Finally – after months of delays – the WARRIOR hardcovers are here, and they are gorgeous. We got everything we wanted: individual cover pages, a ribbon bookmark and a lovely storybook cover.
They will be sent out on Monday and Tuesday, and should be with the Warriors of the Rare Edition shortly. We’ve been told that it will be an estimated 10 days for our backers in the US, and 2-3 days for our UK backers.
Thank you so much to all of you that have rated the book online, and tweeted and talked about it. This makes us and our authors really happy, and we are so pleased to see how a community is developing around the anthology and the authors who contributed to it.
In two weeks, we’ll also open applications for spots on the short story writing course that you generously sponsored places for. There are already people interested, and we are so thankful that you’ve given us the opportunity to do support more underrepresented writers.
A note on mistakes
As this part of the project has been so delayed, one of those involved has raised concerns about the author remuneration. Here, we have clearly done a poor job both in keeping our authors updated, but also in keeping the lines of communications open with our backers about what was holding up this reward.
We thought we would tell you a little bit about the mistakes we’ve made in this campaign and process:
When we set up this campaign, we wanted to split between the authors whatever was left when all our expenses (shipping, printing, distribution, production, etc.) were paid. Our thinking was that this would leave the authors with more money than a fixed sum would get them, and that paying all the expenses would be a relatively brief process after the close of the campaign. On the second point, we were wrong.
What we hadn’t accounted for was what would happen in the face of such serious delays or issues in the production. And a lot has happened! The paperback was delayed, the hardcover was delayed and then turned up with a printing error on the cover, the terms of the shipping estimate changed along the way, and then the size of the hardcover changed, shifting up the prices one more time. Suddenly, months passed, and we could still not give a better estimate for when our authors would get paid than “as soon as the hardcovers go out”.
After a while, we kept holding off on giving new updates (and what we felt kept being false promises) until we had received final information from our printers. And, as they were struggling with a production backlog of their own, we kept getting new updates about delays from their side.
We painted ourselves into a corner.
In hindsight, we should have paid out the lowest sum we thought the authors would receive for WARRIOR, and rather send out a “bonus” at the end of production. But, as we kept thinking the hardcovers would go out “next week”, we didn’t.
Now, the hardcovers are going out, which will give us the final sum for shipping, open the window to fix the terms for the audiobook and pay our authors. All our authors will receive their remuneration on May 20th.
We are really sorry for the stress and discomfort this has caused our authors, who have had to wait in uncertainty of when their payment would arrive. We would also like to apologise for the extra stress our lack of communication in the past two weeks has caused, and we wish we had handled this differently.
Here is what we will do next time to make sure this never happens again:
- We will set a fixed sum the authors will receive upon completion of a successful campaign.
- We will split and send out a “leftover bonus” once all the rewards have been shipped.
- Next time, we will set a slightly more ambitious campaign goal, but use paid professionals where we can along the production chain to minimise the risk of delays on our end.
- We will have proof copies of the work produced before the campaign is ready, so that everything is ready to go upon completion.
Thank you for all your patience and kindness in this process. We have told our authors today that all of these delays would have been disastrous if it hadn’t been for their patience, but the patience of our backers has also been phenomenal.
We are so excited for you to see the hardcover, and to give you more information about the audiobook this summer.
Amelia and Antonica
Ink & Locket Press