So I’m continuing to get things organized for when the discs arrive in Portland (hoping for late next week), and one of those things that should really be organized is an up-to-date mailmerge-ready index of every single person I need to send one of these out to.
Consequently, I’m spelunking through CSV data from Paypal and coordinating it with various notes and emailed updates—this person paid with a check, that person has moved—and, as a result, I’m seeing all sorts of interesting numbers.
For example: we have no less than 140 pre-orders at the moment. (That number is probably slightly low—I need to reconcile a few extra orders with Jessamyn yet.) Most of those orders came in during a stunning week in late April when pre-orders were originally announced. In the interim, it’s been understandably quiet; but with my recent chatter on Metatalk, orders have picked up a little again, with another dozen in the last few days. And I expect that rate to tick upwards considerably when Matt goes live with the proposed Metafilter pimping.
Also, my rough estimate of our funds is about $1650. We’ve spent about $1550 so far, but I need to spend a bit more this week on a couple gross of mailer envelopes. And then, of course, somewhere (I hope considerably) upwards of 130 first class stamps worth of postage, and a solid dozen out-of-US orders. Your shipping and handling surcharges in action! So we’re not quite running in the black yet. But!
That $1650 is straight post-Paypal-commission pre-order money—it isn’t counting a few donations made early on by avid supporters. Once everything has arrived and gotten back out into the mail to fulfill orders and further orders put us into the black, those donations’ll go back to their generous (and initially admirably speculative) profferers.
I rather expect we’ll easily net enough orders in the next couple weeks to land very firmly in Profitville. Then we’ll fire back those donations, watch the money roll in, and start cutting checks to charity, baby.