I feel like I've dropped the ball...

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Stacyspy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
522
Reaction score
579
Location
Missouri
As you may know, I have so much more than usual on my plate. I have the Park project, which I'm working on almost full time. I decided a cookbook would be a good fundraiser, get recipes from our past and present residents. City council thought a community cookout would be a good idea. I'm in the midst of building the Book Nook in my garage. And I have 3 pieces of playground equipment that DH hasn't had time to help me install, because the weather has sucked for the last week. Not to mention, somewhere along the way, council decided I was going to be in charge of coordinating a monthly farmers market/craft show... And at home, school is already out, and has been for 2 weeks, so I have a "bored" 10 and 13 year old who apparently think I'm supposed to entertain them 24/7.
Any way, I digress...lol... The powers that be (city council) thought that it'd be a great idea to have the cookbooks by our 4th of July Firemans' breakfast. Which, in theory is a great plan. However, I may have had the biggest blond moment in the history of blond moments. The letter I sent out said recipes needed to be in by May 20th. It takes 20-25 business days to print the books. I wrote on the city calendar the 27th. So now the chances of getting them on time is slim to none. I feel like I've screwed up. Badly. With some luck, and a lot of proofreading this weekend, I'll be able to get them ordered...but all the work I've done, I feel like this will be the one thing everybody will talk about...she couldn't even get the cookbook done on time. Sorry to rant, and I'm sorry this is so long, but I needed to get it out before I go out the door to start another day...
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.
 

Misschief

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
4,041
Reaction score
6,177
Location
Kelowna, BC, Canada
As you may know, I have so much more than usual on my plate. I have the Park project, which I'm working on almost full time. I decided a cookbook would be a good fundraiser, get recipes from our past and present residents. City council thought a community cookout would be a good idea. I'm in the midst of building the Book Nook in my garage. And I have 3 pieces of playground equipment that DH hasn't had time to help me install, because the weather has sucked for the last week. Not to mention, somewhere along the way, council decided I was going to be in charge of coordinating a monthly farmers market/craft show... And at home, school is already out, and has been for 2 weeks, so I have a "bored" 10 and 13 year old who apparently think I'm supposed to entertain them 24/7.
Any way, I digress...lol... The powers that be (city council) thought that it'd be a great idea to have the cookbooks by our 4th of July Firemans' breakfast. Which, in theory is a great plan. However, I may have had the biggest blond moment in the history of blond moments. The letter I sent out said recipes needed to be in by May 20th. It takes 20-25 business days to print the books. I wrote on the city calendar the 27th. So now the chances of getting them on time is slim to none. I feel like I've screwed up. Badly. With some luck, and a lot of proofreading this weekend, I'll be able to get them ordered...but all the work I've done, I feel like this will be the one thing everybody will talk about...she couldn't even get the cookbook done on time. Sorry to rant, and I'm sorry this is so long, but I needed to get it out before I go out the door to start another day...
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.
Just an "out of curiosity" question - where are you having the cookbooks printed? 20-25 days sounds like a very long turnaround time.

You need to stop putting that pressure on yourself, my dear. You're doing what you can and if you keep allowing it to pile up, you will collapse under the weight eventually. Been there, done that. You have a couple of bored kids at home; is there nothing they could help with? Do you have friends who could help with proofreading? Ask for help... delegate. You do NOT have to do it all on your own.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
8,110
Reaction score
8,311
Location
Western Illinois, USA
Get those bored 10 & 13 y.o.s to help with the cookbook. My eldest son used to proof read copy for my mother's column for her when he was that age. He was also her 'junk drawer organizer' when she baby sat him when I was at work or in school or whatever it was I was doing back then. Such a long time ago!

Okay, it's too late to get people to submit their recipes any earlier as today IS the 27th. But that still gives you enough time to meet the 20-25 days printing deadline, unless the 4th of July Fireman's breakfast takes place in June, doesn't it? Or does that discount weekends and Holidays? In which case you have 23 days if you submit the copy on this coming Tuesday and can pick them up no later than Friday, July 3rd. Yeah, that's cutting it close, but not impossible.

I get that you live in a small town and that perhaps the drive to where ever the books are being made might be a distance. (Unless mailing them is part of the process, in which case that adds a whole other layer of delay.) Of course that adds to the stress. If that is what you are doing though, is there another place that could do something slightly simpler like a Copy Center or an Office Supply store that does copies and prepares booklets for presentations?

When I volunteered at a non-profit we used to use BigBox-type Copy Centers to prepare our presentation binders for us. They would do all the printing and put the binders together for a reasonable enough fee in a very short turn-around time. I'm talking about putting together about 50-100 presentation binders. They are more along the line of the kind of thing you see with binder combs, and not really hardcover books, but I've seen lots of community fundraiser cookbooks bound just like that.

They also printed our newsletters for us without the stapling. We dropped off the copy and a few hours later, took it to a 'folding & stapling party' and did all the folding and stapling of the newsletters ourselves. We used to mail out about 1500 to 2000 newsletters per month of about 8-12 pages in length. Your town cookbook may be larger than that, but I have seen small booklet cookbooks bound as simply as this method.

Annually we had a need to produce about 50 binders full of about 500 pages of copy. That was also a Copy Center project combined with a 'insert into the 3-ring binder party'. It usually only took a day for the copy center to make the copies using 3-hole punched paper. We provided the originals. They collated and boxed each set of copies of the original document and we paid a per page price for the copies. Then took it to a location where a handful of people, would put the copy into the 3-ring binders. I even once did that whole process alone in the middle of the night, because it's not that hard to insert pages into a 3-ring binder.

Just some alternatives ideas to consider if it turns out the 20-25 day turn around time is going to make it impossible to meet the date for the Fireman's Breakfast.
 
Last edited:

KristaY

Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
2,577
Reaction score
1,958
Location
Arizona, USA
Deep breath, Stacyspy. In and out... Do it again... Good job. Now lets look at the pieces that seem to be stressing you out most.

I agree with earlene. Put those bored kids to work. This is a park project that will benefit your town as a whole. Get them interested in helping put things together. They'll visit the park with pride when they can say "I helped build that". If the weather has been crappy, well there's nothing you can do about it but wait it out. If it stays ugly and you end up with only days to get the pieces into place, recruit help from the community. As Misschief pointed out, DELEGATE!

If the cookbook (which I think is a great idea!) doesn't get off the print in time, is there a way they can send/give you just one copy? You could put it on a book stand for display that people can see, hold, browse through, then pre-order a copy. You could give them a date for pick up at a specific location like your city's business office or park and rec office. Since it's to benefit the park project, I think people will be okay with that. It'll be easy enough to create a spreadsheet list of all people that paid in advance so their name can be checked off the list when they pick up their copy. Chances are they'll go in to pick up their book and buy another to send off to family/friends that live elsewhere. I know if a recipe of mine was to make it into a cookbook I'd buy a dozen!

Bottom line: Don't be afraid to ask for help. This is a community project so get your community to help with it. Maybe your local newspaper would run a story about the park and ask for all able bodies to help on a certain day at a certain time. Get everyone excited and motivated to have a hand in it. The more they're invested, the more you'll have at the events. Hopefully more fundraising funds too!

You can do this Stacyspy!
 

snappyllama

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
3,910
Reaction score
3,040
Location
Near Charlotte NC
Hun, you need give yourself a break! Nobody can do it all.

Get those kids helping you out or at least out of your hair! When mine were about those ages I had a list of jobs that weren't part of their normal chores. Jobs like: clean garage, weed plants, wash cars, wash windows, etc. Each job took a long time and was rewarded with $5. Anytime they complained about having nothing to do - they were directed to the extra job list. Pretty soon they learned how to entertain themselves. Sometimes they actually went for the extra job with that $5 lure. Win/win for me.

If you need recipes typed up, get the kids to do it. Then you just have to proofread.

Above all, enlist some help from other people. When it's all over, treat yourself to some me-time. :)
 

Stacyspy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
522
Reaction score
579
Location
Missouri
Just an "out of curiosity" question - where are you having the cookbooks printed? 20-25 days sounds like a very long turnaround time.
It's apparently pretty standard, unfortunately. I found one company that if I completely format my own book, it's 5 days production time with 3 day shipping estimate.
 

Stacyspy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
522
Reaction score
579
Location
Missouri
Their production time is 20-25 business days, and they don't count shipping time in that. The company I'm working through. merely because their website is easy to use, and their prices are excellent, is about a 5 hour drive from here, so it wouldn't be a terrible drive.
As far as the kids, getting them to do anything is more of a hassle than just doing it myself. Part of the problem is I'm "only" the stepmom. DH and I have them full time, and their mother hasn't seen them in over 2 years now, by her choice. I knew they're hurting, but some days I just don't have the skills to cope.
The big box copy store is a great idea, thanks...maybe that's the way to go. It's just a crying shame that it's all formatted with the publishing company's watermark...lol
I tried to keep it under 200 recipes, but, though everyone waited until the last minute, they certainly sent recipes... I have over 500!
Thanks for the advice!


Get those bored 10 & 13 y.o.s to help with the cookbook. My eldest son used to proof read copy for my mother's column for her when he was that age. He was also her 'junk drawer organizer' when she baby sat him when I was at work or in school or whatever it was I was doing back then. Such a long time ago!

Okay, it's too late to get people to submit their recipes any earlier as today IS the 27th. But that still gives you enough time to meet the 20-25 days printing deadline, unless the 4th of July Fireman's breakfast takes place in June, doesn't it? Or does that discount weekends and Holidays? In which case you have 23 days if you submit the copy on this coming Tuesday and can pick them up no later than Friday, July 3rd. Yeah, that's cutting it close, but not impossible.

I get that you live in a small town and that perhaps the drive to where ever the books are being made might be a distance. (Unless mailing them is part of the process, in which case that adds a whole other layer of delay.) Of course that adds to the stress. If that is what you are doing though, is there another place that could do something slightly simpler like a Copy Center or an Office Supply store that does copies and prepares booklets for presentations?

When I volunteered at a non-profit we used to use BigBox-type Copy Centers to prepare our presentation binders for us. They would do all the printing and put the binders together for a reasonable enough fee in a very short turn-around time. I'm talking about putting together about 50-100 presentation binders. They are more along the line of the kind of thing you see with binder combs, and not really hardcover books, but I've seen lots of community fundraiser cookbooks bound just like that.

They also printed our newsletters for us without the stapling. We dropped off the copy and a few hours later, took it to a 'folding & stapling party' and did all the folding and stapling of the newsletters ourselves. We used to mail out about 1500 to 2000 newsletters per month of about 8-12 pages in length. Your town cookbook may be larger than that, but I have seen small booklet cookbooks bound as simply as this method.

Annually we had a need to produce about 50 binders full of about 500 pages of copy. That was also a Copy Center project combined with a 'insert into the 3-ring binder party'. It usually only took a day for the copy center to make the copies using 3-hole punched paper. We provided the originals. They collated and boxed each set of copies of the original document and we paid a per page price for the copies. Then took it to a location where a handful of people, would put the copy into the 3-ring binders. I even once did that whole process alone in the middle of the night, because it's not that hard to insert pages into a 3-ring binder.

Just some alternatives ideas to consider if it turns out the 20-25 day turn around time is going to make it impossible to meet the date for the Fireman's Breakfast.
 

Stacyspy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
522
Reaction score
579
Location
Missouri
I'm very lucky that most of the contributors have already pre-ordered. I set it up so that they got a bit of a discount if they ordered ahead. They company does send a proof, so I'd have that, if it comes to it.
I know I can't do anything about the weather, but it sure plays a part in my mood...lol
Once things start happening, I'm sure others will pitch in. Several years ago, a betterment group in our city collected a bunch of money for improvements to the Park, only nothing was ever done. So, I;m kind of up against that, as well.
Thanks for the support, I appreciate it :)


Deep breath, Stacyspy. In and out... Do it again... Good job. Now lets look at the pieces that seem to be stressing you out most.

I agree with earlene. Put those bored kids to work. This is a park project that will benefit your town as a whole. Get them interested in helping put things together. They'll visit the park with pride when they can say "I helped build that". If the weather has been crappy, well there's nothing you can do about it but wait it out. If it stays ugly and you end up with only days to get the pieces into place, recruit help from the community. As Misschief pointed out, DELEGATE!

If the cookbook (which I think is a great idea!) doesn't get off the print in time, is there a way they can send/give you just one copy? You could put it on a book stand for display that people can see, hold, browse through, then pre-order a copy. You could give them a date for pick up at a specific location like your city's business office or park and rec office. Since it's to benefit the park project, I think people will be okay with that. It'll be easy enough to create a spreadsheet list of all people that paid in advance so their name can be checked off the list when they pick up their copy. Chances are they'll go in to pick up their book and buy another to send off to family/friends that live elsewhere. I know if a recipe of mine was to make it into a cookbook I'd buy a dozen!

Bottom line: Don't be afraid to ask for help. This is a community project so get your community to help with it. Maybe your local newspaper would run a story about the park and ask for all able bodies to help on a certain day at a certain time. Get everyone excited and motivated to have a hand in it. The more they're invested, the more you'll have at the events. Hopefully more fundraising funds too!

You can do this Stacyspy!
 

Latest posts

Top