Author, Editor, Publisher

When Shipping Goes Horribly Wrong (Part One)

A Gaylord shipping container (or “bulk box”) is basically a giant cardboard box with a lid for shipping a bulk product on a pallet. Here’s what they look like:

Tin House Summer IssueWe’ve seen them before at other warehouses, but it’s not how products are shipped to us. At least not normally.

A few weeks ago, another publisher’s distributor accidentally shipped 450 copies of their publication to us in a Gaylord.

And this is how they arrived:

Tin House Summer Issue

Tin House Summer Issue

Tin House Summer Issue

The cherry on top of this mess were the copies with boot prints, which told us that the container had spilled open somewhere in transit:

Tin House Summer Issue

The publisher was horrified to see how the copies arrived, of course, and quickly replaced them, but it was a surprising way to start the day!


  1. Club Stephen King

    I cannot help but thinking about this man who had a successful Kickstarter project, but lost everything because of poor handling/shipping from the manufacturer as there was a warning missing


  2. Rusty

    What happens to all those damaged books? Do they just get recycled?

    • Brian James Freeman

      I don’t actually know what they’ll do when they get them back. For our own books that are slightly damaged, we usually save them in a corner of the warehouse for a “dinged” sale so that general readers who don’t need a book to be in perfect shape can get a good read at a heavily discounted price. We don’t like throwing out or recycling books that can still be read.

  3. Steve Jorgenson

    Those boot prints-A cherry on top….. I prefer a sundae with a cherry atop it, not a book…

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