Cottage Industry

Much as it pained me to end pre-orders ("hey... I'm not getting money in my mailbox any more"), I see now why it had to be done. Sandra spent all day yesterday sorting the mailing lists, and is going to spend all day today hauling children around while she nails down final details at various business supply stores and post offices in town. Meanwhile, I've got cartooning to do. Much as I'd love to help with the organizational aspects of this little publishing empire we're creating (that was said tongue-in-cheek, by the way), if books really do show up Monday morning, if I keep pinching myself and discovering that I'm already awake and actually living the dream, then come Monday I'll be chained to my drawing table for something like 60 hours signing and sketching. And that means that THIS week I have to crank out two weeks of comics. It shouldn't be a big deal, except for the fact that my hands keep going numb. The chiropractor (I really need to write up my experience with this guy) tells me the ulnar nerve is now UN-pinched, but that it may take a week or more for the inflammation to die down. Fortunately, the numbness doesn't keep me from working. It's not like carpal tunnel, with debilatating pain followed by actual crippling. Still, it's distracting. I'll be seeing him again in a couple of hours, and then heading off to the Keep where I'll pencil, ink, and concentrate on good posture. And yes, I'm concentrating on good posture while I write this. My hands are fine for the moment. Yesterday Sandra talked to the nice people who are shipping us the mailers we'll be shipping your books in. Our second order of mailers has been found, and will arrive on Friday. When we measured our house to make sure there was room in it for thousands of books, we didn't measure it to make sure there was ALSO room for thousands of mailers. As we discovered when the first 700 of them arrived, the bubble-mailers take up far more space than the books do. Kiki and her friend Polly (names have been changed to protect underage youth) stamped that first 700 with "Media Mail" and "Do Not Bend" stamps. I recall Steve Jackson counseling me about self-publishing, saying that as with any cottage industry, it tends to require the help of everyone in the cottage. If I have to keep more than a few hundred mailers in stock at any one time, however, we're going to need to upgrade the entire cottage to "cabana," or maybe "bungalow." Or maybe I'll just put the entertainment center in the garage. The kids won't be watching television anymore. There's postage to be licked.