Update: All pre-orders and most contributor copies will be in the post by Friday, 4 June. Thank you again for your patience. – Brian
First of all, please let me apologise for the continued delay in shipping our three recent titles: The Fatal Move, Uncertainties 5, and The Green Book 17, which were supposed to have been delivered here in Dublin by our UK printed at the end of April.
The story briefly goes like this:
Delay #1: Printer broke down
Delay #2: Ran out of cloth for binding
Delay #3: Cloth needs more time to dry
Delay #4: I was informed I need an import number
Delay #5: Printer mistakenly bound in the wrong head/tailbands
Delay #6: Erroneously asked to pay import duty on VAT except items
At each of these delays I struggled no small amount to get the issue sorted. It’s taken me a week and a half to get these books out of customs. This is all mainly down to both Brexit and the printer in the UK putting down the wrong commodity code on the export paperwork. (I actually have to pay a new surcharge levied by the printer because of all the Brexit paperwork they need to fill out.)
So the good news is, the books arrived late this afternoon, despite the damaging hands of rough delivery.
What happens now? Well, I’m going to try to take off from work next week (I have a day job) so I can process your orders faster. I estimate it will take me a week and a half to get through everything and carry loads to the post office in batches (I don’t drive).
Please please please, I beg you, please don’t write to me asking if your book has shipped yet or to let you know when it does. I’ve quite a bit to juggle at the moment and such requests will slow me down in actually getting your book in the post as quickly as possible, which is my primary aim. And besides, knowing when your book was posted will not make it arrive any faster. On the other hand, if you’re going on holiday or something and want me to hold onto your book until you’re back to receive it, please let me know.
I’ve a lot of work ahead of me. Processing orders is an entire… well, it’s an entire process. I’ve got over 1,000 books here, each of which I need to first examine for defects, to weed out any that damaged or of lesser quality. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) at what sometimes turns up. Take, for example, this copy of The Green Book 17, first out of the box, with torn pages. Then I have to emboss and hand number both The Fatal Move and Uncertainties 5, taking note of requests for certain numbers–as well as numerous other special requests such as tracking numbers. All this simply takes time and I will work through it as swiftly as time allows.
Again, I apologise for this horrendously long wait for these book. It is certainly not up to my own standards and I hope this does not reflect badly on Swan River Press. However, I fear it will not be until later in June that you’ll actually see your book(s) showing up in the post. If this proves to be an inconvenience to anyone (if a book was meant as a gift for an occasion that’s now long passed), please drop me a line and I’ll be happy to issue a refund in full. In the meantime, and much to my regret and dismay, in addition to this work I also need to find a new printer, preferably one within the EU, who can work up to the standards of quality and service we’ve come to expect.
On a more positive note, the new hardbacks are printed on heavier paper stock, and you can definitely feel this added weight in your hands. The boards of both are also printed on cloth binding, which I hope you will also like. And The Fatal Move‘s jacket is printed with a nifty metallic ink. So despite these delays, once you do get the books, I’m certain you’ll be pleased with them.
Thank you again for your continued patience.
Brian J. Showers
27 May 2021
Addendum: So I trundle into the post office today thinking, gosh, the hard part is behind me now. As it turns out, postal prices went up significantly as of yesterday. I will honour all pre-orders and absorb the extra costs, but the prices of our books may have to be reviewed in the near future. Once again you have my sincere apologies. I will do my best to come up with an affordable balance.