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Archive for May 17th, 2013

Punk Paperwork

The creative aspects of my playing card project are fun.  They tend to be fairly fast, too, mostly because I’m enjoying the tinkering.  So what’s holding things up for the Kickstarter launch?

Paperwork.

Y’see, I’ve spent more time digging into spreadsheets lately than anything else.  I’ve been getting shipping costs from the U.S. Post Office, plotting things out for domestic and foreign shipping.  There just isn’t a simple rule of thumb other than “it seems like it costs too much”, and “shipping out of country definitely costs too much”.  I think I’ve finally got things nicely plotted, at least for the general costs.  I bracketed costs around Canada, Mexico and China shipping (Mexico costs are closer to China costs, annoyingly), so there will almost certainly be oddball costs here and there.  Shipping materials shouldn’t be too much trouble, and I’m trying not to offer too many options to keep the workload down and the pledge system relatively simple.  Relatively… since shipping variables aren’t handled well by Kickstarter’s systems, and I’ll need to hack the presentation a little bit.

And then there’s the business side of things.  I’m in the middle of setting up an LLC for this and other projects I have in mind.  It seems simple enough, but jumping through all the little hoops to keep the damnable I.R.S. off my back is a time sink.  This is also where a significant slice of the overhead comes from, between Amazon, Kickstarter, the State and the Feds all wanting a piece of the action.  It’s where a fair chunk of the prep time goes, too, making sure all the proper forms and figures are entered, registered, verified and logged.  Heaven help you if you screw up and manage to only fund those entities with the Kickstarter proceeds.  Middlemen and the State are ravenous and remorseless.

Anyway, progress is being made, it’s just all local and boring.  I don’t have much to show on the visual side, but it’s getting there.  With luck, I’ll have a new visual to show Monday or thereabouts.  Happy weekend, all!

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