The No. 1 complaint we get these days is from people who are impatiently waiting for a book or tool that we’re still working on. While we try to answer as many of these questions as possible, I thought it time to update our readers on why things seem slower than usual.
Printing Plant Woes
We use two printing plants, and both are experiencing difficulties. Our Tennessee plant has been purchased by new owners (a private equity firm) and they threw out the printing schedule for the first half of 2019. Our Michigan plant is dealing with a different challenge. Because of the closure of other printing plants, the Michigan plant has been slammed with work, slowing all the jobs.
We have been looking for alternatives, but finding the right quality at the right price takes time. Switching printing plants isn’t as easy as changing your underwear. It’s more like changing spouses (or so I hear).
Both John and I are in the midst of selling our houses and moving to new digs. Lucy and I are getting our Ft. Mitchell home ready for sale and are working to make the apartment above the Lost Art Press storefront livable (or at least not completely like camping). So patching, painting, dealing with contractors, real estate agents and the like have slowed me and John significantly.
Other Family Stuff
I try not to let my personal life leak into the blog, but the last two years have been a trial. Taking care of my father until his death last February was part of it. But just as significant has been trying to settle his estate, sort out all his possessions and take care of my duties as the executor and a trustee of the trusts he set up. I spend a significant amount of time each week working with attorneys, bankers, tax accountants and money managers. The estate and trust do not represent a lot of money, but they are a huge black hole of time and energy. And I don’t see that black hole closing up soon.
So all this is to apologize. Projects that should be done (“Make a Chair from a Tree,” “The Anarchist’s Design Book” expansion and the other 21 active book projects in our queue) are moving at a slow pace. And things will be slow until John and I are settled in our new homes, the printing plants get their schedules evened out and the lawyers stop sending me emails every day asking for form 27B/6.
I suspect this blog entry will generate a host of comments along the lines of: “Any word on Andrew Lunn’s saw book….” and the like. My answer is going to be: Please re-read this entry.
I hope this helps explain why we’re behind schedule and allays any concerns that we are losing interest in the business. Nothing could be further from reality.
– Christopher Schwarz