the state of things

 

Books On A Stick

by Douglas Lindsay - 11:49 on 18 October 2011

This is the Blasted Heath box set which will go on sale on 1st November 2011, containing the five books with which Blasted Heath will be launched: DEAD MONEY by Ray Banks, THE MAN IN THE SEVENTH ROW by Brian Pendreigh, ALL THE YOUNG WARRIORS by Anthony Neil Smith, PHASE FOUR by Gary Carson and THE LONG MIDNIGHT OF BARNEY THOMSON.

 

 

                                                The future of publishing


The basic concept here is Books on a Stick, which you then plug into your computer and read on the device of your choice. I first heard about it a couple of months ago, sitting in a bar in the middle of Glasgow eating lunch with Blasted Heath publishing supremos, Al Guthrie and Kyle MacRae on a warm and humid day in the middle of August. Two streets away Brad Pitt was filming his zombie movie World War Zed, but little did the Glasgow public know that the real groundbreaking, earth shattering, entertainment-defining business was being carried out nearby by three men huddled over pints of warm lager and a packet of stale Mediterranean Sea Salt and Olive Vinegar crisps.


There were all sorts of ideas flying around that lunch time, not just limited to Books on a Stick. There was Books in a Lollipop, Ice Cream Books, Books on A Plane (with a promotional video starring Samuel L Jackson), Books in Your Underpants and Books in Soup. There was an awful lot of thinking outside the box, and as Brad Pitt skewered a zombie through the eyeball with a sharpened baseball bat, and fake blood bled on the streets of Glasgow like… well, real blood on the streets of Glasgow… the Books On Something Other Than a Download meeting arrived at two great ideas, which Blasted Heath are now taking forward.


Books on a Stick, with which they launch two weeks today. And then, coming in the New Year, an exciting new concept in baby care, Books in Nappies.


The main issue with nappies, of course, is that they are covered in pretty pictures and numbers and letters etc. Seriously, what in the name of all fuck, is the point? You're hardly likely to pick up the shit-infested nappy, hold it in front of your kid's face, and say, 'A is for apple….' or 'Look at the bus! Big bus! What colour's the bus? What colour is it? Is it red? Is it red, schnoofy? Is it?'


'No, dad, it's not red, it's a weird mustard colour, because it's covered in my weird mustard coloured shit, you idiot. And don't call my schnoofy, I hate that.'


Even when putting the nappy on, one is hardly likely to pause to explain the cartoons or teach the alphabet. That few seconds, before the clean nappy is applied, is a ticking bomb, just waiting for the baby to unleash a clusterfuck of body fluid. You strap that thing on there as quickly as possible.


Now, however, there's going to be a new feature added to the nappy changing experience. Blasted Heath Nappy Books. Rather than numbers and letters and drawings of elephants, these books will cater for mum and dad, with His and Hers nappy packs depending on who's doing the changing. For men, there will be a series of sports statistics and interesting tales from the history of, for example, the FIFA World Cup and the FIA F1 World Championship. The range for women will included recipes, chic lit and clothes. (They've polled.) If you don't get the chance to read the contents of the nappy before it becomes infected with small person's discharge, you'll be able to scan the nappy into your computer.

 

If the idea proves successful, and why wouldn't it, there's the real chance of a nappy specific Barney Thomson short story being available by next Christmas.


However, all that's for the future. Two weeks today comes the Blasted Heath launch, with five books on a USB stick. Subscribe to the Blasted Heath newsletter and get it at a discount. Buy it for your friends, your friends' friends and your friends' friends' friends.


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