Meanwhile, contest winners who should have had swag in hand by the end of January have been left to wait... and wait...
After all that I can say with full confidence that the store will be open at the end of June. Prizes will be on their way to the winners in the 4th week. The vendors are set, and the initial products have been decided.
How will the store work? There will be a simple page where anyone can order through Paypal, and inventory will be kept in-house.
I've owned a retail business before and managed another. The biggest difference between what I'm doing here and those experiences is how the store is built. You have spoken, told me what you want, which ideas are terrible, and which you're eager to see become reality.
This is what will be available at the end of June:
Signed copies of Spinward Fringe: Origins.
Samson Crew T-Shirts.
Triton Crew T-Shirts.
Spinward Fringe Booster T-Shirts.
4 Buttons will be released every month for the first 3 months.* (One free with every order)
Military style patches.
Other ideas in development include:
Signed Copies of final edits of each book.
The white scarf.
Desk model of the First Light and Triton (this could take a while).
Spinward Fringe: The Spoiler Files DVD / BLU-RAY
The Spinward Fringe Encyclopedia & Role Playing Setting
Spill Proof Mugs
Everything listed above was requested many times with the exception of the Spoiler Files, which are a collection of ideas that were brought up at one time or another. The prices will also be lower than vendors like Zazzle.
The primary purpose of the store is to provide for the requests of the majority of readers. The secondary purpose of the store is to raise funds for developing the Spinward Fringe Web / TV series, which could take years, but at least this is a start. The tertiary purpose is to develop a prop house.
Now that a lot of the kinks have been worked out, and there's a proper plan, things should actually begin to be fun where the store is concerned. I'm anxious to get things out to prize winners, especially since I hate breaking promises.
If you have any requests for the store, please feel free to share them!
*The buttons will have Minh-Isms, other quotes from the books and TV show campaign messages.
UPDATE - JUNE 2: After reviewing the new legal information about Cafe Press they've become an option again. This comes at the last minute, days before I put in a huge order in with a local T-Shirt printer that would offer standard quality and low selection. After reviewing the options, things have changed for the store, and for the better. The launch will happen on time if not earlier. More on this soon!