First up, I’m almost caught up on orders. My apologies to everyone who’s been waiting to receive your packages. I have two more orders to finish up – just waiting on padded envelopes, which should arrive Sat. I’ll get these two orders ready to go before I leave for Vegas on Sunday.
I’m not happy AT ALL with my very slow mail responses, so I’m going to make some changes that I hope will help me stay on track and not get so far behind.
I did some reflection, and there are three major places I tend to get behind.
- Making shirts
- Making jewelry
- Out of stock books, waiting on KDP shipments
I don’t have any helpers with the shop. I’ve offered to pay my adult kids to help, but they just don’t have any desire. I have to make all the items, do the packaging, and arrange shipping. It’s time consuming especially on the bundles and takes away time that I could be writing another book. However, I LOVE seeing and thinking about House Isador merch out in the wild. I just need to find a happy place between minimizing disruptions to my writing and not failing to get orders out in a reasonable timeframe.
I’ve found over time that I really don’t like making shirts on a regular basis. I especially don’t want to put writing a new book aside to go make a specific sized shirt, and then find out I don’t have the right size or style. Or I’m out of vinyl. It’s always something, and if I dread doing it, I put it off until it’s a problem.
It’s different when I’m making a bunch of shirts for an event. I get in a rhythm, and I like coming up with new ideas and designs for that particular event. I’ve got some AWESOME hoodies I made for LLS but I haven’t listed yet. I just haven’t had the time.
I also love making jewelry – when I’m in the rhythm of making it. There’s a whole process to it, and it takes me several days (usually) to make one. I have boxes and boxes of beads organized by color, and it takes time to drag all that out and then put it all away again so I can write. It never fails that I have a red and black one made, but the order is for a purple one, or vice versa, and now immediately I’m behind on a several day project, that takes away time from me writing another book.
So… here are the changes I’m making to the store effective once it opens again.
- All bundles are obsoleted. I will do SPECIAL bundles with limited stock when I have shirts made, etc. But only when I have blocked the appropriate time to make or gather whatever items are in the bundle.
- All bracelets and accessories are marked out of stock. I won’t take new orders on them.
- What I will do instead is make jewelry when I have all the beads and tools out, when I have planned time away from the book. Then I’ll list what I make, and all you’re waiting on is for me to put the finished product into packaging and slap a shipping label on it. I’ll post about items being ready on the blog and in the Triune.
- This also allows me to be more creative. If I’m in the mood to design something new, I can make several of them at once. If I’m tired of red and black and want to experiment, I can do so without feeling guilty about making someone wait.
- I added inventory to all the items in the shop. That way you can’t buy a book if I don’t have it, and you’re not stuck waiting on the next KDP shipment to arrive.
I am going to try and get all the books I have on hand listed. e.g. there are currently some copies of the Omnibus House Isador volumes up, and all the short novellas. I will be listing the House Isador hardcovers soon, as well as the special limited House Isador bundle.
I will also list all the shirt stock I have already made individually in the size I have, so if you want one great. it’s already made! No waiting on me to get to the Cricut room.
I’ll revisit this new setup in a few months and see if there are any more tweaks I need to make. Eventually I’d like to get to having “events” where the shop is open with special items that I’ve already made, though I will have signed books available all the time (assuming I have the stock).
Let me know if you have any questions!
Long live House Isador.