Plan A

Added on 15 December 2008

I have given myself a small problem with the current planning for the Barney Thomson series. The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson has been reprinted, with its new branding and figure of Death on the cover, quite a departure from the previous cover concept. This new edition also has the number 1 on the spine, so that eventually the sequentiality of the series will be immediately apparent.

However, at the moment I’m not ready - neither financially nor in terms of bringing the manuscripts for two and three into line - to re-release the next five titles in the series. In itself that’s not a problem, as I can just do it on a case by case basis and ease them out into the market over time. The problem arises with the new release of the seventh book in the series, The Final Cut, at the end of next summer.

It makes no sense to release The Final Cut with the previous cover scheme, to then have to reprint it at some point in the future. (The cover that currently shows on the site for The Final Cut neither ties in with the old nor the new schemes and, while I like it, I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking when giving the designer instructions. Or, at least, I know what I was thinking, but this later developed into the cover we now have for Long Midnight.)

So, since that makes no sense, the logical thing to do would be to cover the book in line with the new scheme, with a number 7 on the spine. However, since it’s unlikely that numbers 2 through 6 will all have been reprinted by the time number 7 is released, anyone going looking for the new scheme will find number 1 and number 7, but not those in-between. A bit of investigation will get them to the right place, but obviously it’s still messy.

So, there needs to be a plan. I don’t want to push The Final Cut back any further as I’ve already delayed it twice, so its release date of 1 Sep 2009 stays. Which leaves two aspects to be dealt with. 1) Getting the three manuscripts which need to be worked on - 2, 3 and 7 - finished on time and 2) finding the money to reprint the entire series.

I have dealt with number 1) by getting time management consultants in, at a reasonable fee of £25,000/hour. They advised me on how I could create five more hours of working day per day. Stop writing the blog - 1½ hours; get the kids to walk to and from school on their own - 1½ hours; stop going to the bathroom - 10 minutes; stop attending the International Women’s Quilting & Vodka Club - 1½ hours; stop eating chocolate - 20 minutes.

That takes care of number 1). Number 2) is a bit trickier. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of money going around at the moment, but basically I’m going to have to go to a bank for a loan. I’ll have to present a business plan. That should get a few laughs, being the business super-genius that I’m not. Maybe I’ll try one of those Icelandic banks. Or one of the Scottish ones, which aren’t actually doing all that much better. Perhaps they’ll notice that I’m marginally in the black and ask if I can give them a loan instead.

The complete, sequentially numbered Barney Thomson series. Coming your way some time soon(ish).