To Keep Sane

So after the giant shipping extravaganza (and consequent set-to with the post office), it became clear that I needed to come up with a streamlined way to take care of shipping out books if I was to stay sane.  Now, most books I’ll never lay eyes (much less hands) on.  The books generally go from the printer straight to Unicorn (my distributor).  Then Unicorn takes care of sending them out to stores.  Some go on to Amazon, who takes care of sending them out to individuals.  But I do ship some.

If you buy from the book’s website, I generally take care of those.  Folks like to buy it there because if they do, they get a free e copy of the book for their ravelry library.  I like it when folks buy there, because it means I get to keep the money they spend on the book (Amazon or Unicorn get somewhere just over half the book’s price when you buy from them…which is totally fair given how they help facilitate the process…but does always feel a tiny bit surprising when I get the accounting statement at the end of the month). I figure having the more direct option is a good addition for folks who like the idea of the e version.  But, it does mean that I need to keep some books on hand.

So this weekend, we created the Pantsville Press shipping annex.  This is the amusing (at least to me, and that’s all I’m really going for here) new name for what used to be known as the spare closet in the family room.  Now, as I believe I’ve mentioned before, my house is old and my closets odd.  They’re long and narrow and the ceiling slopes down rather sharply.  Despite this, we managed to get a huge amount of stuff in there.

When you open the door, just to the right, there’s a small bucket with a handful of books and envelopes.  These are the ones I’ll use over the next day or two.  Then on the left, there’s a shiny new wire shelf.  The printer is on the top, and the magical gizmo with the all-important job ‘make wireless go‘ lives behind it.  The next shelf down holds buckets.  Buckets play an important role in all my organizational tasks.  Right now they hold (from right to left) extra printer paper (and the Indie Socks book is sitting there to stay safe until I mail it to the winner of the giveaway later this week), all the small pieces that would otherwise get lost (customs labels, rolls of tape, scissors, markers), and flat rate priority envelopes.  The next shelf holds extra address label stickers (they’re so much cheaper if you buy them a thousand at a time…that just means you have to store a thousand at a time) and flat rate boxes (for those rare occasions when I need to mail large numbers of books at once).  Finally, all the way at the bottom are lots and lots of extra regular envelopes.  These, also, are cheaper when you buy them a zillion at a time, but they do tend to get a bit bulky.

Then, if you lean way in, you can see the back of the closet.  That’s where the spare cases of books live (I know it looks like a lot, but I’m going through them alarmingly quickly…and of course it’s only going to get more packed when the mini book gets here next month).  The thing on top and the thing peeking out on the far left of the picture are posters of the book cover used at events like TNNA and book signings.  The closet seemed as good a place as any to keep them.

So far, it seems to be keeping everything tidy and organized.  That, in turn, keeps me from turning into a raving lunatic and burning the place down in a fit of rage at having stuff everywhere.  Now, the real question becomes, am I totally crazy for wanting to paint the whole thing bright orange and hang pictures in there?