It is an insanely frustrating, slightly nightmarish, chain of unfortunate events that makes our team feel like Baudelaire children from Lemony Snicket’s so please read our harrowing tale…
"If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book."
Chapter 1 - ‘The Bad Beginning’ - Deliciously Dark Fairytales
Some time ago we did a full review of DDF after we were accused of using AI. To be clear - there was none, and is none, in these books (we used Shutterstock pics which caused some upset in our samples but these were never included in the actual books!) but we wanted to be sure, so the art was completely reviewed, some parts were updated and then sent to the Queen herself (Ms Breene) for approval. After it was reviewed and the author’s blessing was received these we sent to print in September.
"Just because something is traditional is no reason to do it, of course."
To add to the DDF tale when samples of these arrived, we found printing and finishing errors in three of the four books so all three needed to be reprinted. And then, in a twist of unfortunate events, once the reprint was complete and they were ready to be packed into their stunning custom box, they didn't fit so all the boxes needed to be reprinted before they could be packaged for shipping.
Chapter 2 - ‘The Anxious Clown’ - The Lost October Container
In the middle of this nightmare, we had HALF of our containers go missing from a waylay port.
"If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels, and if you haven't, you cannot possibly imagine it."
These were the October books that our amazingly patient subscribers were waiting to receive.
This turn of events required a full reprint of the Twilight book and partial reprints of the Moonlight and Nights books which took 4 weeks. PLUS tip ins needed to be resigned by authors. This set back print times for November significantly which also knocked back print times for December and January, so we were caught in a position of playing ‘catch up’.
Chapter 3 - ‘The Penultimate Peril’ - The Missing Blood Oath Tip Ins
Our Baudelaire tales are not quite over yet…… To make matters worse, the Blood Oath tip ins were then lost by USPS and took more than 4 weeks for USPS to locate.
However with the help of our printer the print run for these was completed in record time!!
With a sigh of relief, we were so happy when all the DDF, Blood Oath, November books and December books were safely packed into containers and on their way….we actually thought our issues were over so Rowie jumped on a plane to the US to set up the Dallas site.
With the shipping times provided, we were certain to be caught up by January.
"It is one of the peculiar truths of life that people often say things that they know full well are ridiculous."
Chapter 4 - ‘Damocles Dock’ - The Container Waylay
While our first container of November books safely arrived, the other containers have been enroute for more than 6 weeks after being held at the waylay port. This has been extremely frustrating and stressful as due to the sheer number of containers in this port and the backlog for shipping. There has been no indication of when our containers will be shipped. We have been told repeatedly it will be 'soon' and please be assured that our team emails twice every day asking for an update and begging for movement on these!
Chapter 5 - ‘The Slippery Slope’ - January Books
With the push back of monthly books due to reprints and delays, the January books are on their way. We have the same plan in place for US customers as the December books. These will be airfreighted to Dallas ASAP for shipping.
Chapter 6 - ‘The Plan’ - for DDF, Blood Oath, Dec and Jan boxes
Because we are committed and DETERMINED to catch up, we decided (at great expense to Fabled) to airfreight US orders from Perth to Dallas the second they arrive! Once they are on the way this generally takes 2-3 days so we would save a minimum of two weeks with shipping and another 10 days for packing! This way we can at least have a chance of clearing some of this back log!!
Please note it is a HUGE priority for Fabled in 2024 to get shipping on time and the flow of books consistent.
These issues don’t even include Auspost delays both domestic and international which are AWFUL!!!
Or customs delays which have meant negotiating imported 'releases'.
The good news is, the remainder of November books are, so we are told, set to arrive at Fabled HQ Monday. While we have learnt not to hold our breath, we are holding onto this sliver of hope!
"Anyone who gives you a cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven is a friend for life."
Chapter 7 - The Grim Grotto - Our Apologies
We apologise. From the depth of our book loving hearts this is NOT a situation we ever wanted for our amazing customers.
We are passionate book lovers too!! We all regularly order internationally and do understand personally how you want to receive what you've paid for in good time.
We understand your frustrations and questions. We do because these are the same frustrations and questions we ask twice a day.
Chapter 8 - The End…. soon?
Our team is working so hard to sort this out and appreciate all the support.
With a heavy heart, we can only say that our story is not yet over.
The containers are STILL stuck at the waylay port, however, we have been told that they will be shipped this weekend.
That is sadly the best update we have received in WEEKS!!
While this tale is long and full of twists and turns, we feel a deep responsibility to our customers and cannot apologise enough for not being able to send books to you each month or in time like we have always worked hard to do.
"There is always something. Even on a day that is clear, with no bad news and no sad things, there is always something."
Our commitment to making shipping a priority has meant we have made the decision to NOT release any exclusive edition sets or extras until the shipping is sorted and we are up to date on all current orders.
Chapter 9 - The Grim Grotto (Recap)
We hope this helps answer questions, ease fears and shares some understanding of the struggles we have faced.
This is the first time in two years of sending book boxes that we have ever experienced significant delays!! It is a disheartening learning curve for us and we are working with our authors and designers to be months and months in advance of orders.
We are STILL committed to sharing beautiful books from amazing authors with our valued readers! This whole series of unfortunate events has taught us so much. It has changed the way we do business and the timeframes we used for printing have improved.
We feel a deep and unwavering commitment to the authors who have generously collaborated with us and the readers who support us each month. This will never change, so while we ride the ups and downs of this small period of time, know that this has also helped shape our business to do better!
Thank you for all the support, all the messages, all the comments on our posts. We cannot express our love for such incredible support!!
"The world is quiet here." - A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
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