the state of things


Blasted Heath Is Dead

by Douglas Lindsay - 12:14 on 22 March 2017

So, digital publishing behemoth, Blasted Heath, is dead. What began as a bold vision to rewrite the rules of publishing, take on the giants of the business, and make billionaires of the Blasted Heath supremoes and a few gallant writers, has now crashed and burned, shot down in a blaze of shame, ignominy and debt.

I feel bad now that I made them pay me an annual retainer of £172,000. And I probably shouldn’t have insisted on that chalet in the exclusive ‘Truffle’ District of Zermatt. And the Aston Martin. I shouldn’t have negotiated the Aston Martin. I mean, I’ve barely used it. It was just about status. If Anthony Neil Smith is going to get a Porsche, I said, I want an Aston.

It started well, of course. There were the number one bestsellers, and the appearances on Graham Norton and The One Show; there were red carpet book launches and Hollywood parties; there were medals and awards, and three Blasted Heath writers were even adopted by Angelina Jolie. We were fêted from China to the West Coast, we appeared on magazine covers and centrefolds, and several of us ended up in rehab. That’s how fucking successful we were.

And then the fall. The writers became bloated and fat. I, for one, started churning out pseudo-artistic pish. One critic called A Room With No Natural Light, ‘ersatz romantic garbage, spewed from the suppurating bowel of a semi-literate spunk-monkey.’ Another wrote of Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!: ‘This incoherent crapulent drivel debases the beauty of the English language so profoundly, that one is left weeping tears of blood at the fatal wound it inflicts on the very future of literature.’

Fatefully, the executive board of Blasted Heath, filled with hubris and greed, then borrowed over $100million to buy over Random House, HarperCollins and Krispy Kreme Donuts. Sales plummeted, the company had over-reached. Debt began to pile on debt, business meetings descended into farce. It was as though the Darien Scheme had mated with RBS, and then had a bastard lovechild at Ibrox.

Some people can turn massive debt and extraordinary business incompetence into being President of the United States. But most stumble and fall. And that, sadly, is what happened here.

And so it comes to pass that Blasted Heath is dead.

All those ebooks that currently prop up a variety of charts on Amazon, will soon be removed. The dream has gone. The debts will never be paid. We are left morally, and financially bankrupt.

As Boromir says at the end of Casablanca, ‘The world of men will fall, and all will come to darkness.’

(Editor's note: this article may contain Alternative Facts)

Comment from Scott at 17:54 on 02 April 2017.
Sorry to hear about the untimely death of Blasted Heath.

A question though:

Does that mean titles like "A Room With No Natural Light" will no longer be available in ANY format? I was rather looking forward to that one.

Comment from Scott at 18:06 on 02 April 2017.
Well, now I am even MORE sad!

I see that even the Barney Thompson books are now gone from Amazon.

Truly sucks!
Comment from Douglas at 06:52 on 07 April 2017.
Sorry, only just noticed your comments.
The books will be back, hopefully reasonably soon. All the Blasted Heath titles will likely transfer to Freight Books, publishers of Song Of The Dead. They'll need some time to reformat, and cover etc. If that falls through, or they don't end up taking on all the old BH titles, I'll put them up myself.

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