Ok, here are the details

June 7, 2005 by Tim

As you all know, yesterday the pre-order for the books did not go as smoothly as planned. Despite months of preparation to handle the expected load, and thinking we had covered all of the bases, the initial rush to purchase the book exceeded our best efforts.

When you place an order, the store server sends a query to Canada Post (the Canadian equivelant of the USPS) to obtain a real-time shipping quote, so you are not overcharged. Yesterday at 2pm so many people were trying to get the books, that there were 500 requests per second being sent to the store and Canada Post. Things were moving slowly, so many people sat there refreshing their browsers over and over. Under all of this strain, everything buckled. Canada Post locked out store access to their public servers, resulting in people being unable to complete their orders.

I was out of the office all day yesterday spending time with my girlfriend, but I was in constant contact with Pierre and ZeStuff via phone conversations. I knew everything that was going on. In the end we had to make the call to shut down the store so that we could alleviate the problem with Canada Post. Some people managed to get their orders through, many did not, however.

Since yesterday evening, straight through to this evening, Pierre and the ZeStuff team have been working diligently with Canada Post to optimize the process. Pierre has streamlined the query code, and Canada Post now knows to expect a heavy strain, and they have prepared for it. So tomorrow we will be re-launching the store and the book pre-sale.

We are only printing 500 Collector’s Editions of each Volume. We had originally planned to only make 400 of those available for purchase. In light of yesterday’s events, we are raising that number to 460. That’s an extra 60 books that will be made available to buy.

If you managed to get your order through, then you are all done. As long as you got confirmation, your books have been purchased.

If you got the books into your cart yesterday, but were unable to complete the order, when the store reopens tomorrow your items should still be in your cart. All you will have to do is review the items in your cart, and proceed to checkout.

Because of the obvious demand for the Collector’s Edition books, we are going to be setting a limit of 2 (per volume) for each person. This will account for people needing to buy an extra book as a gift, or for a friend who doesn’t have a credit card. It will also prevent one person from buying 50 books and putting them up on eBay, which is discouraged. We want to give as many people as possible a chance to get a Collector’s Edition if they want one. Unfortunately not everyone will receive one. They are first come, first served. That’s what makes them limited editions.

Paperback copies of the book are in no limited supply.

The store and pre-sale will launch tomorrow, Wednesday June 8th, at 2pm EST.

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