SKT Pre-Orders Update and Some More Good-to-Know Tidbits

Deck Delivery Dates: Shipping Begins October 7, 2021

Printing and production completed on July 21, 2021. You might recall from an earlier update, the projected completion date I had gotten from the factory was July 19 at the latest. So we are running behind schedule.

2021 SKT Revelation Box Design

The decks then had to go through one final quality assurance check at the factory before it’s packaged and prepared for overseas shipping. The shipping time is between 45 and 50 days.

We’ve been assured by our factory that the decks are shipping out this week, but as of this precise moment that I’m typing, it has not been shipped out yet. Just to keep the numbers and projection on the conservative side, let’s assume the factory isn’t ready to ship until Friday, which means it actually ships next Monday, August 3. Sigh. Okay.

We’ve been told shipping by sea takes 45 to 50 days. If it arrives in port on the 45th day, it’ll be on US soil on September 16. If it’s the 50 day mark, then that’s September 21.

It then has to go through US customs. The last time we went through US customs for a large shipment was pre-pandemic, and it took about 7 to 10 days. I heard from other business owners who import goods that right now it’s closer to 14 days.

So let’s just assume my shipment arrives on September 21 and takes 14 days to go through US customs. We’re now looking at actual receipt of the decks around October 5.

Every shipping box is hand-folded by James, James’s dad, or me ❤

On our end here at our home, James and I do have our little assembly line prepared and by the time the decks arrive, we’re definitely ready to go. At the very minimum, those who pre-ordered back in March, around the first few days I announced, should be able to get their decks mailed out that same week the decks physically arrive at our doorstep.

To sum up, delivery of SKT Revelation decks won’t start until October 7, 2021.

We are going to fulfill the orders in chronological order, so if you pre-ordered a little later rather than earlier, you won’t be getting your deck in October…. given the sheer quantity of pre-orders we’re fulfilling, those who pre-ordered on the back end may need to wait until late autumn to early winter, 2021.

2021 SKT Revelation Box Design (Back of the Box)

The Shipping Manifest

Starting October 5 through 7, 2021 (upon our physical receipt of the shipment), we will be fulfilling the pre-orders in batches, daily. Then making trips to the post office every two days.

I’ve talked about this before when we were in the delivery phase of the First and Vitruvian Editions– we use a shipping manifest (or what the USPS calls the manifest mailing system).

Manifesting (in the context of postage and mailing) is when we have a grouping of, say, 25 packages that are ready to go out on the same day. All 25 packages are put on the same manifest mailing system. They are now a team. They all go out together on the same day or none of them go out that given day.

Once you’re up and we’ve packaged your order, we send you one last confirmation to make sure the package is going to the right address and to let you know that your package is now about to be delivered. Meanwhile, your package is grouped with 24 other packages in a single manifest mailing system, or manifest.

You and the other 24 packages in your grouping need to get back to us with a thumbs up for all 25 packages to go out the next day via that manifest. If everyone in your grouping gives us the thumbs up, all goes smoothly as scheduled.

However, if even one person in your grouping says to us, wait, hold on, I’ve moved and never bothered to give you my updated mailing address sorry, or hey I’ve changed my mind, can you send it to this other address instead, or hey, sorry there was a typo and I need that typo in my address fixed– any of that happens to even one package in your group, all 25 packages are held up until all 25 packages are correct and ready to go.

But we can’t stop the delivery schedule for the other 3,000 decks. So if one mailing system, one grouping of 25 gets detained, we set it aside and move on to the next 25 to see if those 25 are ready. And as soon as a grouping of 25– one manifest–is unanimously ready to go– off they go. If one of the detained groupings is finally ready to go, then off they go, too.

This means that even though we fulfill the pre-orders in the chronological order they were received, it could happen that someone who ordered later than you get their deck first. Why did that happen? Because your manifest grouping got delayed. Somebody’s mailing address needed fixing, or we’re waiting on someone to get back to us with their written confirmation that they’re ready to go, and so meanwhile a subsequent manifest grouping was shipped off ahead of yours.

Pictured here: approximately 1,000 shipping boxes for single deck orders

Two Separate Shipping Assembly Lines: Domestic and International

To streamline our process, we have two separate assembly, packaging, and delivery lines going on in our home warehouse (aka my living room, dining room, and front sitting room). =) All domestic pre-orders are in one line and all international pre-orders are in a different line.

I mention this because again, even though we fulfill the pre-orders in the chronological order they were received, technically speaking, it’s chronological order within the category of all U.S. addresses or all non-U.S. addresses.

That means someone in the U.S. who ordered a month later than you might get their deck first because you’re in the non-U.S. address line (that and also shipping overseas is going to take longer), not because of any sort of preferential treatment, but rather, maybe James is handling the U.S. line that week and I’m handling the international, and he is working faster than I am. So U.S. decks are going out faster than international decks.

On the other hand, the U.S. postal service can be a little funny in some regions, so it has also happened that someone in Mexico or Singapore receives their deck before someone in Vermont, even though both pre-ordered in the same week.

Editions vs. Print Runs

An edition is all copies of a deck that were printed from the same set of files. If any substantive changes are made to those files for a subsequent reprinting, then the revised set files would constitute a new and subsequent edition of that deck.

After the black and white First Edition SKT, I converted all the pen and ink line drawings to sepia tones and also re-drew a handful of the cards. I also rewrote the LWB. That meant a new set of files were created. The subsequent sepia-toned version of SKT constituted a new edition, thus the named Vitruvian Edition.

There can be any number of print runs of an edition, if it is an open edition deck. Open edition means there is an unlimited number of copies of that particular deck that can be made available for sale. A print run is the total number of copies of that deck printed at one given time.

2018 First Edition

The black and white First Edition of the SKT was a limited edition deck. That means there would be only one single print run of 1,000 signed copies, each issued with a signed Certificate of Authenticity, and that’s it.

2019 Vitruvian Edition

The sepia-toned Vitruvian Edition was also a limited edition deck with a single print run of 2,000 signed and named copies, each issued with a Certification of Vital Record and given a name, one of 2,000 names listed in the Book of Names (so that you can authenticate your deck).

The full-color Revelation Edition is an open edition deck. Since it is an open edition deck, we now track each print run of the edition. At the moment, we are getting ready to complete production and delivery of the First Print Run. The First Print Run of the Revelation Edition deck is 3,507 signed copies that will come with a Certificate of Authenticity to verify that it’s a First Print Run.

Even though the Revelation is an open edition, there may be minor, rather than substantial, changes from one print run to the next, which is why each print run is documented.

What’s a “substantial” change versus a “minor” change? Welp, I guess I get to define those terms. =)

In the SKT universe, different editions are going to feel like siblings in the same family. Different editions will have entirely different physical features, different and distinct personality traits, motivations, life purposes, etc.

Different print runs are going to be the same identifiable character in maybe slightly different dress, or with a bit of a cosmetic makeover. There will be zero chance of mistaking it for a different deck– it’ll be plain to anyone it’s the same deck, with just the most minor of surface-level design tweaks.

2021 SKT Revelation Box Design (Interior Top)

What is “matte finish”?

I think we all presume that we know what matte vs. glossy finish is. But I found this kinda interesting, so maybe you will, too.

Most tarot decks are coated with a high-gloss, semi-gloss, or matte finish. In the case of the SKT decks, the cards are coated with a matte finish, which means the surface of the cards are treated with a fine microscopic layer of clay (kaolinite, bentonite, talc, calcite, aragonite) and starch (the starch is what binds the finish to the otherwise uncoated cardstock).

Glossier finishes are a treatment made with a different combination of minerals. Commonly this is going to be a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or PU (polyurethane) coating to give it that sheen.

Book of Maps: E-Book & the Printed Paperback

This has been an area of much confusion, and I am very sorry about that.

We do not sell a printed, paperback physical-copy version of the Book of Maps. At all.

We offer for sale the e-book version of the Book of Maps as a PDF file that comes with the Premium Package order.

If you would like the 700-page companion guidebook to the deck that reads like a witchy social studies book, you can get the PDF e-book digital file for it as part of the Premium Package order.

There are no separate sales of the paperback book. We do not offer for sale the paperback, and we do not sell the paperback without the e-book. The e-book is the only way to buy the Book of Maps.

However, for your convenience, we have uploaded the book to a third-party print-on-demand website for an additional option to get it printed by that third-party website.

In the e-mail that contains the PDF of the e-book, you’ll also get a private, unlisted hyperlink (URL address) to that third-party print-on-demand website, called Lulu.com, to order a copy of the physical printed paperback book.

You won’t find a public listing of the paperback version anywhere (hopefully! because it’s supposed to be private!). It’ll only be a private, unlisted hyperlink (URL address) contained in the e-mail from me to you.

In the event of a production or damage issue of that paperback copy you’ve purchased from Lulu.com, please contact Lulu.com’s customer service team. Yes, sometimes there are printing errors, like you open up the Book of Maps you ordered and it’s somebody else’s self-published novel. (True story.) Or the cover art is from a handbook on horticulture but the interior pages are the Book of Maps. No worries– just contact Lulu’s customer service about the issue.

Your purchase of the digital e-book (that comes as a PDF) gives you a license to print however many copies of the Book of Maps as you’d like for personal, private, non-commercial uses.

You don’t need to order a paperback copy from Lulu.com. You can take the files to a local print shop to get it printed. Or if you’re able to print out a 700-page book double-sided on your own and you then want to three-hole punch the pages to put into a three-ring binder, go for it!

Just remember that if you are printing the book on your own, you must print double-sided due to the formatted mirror margins. The file is formatted and pre-set to print double-sided, so if you print only single-sided, you are going to end up with one wonky looking book. 😉

Download the high-resolution full-spread formatted book cover art HERE. There, you’ll also find formatted and ready-for-upload tarot journal cover art for those who want to design their own SKT journal. Design your own SKT journal or personal text at 6″ x 9″ trade paperback size, and then you can use Lulu.com to upload it, along with the free downloadable matching SKT journal cover art.

We went this route for the Book of Maps guidebook because it would be more budget-friendly for you.

Given its size and page count, and it being full-color, if I had wanted to print a run of paperbacks and then sell and ship them to you, the cost you would have to pay would be substantially more than if you simply ordered the book from a print-on-demand website.

Will There Be an Online Course?

Yes, but it’s gonna be a while.

Video Course Series I consists of 18 videos. They’re keyed to the black and white 2018 First Edition, but I do talk quite generally about tarot topics that apply even beyond my own deck, and just to tarot practices as a whole. And of course, there’s plenty that’s covered here that will pertain to the subsequent Vitruvian and Revelation Editions.

Video Course Series II consists of 12 videos. They’re keyed to the sepia-toned 2019 Vitruvian Edition. Here you’ll find guided readings, and of course you can follow along with your Revelation deck. This series gets into my intentions for how I approached the design of the Majors, each suit in the Minors, and the court cards.

I have this Tarot Card Meanings with Benebell video series that I will be taking to completion. In that series you learn the tarot card by card, and we will cover textbook (literally) card meanings for the TdM, RWS, Thoth, and my deck. Up to this point I’ve been showing the First and Vitruvian Editions. Once I pick up the series again, we’ll finish with showcases of all three SKT editions, along with the card by card overview for the TdM, RWS, and Thoth.

The above three online courses are all free to the public, and the forthcoming Video Course Series III for SKT III will also be free to the public.

When Do Pre-Orders End?

We’re defining “pre-orders” as any order placed before we actually receive the containers of decks. And you can pre-order any time before, well, assuming all goes in lock step, October 7, 2021.

After we’ve received the decks (i.e., first week of October, based on my current projections), “pre-orders” will simply become “orders,” though estimate delivery time for those subsequent orders will be projected out to several months, to give us time to fulfill the earlier pre-orders.

For pre-order information visit here:

https://benebellwen.com/skt/pre-order/

We’ll start announcing here and across my social media when we start running low in inventory. For now, we believe we’ve ordered enough quantity for everyone who wants one this year and even a little into next year to receive one.

SKT Order Status Updates

This may be preaching to the choir because if you’re here reading this blog post, then you probably already know: all SKT design, production, order status, free downloads, and informational updates will be posted here on the blog under the category “Spirit Keeper’s Tarot.”

Click on the below URL for an aggregate of all SKT-related postings:

https://benebellwen.com/category/spirit-keepers-tarot/

I’ve been trying to post a status update at least once a week, though definitely something will go up every two weeks. So if you’re wondering about what’s going on with your SKT Revelation pre-order, just click on the above hyperlink and the most recent update will be the first blog post listed.

After much deliberation, I concluded that these public blog posts labeled under one category would be the best way to keep you all updated on the status of your order.

Because of the sheer quantity, individual e-mails would not be feasible.

We thought about creating a closed newsletter of just those who ordered decks, but then decided, nah. That’s probably not a great idea.

This approach was the best option I could think of.

Thank You!

I cannot convey this enough– thank you so much for your support and patronage.

Your interest in acquiring an SKT deck means the world to me.

You pre-ordering this deck so early on and waiting, and waiting (… and waiting …) throughout 2021 for us to deliver demonstrates an enormous amount of your faith in me.

And I hold that faith as sacred. It is sacred.

I hope I can transmute and transfer the essence of that faith into the positive energies these decks will emanate with. I hope to give that faith back to you in the form of magical, psychic, spiritual Light.

18 thoughts on “SKT Pre-Orders Update and Some More Good-to-Know Tidbits

  1. Dear Benebell,
    thank you so much for the update, for all the information,how the deck is printed etc.etc. all the work you have done and all the work you and James are going to do to send it to us . Thank you very much for all the love you poured in the producing of this beautiful deck!
    Have a lovely summer and mych live from afar.
    Roos BP

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathleen MuirWoo

    I have a question: Is there a UV coating on the box for this edition?

    It doesn’t look like there was a UV coating for the last edition, and so now my outer lid is a different color from my inner lid.

    My plan is to put a UV coating on this edition right away, but I figure I should make sure just in case you may have changed that.

    Like

  3. Sister Nobody

    I’m happy to wait for this deck, and have my Book of Maps plus Journal to keep me busy. Ordering those from Lulu was a breeze and I highly recommend doing so. Thank you for all the updates…I’m so fascinated by your artistic process and always look forward to updates! I need to go through your video courses, and this was a good reminder to set that intention. What a generous offering! Blessings!!

    Like

  4. I received my Book of Maps from Lulu.com a few weeks ago. I am enjoying reading the book and seeing the beautiful images and the thoughts behind them. So glad I ordered the book in color! It was well worth the additional cost. Got the Journal too but have not used it yet. Thanks for all the updates. I am really looking forward to receiving this deck. You are incredible

    Like

  5. Marie-Christine

    Wow, i knew i had to order as soon as pre-orders launched 😂. I was so stressed out that i didn’t sleep the day before and just waited. I didn’t know how long the pre-orders would last and i was very afraid that it would be sold out faster than the first edition and i would miss it 😂.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will definitely be anointing them with my homemade holy anointing oil. But I might not do the same consecration I did for the previous two editions, but I haven’t exactly confirmed for myself yet? Lol. Which is why I have kept silent on the matter. But as soon as I have confirmed and decided for sure, I’ll definitely chat all about it in a blog post 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for being so transparent about the deck shipping timeline! I feel like I have a ton of content to digest with the book of maps and I’m hoping to be ‘fluent’ in this new deck by the time that it arrives. You’ve given us so much tarot content over the years, I feel inspired to go back and rewatch all your youtube videos and revisit some of the classes I’ve taken while I wait for my deck. Looking forward to reading your deck reviews and tarot insights in the meantime 🙂

    Like

  7. Stuart Shrigley-Wightman

    Thanks Benebell. It’s all very interesting and like I said before it’s so worth the wait. And to know that it’s all done from the heart makes it even more worth the wait. Many thanks. Stu. My wife as well is doing really well and is hopefully coming home in two weeks and her birthday is the 7th of October lol blessings to you and yours. Stu

    Like

  8. Pingback: SKT Deliveries Begin First Week of October – benebell wen

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