Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sponsor Letter September 8th, 2015

Hi Everyone,

You know, I aim to get these notes out to you on the first of each month.  The recent track record of that might suggest that I need better time management . . . or just a little less work and excitement.  Regardless, thanks for reading and, look on the bright side; at least this is going out before our newsletter.  See, I do put you all first.

I've got some neat stuff to announce regarding a bit of web-work that Jeremy and I have been plugging away at, but more about that in a bit. I'd like to start off by asking you for some advice.

Should we let people sign up for next year's sponsorships before the beginning of January, 2016?  I'm of two minds about it.  On one hand, why not?  We've got the website set up to process payments via credit card and there doesn't seem to be any obstacle to starting now (or at least at the beginning of October).

On the other hand, something is making me hesitate.  Part of it might be that my original idea was predicated on starting at the beginning of the year, both because it fit the situation we were in and had a nice symbolism.  Part of it might also be that having a narrower window to reach our goal underscores the continuing urgency of the situation.  And, of course, starting at the beginning of the year creates a clear distinction, since the sponsorship program runs from calendar year to calendar year.  And, finally, collecting sponsorships for, in essence, two years in the same calendar year makes for a much higher tax bill and an odd-looking profit-and-loss statement for the year.

I really can't decide and Jude's not sure either.  So, what do you think?  I can wait until January 1st or start sooner.  There's also the middle-of-the-road approach of letting existing sponsors sign up sooner, while everyone else has to wait.  I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Sponsor Baseball Tees - They're finally here and they look great.  We sold a bunch at the last party and now, thanks to Jeremy's efforts, we've got them for sale at the website - http://www.borderlands-books.com/buy_sponsortee.html .  We're shipping within the U.S. as well as internationally.  I'm really sorry that we couldn't get the shipping costs down, but the weight for the shirts put it just over the line for First Class mail.  Still though - only $22 including the shipping for a top-quality shirt made in the U.S. isn't a bad deal at all. International shipping is pretty high also (US$13) but, added to the cost of the shirt at US$18, it's still not too bad overall (US$31).

So, if you're interested in getting one, hit the website.  This is the first time that we're using our on-line credit card processing service.  It all seems to work perfectly but, we all know how much that means when a website is involved.  If you have any problems placing your order, please let me know what happened and we'll get it sorted out ASAP.

Of course, if you'd like to order more than one shirt (or if you just like talking with us on the phone), it's completely alright to give us a call and place your order that way (or, for that matter, send me an email directly).  Coming in to pick up your shirt is even better, because then we get to say hi to you in person.  We've got plenty of all the sizes so I don't think we need to worry about selling out.  One final thought - if you'd like a shirt but the shipping charge is a little steep for you, we'd be happy to add one onto your next book order.  Just let us know and that should really help with the shipping cost (especially for international orders).

Sponsor Blog - Another little thing Jeremy and I set up last month was a blog especially for sponsors.  You'll find all of my past notes up there along with ordering information for things like T-shirts, bags and so forth.  It's also an excellent place to send your friends who want more information about Borderlands Sponsors.  You'll find it at http://borderlands-sponsors.blogspot.com .  Please let me know if there's information you'd like to see up there that is missing.

Watch Update - A while ago I asked you if you'd be interested in a specially designed watch for sponsors.  It's been a little while coming because I wanted to get one first and make sure that the quality was good enough.  I ordered the first one last week and, assuming that it passes my standards, you'll get the details about ordering in my note next month.

Satellite Events Delayed - Another update on something that I had discussed in the past.  We had kicked around the idea of "satellite" sponsor events in other cities.  Some of the ones we were looking at were Chicago, LA, New York, and Austin.  After thinking about it a bunch, I've decided to wait until next year to move forward on that.  I hate to disappoint, but planning something like that was going to take me a fair amount of time and effort.  In addition, the ways that it could go wrong are numerous and I wouldn't be around to sort it out -- which possibly means whoever was willing to put it together ends up holding the bag.  I'm still running short on time, which makes it hard for me to plan those events as well as increasing the chances of them going sideways.  So, I'm going to wait and work on that idea next year.  I hope that folks aren't too disappointed.  But, if you are, please let me know.  I'll try to do something to make up for it.

Sponsors' Open Mic Night - I mentioned in a previous update the possibility of putting together an open mic night for sponsors and there was a fair amount of interest.  The idea would be to invite our sponsors to read at the event while making it open to the general public.  Folks were interested in participating and so we're going to do it on Friday, September 25th at 7PM.  If you just want to attend, you don't need to do anything except show up (though you might want to take advantage of your seat reservation privilege because it might be crowded).

However, if you want to read, you should get in touch with fellow sponsor Greg Roensch at gregroensch@gmail.com.  He suggested the idea and he's been kind enough to take care of organizing the event.  Participation will be open to writers of all levels (as long as they are sponsors), and also open to any type of writing, in any genre.  All we ask is that you keep the reading short -- five minutes max.  So, if you want to read, get in touch with Greg and he'll take care of the scheduling and so forth.  Thanks for the interest. I think this is going to be a lot of fun.

Wine Has Arrived - If you ordered Borderlands' wine from Pat Paulson Vineyards at the last sponsor social, it is here for you to pick up!  Please let us know if you won't be able to pick it up before September 21st so we can make special arrangements.

And that is all this month.  If you haven't already, mark your calendars for Saturday, October 24th, which is the next sponsor social, and have a great September.