As I’ve been told, the decks are now in a warehouse near the Port of Oakland (here in California) and we’re waiting for our turn for delivery to our front doorstep.
Between my last SKT communiqué and this one, there’s a lot simmering in me that I want to vent and chit-chat about, but I’m going to hold off on that for now, focus on what’s the priority (getting the decks to you), and at some future time, we’ll talk. =) Oh boy, will we!
I still don’t have the decks (inferred by the first sentence of this update, I hope, but I suppose it bears spelling out) but a projection has been given for last week of September. That’s when the decks will physically, literally be in my home.
In the meantime, we’ve done our best to transform parts of our home into a warehouse and assembly line, so the plan is once the decks arrive, we’ll do a final quality check, tally of what’s arrived, make sure everything is in order and we have enough decks that pass superficial quality check to send out to all pre-orders. What I mean by “superficial quality check” is we give the outside box a quick look. For making sure the cards, cardstock, illustrations, gilding, booklet, all the interior stuff, we will open at random a deck here and a deck there a box there and a box here for arbitrary quality checks, and assume if all these random decks we open are fine, then the rest should be fine, too.
I am also numbering each certificate of authenticity and signing it by hand, one by one. Every deck will come with a certificate of authenticity signed by me, along with its number of issue.
I will be anointing the outer sealed plastic wrap of each deck but no consecration, no anything woo. Just anointing with an incredible oil made from myrrh resin, ceylon cinnamon, sweet lemongrass, and cassia cinnamon. If you’re aware of the current market value of those ingredients, then I think you know that this anointing oil is luxe! =) I don’t assign any intentions to the anointing nor is it ceremonial at all. It’s getting anointed with this wonderful scent just because I love it and I think you will, too (it’s subtle, elegant, not overpowering, and very understated).
And then we begin the process of shipping out the decks.
I want to make it very, very clear that just because we begin shipping decks out in the first week of October, that does not mean you will get your deck in the first week of October, or even October at all.
If you ordered on the first day that pre-orders launched back in March, you’ll probably get your deck in October, or at the very least, we’re shipping your deck out in October.
If you ordered just a couple of months ago, then please be patient and kind with us. It’s going to take a while before we get to you. We had entertained the possibility of hiring a few workers to help us with packing and shipping, but because we’re still in pandemic times and an elderly lives with us, inviting total strangers into our home to do that just wasn’t practicable. So it’s just James doing it in the daytime, and then in the evenings after I come home from work (I still have to go into the office), I join him. James’s dad may or may not help, we don’t know how that’s gonna go. =)
Also, U.S. domestic, Canada + Mexico, and other international are in three separate lines, so we’re fulfilling domestic orders in the order received at the same exact time as we are fulfilling international orders in the order received. We have a ton more domestic orders than international, so in theory, maybe you’re a domestic order, but someone international placed their order one month after you gets their deck before you do– that could very well happen. That’s because you two are in separate lines. I hope that explanation makes sense.
We separate these categories out because international orders require us to manually fill out a customs form, they take longer, and basically, it’s a different beast from printing out a label and fulfilling a shipment to, say, Connecticut or Arkansas. Our shipping process will also be utilizing shipping manifests, which I’ve explained before here. That process can also impact inconsistencies in delivery time.
Back in May, we gave the estimate of commencing deliveries around late August early September. Then in July, once we were notified that there were delays, we corrected our estimate to commencing deliveries by October 7. Right now, mid-September, our estimate is still October 7. Our ambition is to ship out 50 decks every 1-2 days, but we’ll see how that goes.
Some behind-the-scenes confessions. In July we had announced estimate delivery for October, but secretly in our hearts hope for end of August, in time for my baby sister’s wedding. I was kinda hoping (I knew it was a longshot, but still I hoped) that the decks would be in my house when family and friends visited, and I could hand them their copies of the SKT in person. Ah well. October it is then.
By the way, if you’ve e-mailed us about anything not related to your SKT order, I apologize for not having responded back in a timely manner. Right now our focus is on making sure SKT supporters are being taken care of and keeping our mailing rosters up to date. Something I should have anticipated but stupidly did not was that if your pre-order period is for as long as a whole year as ours was, people move. Lots of people relocate. So for any indie deck creators reading this, keep that in mind. If your pre-order period is planned for as long as ours was, you’re going to be spending a lot of time revising your address sheet and updating people’s mailing addresses, checking, double-checking, and often triple-checking the addresses. That’s time. Time is money, yada yada, so yeah, if you can help it, a shorter pre-order period might be more cost-effective as a deck creator.
Gosh I cannot fully convey to you how intensely I hope, hope, hope that my very next update to you all will be with lots of photos of lots of decks in my house! Sigh. Fingers crossed!