Whilst I still feel like the dust is settling I wanted to try and express how I’m feeling at the moment. Bittersweet. Actually, more bitter than sweet.
I was incredibly pleased to sell out, and so quickly. But I’m also absolutely gutted there were still some issues on the night. It isn’t acceptable, and I know that.
After Tuesday’s complete failure I was contacted by a very nice chap (Jason Thibeault) who spotted my issues and offered to help me get things up and running. Jason has been absolutely brilliant at optimising my site (it wasn’t very efficient) and setting up bits and pieces to improve the site and ensure the site doesn’t crash. He nailed it, as there wasn’t even a hint of a crash.
As well as these improvements we decided to move across to Shopify as it’s supposedly world-class and a standard used by many (Suntup use Shopify!). Once it was set up, it looked like nothing was going to stop us.
Unfortunately since the launch I had quite a few emails from people saying they were having issues checking out. I’ve had people in the UK say they tried 5 different addresses and they still couldn’t buy, but yet other people in the UK say it was the quickest checkout experience they’ve ever had. I’ve had people in Canada say they had the same issue, but also had people in Canada buy within the first minute of the sale. There is no rhyme or reason to this. I can’t get my head around why some people from Italy say they couldn’t check out, when Shopify EU shipping clearly has Italy checked as an available country. The list, sadly, goes on.
I will be building an entirely new website for the next book launch, and will spend the next few months testing the living shit out of it. Myself and Jason will also be speaking with Shopify about some of these apparent issues to make sure it doesn’t happen again. If it does, we may have to use a different provider (but again, we will test the living shit out of it).
I know this may not be consolation for some who experienced difficulties.
Since I have reviewed the orders it would appear that there were several people who ordered more than one numbered and standard edition. Unfortunately I have no way of knowing who genuinely had an issue when checking out, and who didn’t, so these will be going back up for sale. The date will be :
Monday, 30th May – 20:30 BST
The other thing i’d like to address is the shipping costs as several people have remarked they are quite high. They are quite high, but this is the price I am charged by my binder for the packaging and then to pack, handle, and ship via insured courier.
I’m hopeful in the near future I will be able to take on the shipping myself, and as such reduce the shipping costs to you, the customers. But at the moment, I don’t have any other options as I’m just getting on my feet.
I also can’t help but point out as UK book collector, I have been paying high shipping costs from US publishers for a long time – but I still want to do better.
It’s certainly taken the wind out of my sails. I’m just hoping to put it behind me by bulletproofing the website further, and working on some really cool books.