It's that magical time of year when I push a bunch of merch out there and hope everyone buys it so I can pay my health insurance! Woooo!
This year, we've got the 2016 wall calendar, featuring the villains, along with the regular holiday ornaments and a selection of new t-shirts. Let's look at the cover of the calendar first:
And how about a sneak preview of what will be on your wall a year from today:
The calendar is on sale at Ookoodook right now. It's a pre-order again, which means there are a few caveats but we'll go over them at the end of this post. For now, let's move on to the stuff from CafePress. First, the ornaments:
NPC League hockey heats up with the Cliffport Pirates vs. the Western Conference Lizards!
Look, they're evil fiends from beyond the world of mortalsórhyming isn't their strong suit.
Now, some t-shirt designs:
We also have some new kid-oriented designs:
The ornaments and shirts are on sale from CafePress as always; you can order them today and they will ship in, like 2-3 days, tops.
Let's get some Almost Certainly to Be Asked Anyway Despite Me Answering Them Now Questions (ACTBAADMATNQs):
Q: Wait, the calendar is on sale from one place and the ornaments are on sale at another?
A: Yes. The calendars are printed by us through our regular channels that we use to print the books, while the shirts and ornaments are both produced and shipped by CafePress.
Q: Does that mean I have to pay shipping twice if I want both?
A: Yes. There's no viable way for us to offer the two products shipping from the same location, since we never touch the CafePress stuffóit goes right from the printer to you.
Q: Does CafePress have shipping locations in other countries?
A: Yes! If you're outside the US, you can switch to CafePress in Canada, the UK, or Australia and they should have all of the same stuff. I can't verify this because every time I try it redirects me to the US site, but it's supposed to work.
Q: Hey, I have this great idea for how you can offer both the calendar and the shirts for one shipping price!
A: It's great that you're trying to help, but it's almost certainly not financially viable or realistic for us. Ookoodook is a very small company and can't afford to open a warehouse in Europe or negotiate shipping deals with CafePress or what have you.
Q: Why are the overseas shipping costs from Ookoodook so high?
A: See previous answeróbecause Ookoodook is a very small company that is bringing these to the post office, and that's what the US Postal Service charges for an international package that can be tracked these days. Yes, Amazon charges less for shipping. Ookoodook is not Amazon.
Q: Is there a bulk shipping deal for reduced shipping on the calendar like there was last year?
A: No. There were problems with that shipment transpiring in a timely fashion, and we got a lot of complaints, so we're not doing it again this year. Besides, the shipping costs only even went down for orders that included the then-new book (which was very heavy) and the calendar. With just a calendar as the only new product, there would be no savings anyway.
Q: Is the calendar order a pre-order?
A: Yes. We hope for the calendar to start shipping around December 11th, which should be plenty of time for it to arrive before Christmas (much less the new year). However, we've had stuff go wrong before, and that date is not a hard and fast date. To be perfectly clear: We in no way can promise that the calendars will ship by December 11th, or that you will receive them in time for Christmas. We can only tell you that our current production schedule looks like those will be the shipping dates. If we miss those dates, please don't come here and yell at me that I implied a promise to deliver it on time. There are no promises given regarding the exact timing.
Q: Will CafePress be having any sales or coupons for the OOTS stuff?
A: I hope so, but probably not. In years past, they were very generous with coupons that gave out stuff like free shipping, but they haven't had one for three or four years now. Or rather, they have lots of coupons but they only ever work in their "Marketplace," which is the part of their site where they control prices and actively mess with designs (i.e. putting them on whatever products they feel like rather than just the ones that look right). If they issue a coupon that says it works for Shops like mine, I will post it here immediately, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.
Q: Do you have any tips for ordering from CafePress?
A: Yes! There are a lot of different garment options from CafePressóthat's one of the reasons we still use themóbut some of them print better than others. In particular, the white shirts and products print much better than the dark ones; that's why some designs that require the art to look right are only offered on white. If you want a dark shirt, your best bet is to pick one of the "one-color" designs, like the all-green version of Roy. The full-color dark shirts will print, but the designs tend to be more faded in color (which might not bother you at all, but I felt I had to mention it).
Q: I still have money leftover; do you have any other new OOTS products you haven't mentioned?
A: Yes! While they came out a month or two ago, Morland Miniatures is now offering gaming minis of three new OOTS characters: Nale, Sabine, and Thog. You can get them here.
Q: These are great and all, but what I really wanted was the PDF of the next OOTS books.
A: Well, good news: I am definitely going to release No Cure for the Paladin Blues in PDF format. Not before Christmas, though. Maybe right after it, or maybe at the start of the new year, or maybe a few weeks inówe'll see how long it takes me to convert all the files. But it's definitely happening.
Q: All I care about is the comic. Is there a new one yet?
A: Yes, in a little while, after I get all this promo stuff in place.
OK, that's everything I can think of. If any of you bring up any new questions, I'll answer them and add them to this post.