Online Bookstores and eCommerce Solutions from ChrisLands

Greetings

Jaymes Sorbel ChrisLands Co-Founder

If this is not the most important newsletter I've ever written, it is certainly one of the most important. I have a lot to tell you!

It is quite long, so get a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and read on. I hope you will be happy and pleasantly surprised.


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ChrisLands - The Third Age
Declaration of Independence

May 1, 2013
Independence Day

ChrisLands launched exactly 12 years ago today and today May 1, 2013

ChrisLands Declares Its Independence!

What???

As we announced in our notice, we have purchased ChrisLands back from Abebooks.com.

We are back and today is Independence Day!

I would like to extend a special thank you to Kathleen Sancaster who has been ChrisLands' customer support for a long time now. She has been invaluable to me and to ChrisLands! I truly appreciate all she has done. Thank You Kathleen!

For now all operations continue as normal. I will let you know if and when changes are to occur.

Guess Who Just Got Back Today?
Them Wild Eyed Boys That Had Been Away!

The boys are back in town! (listen).

What am I talking about? Am I crazy? Some would say, not only Yes but Absolutely!

For those of you who have been with us a long time, you might remember my co-founder Lance. Well, I have coerced Lance back to help me with ChrisLands.

Lance is not going to be part of the day to day operations. You won't get emails from him and he won't answer the phone. But without Lance's strategic thinking and his incredible attention to detail, ChrisLands would never have accomplished what it did. I've asked Lance back to help administer the company for exactly those reasons his attention to detail and for his strategic thinking. Lance has always had ChrisLands' best interest in mind, he is also my friend, and I trust him. And yes, Lance does think I'm a little crazy.

Lance and I are “Them Wild Eyed Boys That Had Been Away” but now “The Boys are Back in Town”!

ChrisLands, The Phoenix
Rising From the Ashes

You might have noticed some weirdness, some instability, in the system lately. That was a result of getting the system ready to transfer back to me. I wish I could have told you sooner, unfortunately I could not. But, that is over now.

On to new things!

Except for immediately adding some PCI compliant payment methods for you to accept credit cards and correcting any more errors that might still appear from transfer preparation, we are ending production on ChrisLands' current system.

Hold on just a minute!!

Not to worry, read on!

In order to capitalize on all the newest technologies, we are rebuilding ChrisLands from the ground up. All current features will remain in the system, rewritten and improved as needed.

There are also numerous new features that you have requested that have not been added because the current code structure, in some cases, makes it complicated. As part of this rebuild, not only will we add many of these requested features but we are also structuring the system to make adding new features much easier in the future.

I have nearly three pages of improvements listed in one line bullets, I will not list them all here. However, I do want to highlight some for you.

  • Upgrade to current technology versions
  • Add multiple PCI compliant payment methods
  • Better integration of payment methods
  • Support for shipping carriers such as FEDEX
  • Better granularity to define shipping methods
  • True support for multiple languages
  • A true and modern theming system with responsive layouts that gracefully supports screen sizes from large computer monitors down to mobile phones.
  • All output in validated HTML5 and CSS3
  • Better support to list multiple product types (beyond books)
  • Better product image management and display
  • Ability to sell download media
  • Better integration with social media
  • True SEO friendly URLS
  • Better search functionality (search with wild cards)
  • Ability to list non-taxed items
  • Ability to tax shipping at a different rate
  • Ability to list items with different tax rates
  • Better granularity to define tax rates
  • Improved and simpler store administration
  • Better content editor
  • More complete and better help features
  • A streamlined checkout system
  • Ability to keep items listed with zero quantity
  • Ability to create and configure forms
  • Ability to edit store generated emails
  • Ability to manage your own uploads to shopping sites such as Google Products, Yahoo Shopping, Bing Shopping, Shopping.com and more
  • Ability to retrieve and manage your emails using any device
  • Ability to reply to emails through ChrisLands' mail servers
  • Webmail for your ChrisLands' email accounts
  • And so much more...........

Additionally, during this rebuild, ChrisLands will ensure all code confirms to four key requirements: security, stability, performance, and scalability!

There is more!

Over the years, I have worked hard to keep our systems reliable with great performance, nevertheless, during this rebuild I also intend to update the network hardware (servers, firewalls, switches, etc). The network update includes another long list of improvements and I won't list them here. Rest assured that ChrisLands' performance and reliability will be even better than ever!

Why do this now? Actually I've wanted to do this for a very, very long time. Timing never seemed right or there never was time. So, as Elvis would say, “Its now or never”.

That Is A Lot of Work!
How Long Will All This Take?

I'm glad you are asking that as I'm asking myself the same thing. How long will this take? I don't know. Just kidding!!!!

Since development time is influenced by so many factors, I usually do not specify a timeline. Also, when writing code, you can count some days as good days when you only write a few hundred lines of good code. With hundreds of thousands of lines of code in ChrisLands' current system, you can imagine the investment in time this is going to take.

Giving a timeline is a little misleading too. What you will see is continued progress. You will see new payment methods in a relatively short amount of time. Then there will be a much longer time (several months) before we publish the rewritten base code with improvements required to support it. Then every month after that you will see new features added.

However, I'm committed to completing all I currently have planned in one year or sooner. That doesn't seem like enough time does it? I know! That is what I thought too! But I will work day and night, if necessary, to accomplish all this as quickly as possible.

I won't be alone this time though. Throughout ChrisLands' entire history, there was never more than one developer on staff at a time. There were also some extended stretches of time when I was the only one here, one person! All other times, we never had more than two people.

I'm correcting that. I'm making a large investment in personnel, taking a large pay cut myself to help do this. Yes, I am that committed to ChrisLands (or maybe I should just be committed). Over the next few months, including both full time and part time personnel, I will triple ChrisLands' staff to a minimum of six personnel. It won't stop, when possible I will hire more.

So once again, mark your calendars, one year from today (or sooner), ChrisLands' Phoenix will be complete.

Oh yeah!! I'm calling this version of the ChrisLands' code, “The Phoenix”. I know it is not very original, maybe not even very cool, but I think it fits. I hope you like it!

Thank You!!!!!
ChrisLands' Store Owners

I want to personally thank all of you for staying with us over the years! Without your loyalty, without your voice, ChrisLands would not be what it is today, and this would not be happening now! Thank You!

When ChrisLands Phoenix is complete it will be a superior product and the most advanced independent bookstore service on the Internet while continuing to be the lowest priced service of its kind!

As another way to thank you, any current store owner who is with ChrisLands when we complete The Phoenix, you will always be special to us. We will always make special allowances for you, now and in the future, just as we have done in the past for current ChrisLands' store owners. You will not be forgotten!

Once again, Thank You!

Spread the Word!
Be Independent!

ChrisLands will be stretching its resources to the limit in order to accomplish all of this.

As many of us have had to do in recent years, I am forced to make hard decisions about what is important and what is not. To me people are important. On the other hand, I've decided that an office, advertising, and other things are not important. Therefore, I'm moving ChrisLands' headquarters to a far less expensive office, canceling all advertising (for now), and ending other expenditures.

These decisions will not affect you in any way! In fact, they are a benefit as this enables me to invest in people to better support you.

I do have one small favor to ask though. Actually, the truth is, I really need your help.

Please spread the word that ChrisLands is back! Step outside today, yell it from the rooftops, tell your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers, your partners, other used booksellers, the postman, whoever you see, that today is ChrisLands' Independence Day!

Again, any store owner who is with ChrisLands at the time we complete the Phoenix, will not be forgotten. Now is the best time to become a ChrisLands' store owner, now is the time for Independence!

Thank you for anything you can do! I truly and sincerely appreciate it!

Don't Stop Believing
Hold on to That Feeling

I know this was very long. Thank you for reading it. With our restored independence, our communications to you will be more open and more frequent than in recent history. Good or bad, we will keep you updated along the way.

Once again, I would like to thank Abebooks! Please send them your thanks as well!

One final promise to you, ChrisLands will be what it once was, and it will come back even stronger and better than ever! I am committed to being “The Man in the Arena” for ChrisLands and, if I fail, at least I will fail while daring greatly!

Don't Stop Believing! (listen)

Jaymes H. Sorbel & Lance Christen
Co-Founders

ChrisLands' Company Quote

The Man in the Arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat….

-Theodore Roosevelt, 1910


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