“As We Go To Press”…

The Spring Watsonian is in the final editing stages and will soon be headed to the printer. As physical copies are mailed directly from the printer, that means this is the time to make sure that you will be on the list!

Please check your membership ending date on our Member Roster. If it was 12/18, and you wish to continue your membership (and we certainly hope you do!) and receive the Spring Watsonian upon publication, please renew your membership before the 15th of March in the Shop: Society Membership.

Our opportunity drawing for two lucky members to win tickets to the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium will also close to entries on March 15th, so don’t forget to complete the form if you want to enter.

As ever, if you have any questions or run into any difficulties, please contact Selena Buttons.

Print Publications Back in the Shop!

Watsonian 2If you’ve been waiting for print copies of back issues of our fabulous publications, now is your chance! Some of these titles have only a few remaining copies, and when those are gone, they’re gone! Visit the Shop now for:

The Journal Arrives!

Most of our members should receive the April issue of The Watsonian beginning today (Friday), as it was sent First Class last Monday. International mailings have also been sent First Class (at a whopping $8.91 postage per copy!) and should arrive beginning next week.

The Society welcomes your comments and observations regarding this second issue, especially as it relates to the length of the journal (172 pages), content, and quality of the articles.

We will be evaluating a number of factors concerning the size, production cost, and postage rates of the journal and your input will be critical. It is a bit ironic that technology allows us to print a journal of 172 pages and bind it for $4.50 a copy, but to get it to England, France, Italy, Spain, UAE, and elsewhere, it costs twice that amount for postage! The domestic U.S. postage alone is nearly $2.50 per journal. Our total cost for this issue was $1,400.00. That is very close to our budget of $10.00 per journal ($40 for four issues which is our current two-year dues rate). But, as postage and print costs continue to spiral upward, our only alternative is to charge more. Actually, a reduction in the page count to, say, 80 pages will STILL cost about the same to produce and mail; we would save only a dollar or so. We would not gain that much by publishing a smaller journal (except wear and tear on our talented Editor). The printers and the post office have rates pretty well figured out in their favour.

We believe the Society and our Editor, Dr Joanne Yates, have produced one of the finest journals to be found, and we have all of our contributors to thank for that distinction and accomplishment. This is your journal. What we want to know, is: “What do you want going forward?” Bigger . . . Smaller . . . About the Same . . . ?

Please take a moment to leave a comment here about the journal after you have a chance to review it when it arrives; also, please give us your thoughts on what you wish to see going forward. What you have to say is very important. Thank you.

Update on Journal Mailing

Buttons owes the membership an update on the delayed April issue of The Wastsonian.

For reasons that need not detain us here, the April journal, which we had targeted to mail on May 6th was further delayed and will now mail May 16th.  It will be mailed First Class postage and receipt in your mail boxes should begin by May 20th;  international receipts should begin by May 27th.

The journal is 172 pages (and a big, wonderful issue) and we have shifted to a new mailing system.  The first journal was mailed from our former printer in a bubble bag and the postage and handling charged was almost as much as the cost of the journal itself.  We have changed to a new printer and mailing system which is:  Buttons will drive 100 miles to Tampa, Florida to our new printer and pick up the journals. He will then drive back home to Ocala, put them in less costly poly-wrap bags, address them with labels, and take them to the post office and mail them using stamps. Yes, it is a bit “old school” but it saves the Society a lot of money.

The upshot:  With a new printer now, a new mailing routine, and adjustments to the editing, software system and mailing routine, the next journal (October) will likely be on time.  As always, the lion’s share of the creative work belongs to our great authors and contributors and our talented Editor, Dr Joanne Yates, whose design and layout make our journal one of the best in all of the Sherlockian–and definitely in the Watsonian–worlds.

Sorry for the delays on this issue. . . always learning and adjusting here . . . “We can but try . . . “

We’re Back!

We have Internet service and the Society is open for business!  We have monograph and pin orders, but have not found those boxes yet, so please bear with us.  We will be totally unpacked and ready to mail things out in a day or two.We bought our home sight unseen and in the week since closing have had the interior totally repainted, all new carpeting, new window treatments, new air conditioning, multiple repairs, new lawn irrigation system, termite prevention treatment, pest control, total landscape trimming and overhaul, bought new appliances, got driver’s licenses, got a new car, met the neighbors, and have tried six new restaurants!  Buttons is ready for a big, comfy chair and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes!

Back to Society business . . .!  The journal is being edited and finalized. It will print in early April and we should have it mailed to members by the end of April.  It’s Big!

Society Activities Through April 2014

During February and March, our Editor, Dr Joanne Yates “Sandy” and Buttons will be busy working on the next issue of The Watsonian scheduled for mailing on or around 15 April 2014.  We are anticipating an issue even larger than the inaugural October 2013 issue, so there is a great deal of work to be accomplished.

During this period, we may have to slow our Weekly Quiz to a Bi-Weekly Quiz. Buttons will try to keep them coming every week, but there are other complications, as you will learn next.

Buttons and Andrea Stewart “Asta,” our Membership Director, will be relocating from Sonoma County, California’s wine country to the beautiful Horse Capital of the World, Ocala, Florida, where they look forward to embarking on another of their many life adventures at age 70.  As you may imagine, the details of home buying and moving will be a bit time-consuming, so we may not be quite as responsive as normal. We are foregoing the seven-day, 3,000 mile drive in favor of a direct flight in seven hours (which is a major concession by Buttons as he had sworn NEVER to fly again for ANY reason after 40 years of  flying 200 days a year). We hope to be in our new home and fairly settled by 15 March 2014.

There will be some periods when we will be out of communication; unfortunately, some of it will be during the final days of getting the journal off to the printer, but we will persevere and doubtless all will go smoothly. If, for some reason, Buttons is unable to reply to your emails quickly, your patience will be greatly appreciated.

The John H Watson Society has been designed as primarily an online Society, so it will continue to operate as it has so far, only partially from a different location. Our activities for 2014 include the two issues of The Watsonian, two published monographs, the Weekly Quizzes, the Second Annual Treasure Hunt, and–coming in October–the First International Invitational Team Treasure Hunt, an exciting worldwide Super-Quiz to challenge Watsonians and Sherlockians from around the globe.

As always, sincere thanks and appreciation is extended to our now nearly 140 members for your interest, your participation, and your continued support of the Society.