the state of things

 

Waiting Game For The Long Midnight Reprint

by Douglas Lindsay - 09:22 on 31 October 2008

A waiting game in the reprint of The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson. Waiting games are bad. Waiting games lead to stress. Unlike the banjo wait, which wasn’t particularly stressful because, in the end, if the banjo hadn’t arrived I would just have got one from somewhere else - sure, Poland might have been expelled from the EU along the way, but some people would have been quite excited about that - 3,000 copies of The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson aren’t coming from anywhere else other than the printers in Chatham.

The printer is always very quick getting things going. Despite the fact that Long Midnight Publishing are a single cell bottom dweller in the ocean of publishing, (unlike the many-celled bottom feeders), they seamlessly fit our print run into their schedule. They take what could be a wrestling a gorilla type situation and turn it into an eating some leaves with a gorilla situation.

The wait at this stage is that once they've made a proof copy of the cover, they need to send it to the publisher, who needs to check it, sign it and return it to them. So into the smooth process are deposited two instances where one is reliant on the mail. And in my case, Polish mail. Nose pressed against the window, waiting for the postman every day.

Yesterday the current edition of The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson disappeared from Amazon for the last time. Not Currently Available it says. Never will be again. The next part of the stress-related torture is waiting for the new edition to kick in properly on-line. There’s an Amazon page, but no picture, not much detail etc etc. You can’t make the Amazon computer put those details on, transfer the reviews from the other editions, update the Customers Who Viewed This... section. You just have to wait for it. It’s like Eagle Eye. Or I Robot.

[To digress, I found a painkiller in the supermarket the other day called IBum. Presumably it’s an ibuprofen abbreviation, but then again, it might be area of the body specific. Maybe it’s the first in a series which threatens to get unpleasant. Maybe Will Smith will be in the movie.]

And if you write to Amazon to ask them to update the page, they say there’s nothing they can do about it, it’s like wrestling a velociraptor, the computer pretty much does at it pleases. That’s got to be a fib.

I have this dream where it all happens quickly, the books appear in the second week of November, all the on-line bookshops get in the groove, (most other on-line bookshops are behind Amazon and don’t even acknowledge that the new edition exists), and the The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson is this year’s Christmas smash hit.

Won’t happen. Time to pop some IStress.


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