44. Shipping Notebooks

Monday November 15th 2021

This is week #2 of launching Paper Website, and it's all about drumming up interest for a Product Hunt launch on Wednesday November 17th.

Last week was chaotic, as the launch tweet I posted went viral, and Paper Website hit the front page of Hacker News. Quite a few people purchased the $99/year founders bundle, which has now rocketed Paper Website to over $2K ARR.

In this bundle I'm offering a 1-year subscription, a free domain name, and a free Paper Website notebook. This means I've spent the past few days packaging and shipping the custom notebooks I'd made.

I was quite worried about this step because introducing a physical element into an online business could cause a world of pain for me - real life stuff is messy. Online is much more organised and scalable - trust me, I have run both an ice cream and a cookie dough business...

However, this went incredibly smoothly. I have a box of notebooks, a box of packaging, and a label printer. I purchase a stamp online, stick it to the large envelope, put a notebook inside it, and I'm done. Then I pay 30p(!) for someone at the Royal Mail to just collect it from my front door. It's not an Amazon fulfilment centre, but it's pretty easy.

For orders in the UK I can drop them off in a red Royal Mail letterbox - here's me posting the first ever Paper Website notebook:

I've introduced some self-inflicted friction for myself in this process. First, I'm paying about 33% more for shipping by having all notebooks tracked, e.g. the customer gets a tracking link to know where their delivery is. I think this is nicer for a customer, and I also want to make sure they arrive okay for batch #1.

Secondly, I'm writing small thank you notes for each customer, this takes a while, but I think it's kinda nice (and hopefully it doesn't come across as creepy).

It's quite an enjoyable process in all - I like having a tiny projects warehouse.

I'm going to start trying to write these posts in the morning again - last week I was writing them at 6/7 pm. and it didn't feel as nice as doing them first thing in the morning with a coffee like I am now!