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VisiBone VIP FAQ

Questions a refined and discerning audience plant would ask.

Q: Why pay now?  
A: Early shipping, and a 35% or 50% discount.
Q: What are you going to make next?  
A: Five possibilities. You decide with VIP Votes. Find out early in the VIP News Blogmore answering...
Q: When are you gonna update the Browser Book / Card Collection?  
A: Very likely this year. VIPs will decidemore answering...
Q: Are you going to let stuff go for years without updating??  
A: Not with innovations in printing, binding and subscribing. more answering...
Q: Can I get those maps cheaper?  
A: Not any more. VIPs got 35% or 50% off before April 30th, 2006.
Q: Can I pick and choose which new products I want?  
A: It's called the Ask First preference on the VIP Status Page.
Q: How do I get multiple subscriptions?  
A: Multiple accounts. Pay less with identical shipping addresses. more answering...
Q: What if I don't like your new products?  
A: Skip 'em, or cash out. But seriously you're gonna love a lot of 'em. more answering...
Q: Look, I just want everything, in one book, reasonably up-to-date. Not sure I need every nutty thing you make.  
A: Not really a question, but I feel you man. Set your VIP preferences to Ask First if you're unsure. That'll give you about a month to decide with each release — and you'll get the same discount. FWIW that is exactly what I intend to deliver — a book of everything, reasonably up-to-date.
Q: Why not just wait?  Can I subscribe after you release something I want?  
A: Probably. Discounts will probably be available too, but no guarantees.
Q: What if I move? And forget to tell you?  
A: We'll catch up. Please cover shipping. more answering...
Q: How long does a subscription last? How do I know when it's time to renew?  
A: About a year, depends on your preference settings. We'll keep you informed. more answering...
Q: Why not annual subscriptions?  
A: It may turn out the same but this preserves flexibility: what I make, what you buy.

The intent is to ship to VIPs as early as physically possible, most likely before announcing a new product. It allows us to get the shipping packages ready ahead of time and shoot them off the first day of printing. This is a great convenience, I confess. After a long design effort, followed by a long printing/publishing effort, then gearing up the announcement has always been another project in its own right. The day new stuff is ready I've always wanted to share it that instant with people who could use it. This is about as close as we'll get to having you right there to watch them come off the press. I tell you I'm so giddy at that moment I'd surely give them away, so there's safety in this arrangement. I'll also get to enjoy the combined endorphins from two great milestones: when a new product manifests; when it's sold.

Bob Stein here. If it isn't obvious already, this is a one-man operation. Which has only been possible thanks to a very special and capable one woman, my wife Patty does fulfillment (among many other things).

Q: What are you going to make next?

I could never promise what's next, but I'll let you know from time to time what's on the table in the VIP News Blog.

I've done a lot of research on SQL, and people ask almost daily for PHP, so maybe those should come before a Browser Book overhaul? In a very real sense, you can decide: tally your votes when you start your subscription.

Q: Yeah OK but ... what are you gonna make next?

VIP votes are tallied here, for everyone to see, but only for VIPs to cast. This will be a dollar-ocracy: one vote per VIP dollar. Put them all behind your favorite — that cheatsheet or chart or book you're dying for — or spread them out. I intend to let VIPs decide this summer's projects.

Q: When are you gonna update the Browser Book / Card Collection?

If you subscribe now you'll almost certainly get an update to the Browser Book / Card Collection this year. I realize this is overdue, the JavaScript content approaching four years old, and not mentioning Ajax objects. My inclination is to merge the two books into one product. It'll probably be called a Browser Book but I hope to include enough annotated example material for it to be the best of both worlds.

Q: Are you going to let stuff go for years without updating??

This system is designed to respond to the common request: "What if I buy your book and then you update it?" With a subscription you can get the latest edition as low as half price, and get it automatically. I realize this isn't an overwhelming solution, but it helps. If someone wants the book, and they just happen to want it a week before a new release, there's a very real quandary: old now, or new later. To give them both has to cost extra.

So here's a hint at the real solution. I'm working on ways to keep the VisiBone-Everything-Book much more up-to-date than rewriting the whole thing every few years. This requires three things, and this subscription is one of them. Digital printing has taken years to work out but that's another one and it's done. I want to be able to send you pages once in a while that you can swap out. Not sure I can pull this off, but looking good so far. With an active subscription I expect to send you some things for free. The fourth thing I need is your trust you'll use them.

About pre-release samples, once in a while a project comes to a turning point and I feel like sharing. Examples with SQL and Adobe Illustrator. These will be things I think you can use, but they won't be salable products yet. Nothing fancy and no charge, except maybe for shipping.

Q: How do I get multiple subscriptions?

If you want multiple subscription copies, just create multiple accounts. They'll need different email addresses. If you use the exact same shipping address we'll save you money on shipping. If this doesn't work well, please let us know.

Q: What if I move? And forget to tell you?

We'll ship VIP items to the primary address in your address book. So you can edit that if you move. Please keep it up-to-date; if you're registered to ship immediately, you might not get any notice. Also, pre-release samples will go to your primary address. In any case we'll make sure you get the stuff, but it may take a lot longer if you have an old address on file.

Check the status of your subscription on your VIP Status Page. This will show your balance, shipments, renewals, and allow you to change your VIP Votes.

Q: How long does a subscription last? How do I know when it's time to renew?

You recharge your subscription the same way you start: purchase VIP1 or VIP2 again. (Your discount level is set by whichever you purchased most recently, so that's also how you upgrade or downgrade.) We'll try to let you know when renewal is a good idea. There may not be much notice, so you might want to renew whenever the balance is getting low. If there's not enough in your VIP account when a new product is ready, you may miss the first wave of shipments. In any case, the plan is, if you recharge a VIP subscription within about a month of release, you can get a new product, discount and everything.

With some new products in the past there have been several weeks of delay as demand surges ahead of supply. So there's advantage to subscribing or renewing early.

Q: What if I don't like your new products?

Email any time if you want to cash out. The discount will be unraveled for the most recent transaction, and then if any balance is left over we'll refund it to you.


Another angle I should bring up, this is on the issue of what's given away and what's for sale. This is important because expectations could diverge. You shouldn't have too many specific expectations about what I make beyond the idea that it'll be useful for web design. (I concede that's a stretch with the map. I don't intend to do that often. Once in a while I just can't help it.) Let me mention a possibility that might make you regret you bought a subscription. I've been dreaming for years of a soft-edition of the references, something you can download, use offline, use some more online. Actual hyperlinks and maybe a wiki. My inclination at the moment is to make all electronic versions free and unfettered. It's a vanity thing, but I do hope it spreads far and wide enough to be worthwhile bringing in new sales of printed products. So if I release a new edition of the Browser Book simultaneously with a viral-marketting-sorta-freeware version, please try not to feel cheated. You should expect the printed version to be useful in its own right, that would be the point after all. (If I make a soft version for sale you could expect a discounted piece of that.) I may give you special access to certain electronic features. And this is just an example, I'm not sure it will ever happen like that. It's not the only trick up my sleeve at the moment, and I'm sure there are wilder possibilities.

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The VIP Pages:
VIP Subscription sign-up & details
VIP FAQ ←(you are here)
VIP Status: votes & preferences
VIP News Blog
VIP Voting Results: VisiBone's next project


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