the state of things

 

An Incredibly Exciting Business Update

by Douglas Lindsay - 08:44 on 01 December 2008

On the box of the jigsaw which I currently have sitting on the kitchen table for moments of stress and existential angst, the people at Ravensburger have written: doing a puzzle is a bit like doing yoga exercise.... a very welcome relaxation from your daily routine. There are another couple of sentences of mince, then it states: Doing puzzles is exciting, with invigorating emotional ups and downs... Hang on a second, you just said it was like yoga. Now it’s an emotional rollercoaster... Perhaps they just got everyone in the company to write down a jigsaw simile and randomly selected a few. Too bad they didn’t pick out: Jigsaws are like playing Call of Duty 4 on Playstation, only cheaper or Doing a jigsaw is like a heady combination of landing on the moon, finding the Holy Grail, sleeping with every woman who’s ever been a Charlie’s Angel, and appearing on Top of the Pops.

In business news: another decent month for Long Midnight Publishing in November. Website hits up 523% from last November, sales up 102% from the same period last year. The upside of this is that we’ll be able to continue with the gradual re-launch of the Barney Thomson series, releasing The Cutting Edge of Barney Thomson - renamed as The Barber Surgeon’s Hairshirt - some time before next summer. If we do it in June that might give Amazon enough time to get their orders straightened out before Christmas.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Long Midnight Publishing’s artistic director, Solomon Kane, which appeared in a couple of Sundays this weekend:

Q: How do you explain the continued success of Long Midnight Publishing in these difficult times, when financial systems are collapsing all around the world?

SK: Well, Simon, a few years ago we got Gordon Brown in as a private consultant. You know, he does that kind of thing to top up his government salary. It was when he was still Chancellor. We took all his recommendations, ignored every one of them, and did the opposite. That seems to have worked.

Q: So there’s no chance of Long Midnight Publishing needing to request a government bail out?

SK: Not at the moment. However, our five year business plan involves buying our HBOS, General Motors, Woolworths and the back catalogue of Spandau Ballet. Then we’ll ask for a government bail out.

Q: There are serious rumours going around the markets that you’re considering making a hostile takeover bid for Bloomsbury, in order to get control of the Harry Potter series.

SK: I can’t talk about that at the moment, although it’s a well known fact that we have been courting Ms Rowling for some time in the hope that she brings Harry Potter 8 to us.

Q: That’s the one where Harry helps his kids do a jigsaw...

SK: It’s an absolute rollercoaster. Edge of your seat stuff.

Q: Is it too early to say how the re-launch of The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson is going?

SK: Not at all. We’ve had a lot of orders, a lot of interest from around the world, and already it looks like the 500,000 print run might not have been enough. There was a review in LA last week where they said that The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson was the Paris Hilton of crime novels.

Q: What does that mean?

SK: To be honest, I have absolutely no idea...


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