the state of things

 

Moving On

by Douglas Lindsay - 14:47 on 13 July 2010

The Urban World Cup Batcave Death Poet is dead.


Back in the real world, the world that exists beyond the World Cup, life goes on in its usual manner. The school holidays have begun. On the plus side, school rugby training starts again seven weeks tomorrow, and that doesn't seem so far away now. The summer will fly by in a dreamy haze of warm days and drizzly days. The British Open starts this weekend. You can get odds of 1500-1 on Sandy Lyle to win at Bet365 if the notion took you. That might be a waste of your money. Like my bet on Cote D'Ivoire to win the World Cup.


Over the summer, work will continue at the busy industrial centre of Long Midnight Publishing to get the digital Barney Thomson series up and running. We, at LMP Central, are contemplating pulping the book stock and turning the Barney series into a digital-only entity. You won't find many Barney Thomson titles in the bookshops of Britain. There have never been any in WH Smith, and only the occasional Waterstones and independent bookshop will carry them. This means that the bulk of Barney Thomson sales have been through Amazon.


For years this went well. However, a look at the current Amazon rankings shows that the seven titles in the series, in book order, at this very instant are ranked as follows:


141,627

233,592

68,769

301,023

232,020

241,842

227,587


Now Amazon rankings fluctuate more than the FTSE, but that is a wretchedly bad showing by any measure. It's the equivalent of the Scottish football team's ranking under Berti Vogts. Blue sky thinking, or at least, some sort of thinking, is called for. Putting all the books out of print, in order to help sell more, might just be the kind of inspired genius that turns things around.


The final decision, when ratified by the full Long Midnight Publishing Board of Directors, will be communicated in the usual manner.


On an unrelated note: today's headline in the Daily Express. One in Five Britons Will Be Ethnics. Doesn't that just make you proud to be British, and to be part of such a tolerant and open society? My spellchecker doesn't even acknowledge that ethnics is a word. I wonder if we scrounging ethnic Scots will be classed as part of the hated One in Five.


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