One of those “make or break” moments…

A package arrived today, wrapped in brown cardboard and a thick mixture of anticipation and foreboding.

I knew it to contain the advance copies of Schlock Mercenary: The Tub Of Happiness, but I did not yet know with perfect certainty that the copies were going to be, in a word, “shiny.”

I said as much to Sandra, but in different words. As she cut into the box I said “this is the moment where we either know it’s all going to work out, or we discover that we are well-and-truly screwed.”

You see, we opened pre-orders without having seen a real press proof of the product. We had plenty of other evidences (blank book, plotter proofs, digital prints, etc), but this was the first time the whole enchilada was going to appear on a plate, smothered in actual cheese sauce. If what showed up was actually corn husks baked in road tar, the Tayler Corporation was going to have to scramble to make good on a few tens of thousands of dollars of customer service.

That just doesn’t bear thinking about. So of course we opened the box before either of us could spin a proper “death of the business” scenario.

Hopefully in forcing you to sit through all this lead-in before I describe the books I have successfully enabled you to share in a measure of my trepidation.

Oh, the suspense.

The books are gorgeous. Everything is going to be okay.

We got five advance copies. One is for us to keep safe and shiny. One goes to Dragons Keep with me as a store copy for people to peruse. One will probably get handed to my kids. That leaves two.

I am going to turn one of those two into sketch edition 0001/1234, and then put it up for auction next week. This is because I am a soulless mercenary with a sadistic streak.

What of the last book? I don’t know… I just don’t know. There are so many worthy causes to which it could be contributed…


27 thoughts on “One of those “make or break” moments…”

  1. Save it for a charity auction at sometime in the future… Number it “0/1234” or something clever… maybe “12345/1234”

    just a thought… 😛

  2. Find some gold foil and tack a couple extra zero’s on the price tag for a “One of a kind, hand illuminated, pre-release copy of Tub of Happyness” For extra amusement you can add “some assembly required” and allow the buyer add the foil where they want it.

  3. For the last one, maybe put it up for auction also, but donate the proceeds for that one to a nifty charity.

    Hey…how about the Wikimedia Foundation?

    *runs away quickly to avoid the plasma cannon blast*

    (I’m serious about the charity auction bit, though.)

    1. Ooh. I suggest donating it to, or auctioning it on behalf of, the annual Child’s Play fundraiser that Gabe and Tycho should be spinning up again any day now. You’d hit that sweet spot of coordination with the product launch (since the fundraiser tends to hit its peak around early December), potential cross-linking with the Penny Arcade behemoth, and Helping The (Sick) Children.

      It’s like getting paid three times, except the money wouldn’t be going directly to you.

      1. I’d definitely have to second this suggestion – I can think of a lot of worthy causes, but the Child’s Play fundraiser has been known to be absolutely -spectacular- as far as organization, transport, and the like. A better target would be hard to find.

  4. “What of the last book? I don’t know… I just don’t know.”

    I suggest a touching, personal gift to your assistant at LepreCon next year; but I’m greedy that way.

  5. I shudder to think what the auction will end at. I’m still mad at Comcast for being slow with their installs and ruining my chance at a sketch to match the other two.

  6. Great! I’m happy that your pleased with how the copies turned out.

    Thanks for the quickie sketches in the books you sold us.

  7. Hang onto it for a year or so. Look at the one that Greg Dean put up that he just found.

    ALSO, be sure to have Sandra autograph those editions as well.

    (Holding onto one is a lot better than the comic companies holding onto thousands for later sale into the collector market)

      1. Great. Coming to Schlocktoberfest 2008: the Reverend reveals that his multidenominational stance was all a facade…and he’s really an OPERATING THETAN! Watch in HORROR as he declares the crew Suppressive Persons and goes on an enlightenment spree with his gausspistol! See what happens when you expose a galaxy-wide distributed AI to UNPARALLELED ILLOGIC! Gasp as nanites reshape the ship into a DOUGLAS DC-8!

        Schloctoberfest ’08: Miss it, and the PSYCHOLOGISTS WIN!

  8. I prefer keeping money local. I’ve been burned a couple times giving money to national orgs. So I’d suggest the charity auction but give it to your church or some local concern.

    I’m glad they are shiny as I pre-ordered one. 😉

    1. Child’s Play is about the only national/international charity I give to besides the Valor-IT project…

      Speaking of, Howard… Could I send you a link about that?

      1. You’re welcome to send me just about anything. I can’t promise I’ll donate, but there’s no harm in sending it. My virus scanner is up-to-date.

  9. If what showed up was actually corn husks baked in road tar, the Tayler Corporation was going to have to scramble to make good on a few tens of thousands of dollars of customer service.

    Howard, if you think I’d have accepted that money back…

    Heck, if you think I wouldn’t have flown down there and beaned you with a rolled up wad of dollar bills and coins equalling the soct of my entire order…

    Then you might be a lil bit insane, my friend… 🙂

    1. I consider the money payment for the comics I’ve already read. The book is just a tangible bonus. 😉

      I really consider I owe him 50 cents per laugh but don’t tell him…he might figure out how to collect. 😀

      1. “gets his baseball bat*

        Howard, I feel this would be a great time to tell you about the Debt Collection company I’m starting up… 🙂

  10. At least your name is spelled correctly. On the spine of “Better to Beg Forgiveness…” I’m going to be “Michael Z. Williamsom” for the first print run.

    Buy it while it’s collectible!

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