was a blast, but fulfillment was brutal.
I thought that fulfillment wouldn't be that big a deal, but it ended up being quite a production. Here are the things I learned through trial and error:
- Your tax dollars at work: You can order free supplies from USPS including priority rate boxes and envelopes. I figured this out after buying boatloads of packaging from Staples which I will now return.
- Your local post office is not built for scale: When you're sending 300+ packages you can't walk into the post office with 300+ packages that don't have pre-printed labels and postage. You actually shouldn't walk into the post office with 300 of anything. Luckily, I found out that I needed to pre-print all of the labels and postage before I arrived with a carload of packages, but not before I handwrote 300+ address labels. Wah, wah.
- Postage is expensive: Stamps.com is pretty awesome, but printing labels for several package permutations is a rather mind-numbing experience. Apparently you need to pay attention when you're printing postage labels because you're essential printing money. And it sucks when you load your labels backwards and print $11.30 of postage on top of another label you already printed for $5.70. Thank goodness for the request refund button!
- My husband is awesome: He spent time with the kids all weekend while I organized packaging supplies and ran up the credit card bill printing postage AND THEN he stayed up with me until the wee hours of the morning (two nights in a row!) stuffing boxes and taking inventory. But I already knew that he was awesome. No trial and error there.
Fulfillment status Monday morning:
Fulfillment status Wednesday morning:
I'm trying my best to just relax and enjoy the moment, but here I am blogging and setting up a Facebook page for Peanut Butter or Jelly when I should be sleeping (or setting up sales on Amazon.com).
And with that, I'll say good night.