by Alan Beatts
First and foremost, thank you to all the people who purchased sponsorships over the last few days and a special thanks to the First 300 who are responsible for Borderlands remaining open. The speed and enthusiasm of the response was completely unexpected and heartwarming. A process that I expected to take weeks was completed in less than 48 hours! As I've mentioned elsewhere, though we've reached our requirement of 300 to remain open until the end of March, 2016, we are continuing to offer sponsorships to anyone who is interested. At this point the count is over 600 and will probably continue to climb.
However, the speed of the response and the number of people who are interested does have a downside. I had been planning on a much slower and more orderly process, which would have given me time to make changes to our customer database, set up mailing lists, and generally get all our ducks in order. Initially we were telling sponsors that they would be hearing from us in a week or so . . . that was a week and a half ago and we still haven't had time to get all the information in order. I plan to be making the changes to our database later today but, once that is done, then the data-entry process starts. So, it may be a little while until you hear anything from us directed specifically to sponsors.
Another thing that has been creating a delay is that we've made our priority getting the inventory back into shape after selling it down throughout January and the first half of February. Jude and I figured that you all would want the store back into top form first, since keeping us as we were was the main goal with the sponsorships. Once we do have things in order, you can expect an email from us with more information about benefits, as well as your sponsor number. Most of our communication with you will be via email, but we are also setting up a Twitter account (@borderlands_sponsor) for bits of news and short-notice offers.
Despite all that, I'm already working on getting some of our sponsor benefits in place:
Effective immediately you can reserve seats for any of our author events. The seats will start in the front row and work backwards. We will reserve up to two seats for any sponsor. If you'd like to take advantage of this, please email Jude at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reserve seats at least 24 hours in advance of the event. Reserved seats will be released at the start time of the event if you have not arrived to claim them.
Private Wireless Internet
By the middle of next week I will have set up a private wireless network in the cafe for the use of sponsors. Unlike the free, public wifi service, which is only available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, this wifi will operate at all times, will be encrypted and require a password. The password will change on a regular basis but, until we're better organized, the password will be fixed. The network name will be "Borderlands Sponsors". To get the password, email email@example.com (please include your full name in the email).
That's all that we have so far but do expect more in the future.
Thanks again for the support and I'll look forward to seeing you around the shop (not to mention getting to hang out with you at the first "sponsor social", which should be sometime between the end of March and the middle of April).