Thursday, October 18, 2007

Website *Wittiness goes here*

On the note of the website, as I understand it, there's one last bit of coding that's been giving the designer trouble and as soon as that's taken care of, we can load everything on to the HPT websites. Ah, if only I had world enough and time...

PS: I'm not the biggest Natalie Portman fan, but I still think it was rather a shame that her head was shaved in V for Vendetta.

Global Warming: Loquacity hath its price

The various contracts are all largely finalized, we're reviewing our production schedules with both Windhaven and Transcontinental so everything will flow together nicely. Right now, we're doing a final cost analysis to find the best place to set the new price and then we should be able to knock that first domino over.

Also, my last post received the following question:
If the Trust doesn't have our money, who does? How is the production of the new version being paid for, if not with our money? And how will the Trust break even or better if they have no money from any of the subscribers? I must have missed a memo somewhere; sorry if these questions have been answered before.

On the first point, we're investigating. As for the rest of it, the Trust is having to bankroll everything out of pocket. We're currently doing a cost analysis to figure out how much we have to charge to have any hope of breaking even. On their own, things aren't too bad and we can offer a pretty good deal and still hope to break even with a fair margin of comfort. Of course, we're also having to account for offering the original subscribers refunds. It's making a substantial dent in our comfort zone--particularly as the majority of subscribers paid in full up front--but, as I believe I've said, we feel it is a necessary step to maintain the goodwill of the community.
To summarize: We're looking for the money. We're paying out of pocket and aiming for a price that'll let us pay subscribers back as needed while still not hurting the Trust's stability.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Adjectives, adverbs, ad hominem, oh my!

Apparently, I'm horrendous at keeping track of time when I'm busy. Poor internal clock. Perhaps I should take a leaf from Mieville's page and have one grafted onto my arm. A portable clock, as it were. I could watch it.

It has been five weeks since my previous substantive post and it seems that something is long overdue. I'm afraid that most of our developments have consisted of the pebbles that form an avalanche, none really seemed quite worth reporting on their own.

We've a contract with Windhaven now and I'm expecting a production schedule from them any day now. Once we have the production schedule, I can talk with Transcontinental--incidentally, we've signed a contract awarding them the full 46 volume print-run in return for a discounted rate--to work out a printing schedule. Ideally, we would like to print about ten volumes at a time to minimize certain associated costs. The last thing we need before we can settle on a final price is determine what our storage costs are going to be; it *looks* like Transcontinental has a fairly cheap storage system set up, we just need to confirm the size of their storage skids.

We're pressing ahead with all of this on the one hand, on the other, we're trying to find out what it would cost to produce a set of slipcases and so on for original subscribers. Features which, in aggregate, are not feasible, may be conceivable when done for a small group of subscribers and we would like to see what we can do in bringing what you will receive closer to parity with what you ordered.

I've seen a sample of the new VE website and it looks like it will be quite attractive. I'm told that the designer is ironing out a bug of some sort--despite my best pretenses, I am not a technical person.

On a final note, there are a few things that I should clarify which, I believe, will also cut down on the number of nasty letters I'll receive.

The first is that the Trust does not have your money. Any of it. We've never received any of it and so it is not in our possession. We are offering refunds, out of our own pocket, because we feel that we possess an ethical obligation to help protect the investments of those who purchased the Virginia Edition. It is not a particularly light burden, but one that seems incumbent upon us to bear.

Secondly, if we've taken several months to get to where we are now, it is because we're attempting to plan out everything we can to ensure that once we begin actual printing and marketing again, we can be reasonably certain that the Virginia Edition will be able to stand on its own, will not be diverted off into any terribly dark alleys, won't bully other limited editions, and will not prove a financial burden to the Trust which would dearly love to at least break even on this venture.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Just so you know, I haven't forgotten any of you. We should be able to deliver the final details--y'know, give or take--early next week.