Monday, August 22, 2005


Probably the least attractive feature of self-publishing. True, the decision to go it alone does have some distinct advantages, but having to store, invoice, package, and ship cartons of books is not one of them. The daily workout notwithstanding, I wasn’t really prepared for some of the issues I’d need to be dealing with. When books arrived from the printer, it was necessary to unpack and inspect ALL of them to check for printer problems and cover imperfections. Then they all needed to be repacked and stored until shipment. Whenever an order comes in, unless the order is for a full carton quantity, books need to be removed from the shipping boxes and packed in smaller ones to fill the order. And—heaven forbid—if there should be any returns, those all need to be inspected for damage in shipping, and then they need to get repackaged up and restocked.

Here in Texas the humidity and a little native creature called a silverfish can wreak havoc on paper products, books falling firmly into that category. Silverfish actually like the swelteringly hot and humid Texas weather, and paper is a delicacy, so I need to be extra careful. I’m in the process of re-inspecting my books for any signs that they’ve been the basis of a silverfish meal or have begun wilting in the heat, and so far, I’m in luck. There has been no damage to the books. But to avoid any future problems, I’m moving the books to a climate-controlled location with better bug control.

And while I’m hoping for full-carton quantity orders and no returns, I thank heaven for the genius who invented the handled packing tape tool.

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