the state of things

 

Cover For The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson

by Douglas Lindsay - 08:34 on 15 October 2008
So this is the final cover for the reprint of The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson. This is the cover that will be plastered all over the London Underground, the cover that will be seen on television, with George Clooney doing the voiceover in his finest Glasgow accent. This is the cover which will take up full-page ads in the Guardian and the New York Times, the cover that will adorn the sides of buildings from New York to Tokyo, from Bangkok to Buenos Aries, from Vancouver to Millport. This is the cover that will be seen on the packaging for Weetabix and Cornflakes, and will be converted into cheap, plastic crap toys for kids. With the $25million marketing campaign due to kick off at the beginning of November, headlined by a cinema advert featuring Brad Pitt as Barney Thomson, Johnny Depp as his mum and Judie Dench as M, there will be no escaping the re-launch of what the Sydney Herald described as "a book".

Dream on.

Ever think it's funny how the films and books which get the biggest marketing budgets thrown at them, are the ones which need it the least? There have been adverts for the new Bond movie for months. It's everywhere. But for most people, you hear once that there's a new Bond movie, and you think, oh well, it'll be the same old thing, and I doubt Bond will die at the end, but I'll go and see it anyway because it's what I've always done. They don't need to spend all the money on the marketing. It markets itself. And yet, instead of taking that marketing budget, and perhaps using it to make a couple of small films which might actually have some artistic merit, they spend it on Bond. James Bond.

To be honest, I have no idea if this cover is better than any of the ones which I asked the designer to develop from last week. I liked some of them, I like this. Maybe it's just progressed to the stage where there's nothing that I don't like about it, and so I can accept it. The other covers, the rejected ones, are like bootleg covers. Perhaps in a couple of years I'll look at them and think, now why didn't I use that one...? It's hard to retain balance when continually looking at very similar images. However, I think if I had been presented with this image straight up, I would have been happy.

So this is it, the future of Barney Thomson. The plan is to re-release the series over time, using this cover as the basic format. For the moment, however, I need to finish off the copy editing of the manuscript, and work out just how I'm going to spend what's left of that $25m.


Comment from Markus at 08:59 on 15 October 2008.
Good choice! Although all the books I find in my shelf saying something like pulitzer or booker on the back neither have blood nor a skeleton on the cover. But hey, its 2008! People change their names to website urls. Who knows...

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