Hot on the heels of the Threadbone Press's announcement of the relaunch of its THREADBONEnoir reprint series [the claim that the series marked the beginning of an entirely new venture was - publishing organ "The Publisher's Organ" declared "far-fetched, fanciful, perhaps even mendacious" - comes news of the imminent appearance of Maurice and Charles MacPro's "kiss-and-tell" behind-the-scenes exposé Hello My Precious: Constructing Images, Selling Stuff: The Inside Story of the Campaign for Threadbone Noir. As was the case with their previous publication "The Serif of Nottington" [more HERE] the new title promises to be an "interesting" read - at least according to that go-to monitor of interesting reads - South-west Dorset Interesting Reads Monthly Magazine.
Previous incarnation of Jim Thombone's She Done Him Wrong did not have "the most inspiring cover in publishing history" [ABOVE], whilst the rebranded and relaunched 2018 version bears all the hallmarks of the MacPro's magic at work. "If the cover appeals, the public will buy it", Charles MacPro once said, "who cares if the contents are crap? Better still if they are - then there's no obligation to read them".
Launched to mixed reviews nearly a decade ago the Threadbone American Classics Reprint Series - which tried to recycle undistinguished out-of-copyright mid 20th century American pulp fiction and noir novels - failed to find favour with the public despite passionate advocacy from some well-paced in the Great Heaving business community. A frustrated Threadbone Press tried to lay blame at the doorstep of readers who, they claimed, were unwilling to give the series a proper chance. "It's simply a matter of suspending all critical judgement and any expectations of a satisfactory narrative line. In any event, what do you expect for £7.99". The publisher's unusually aggressive stance provoked a hostile response; a typical example being that of Mr Appo Plectique: "As a matter of fact for £7.99 I can get two bags of manure from Threadbonemeals and that's one whole bag of crap more than the steaming pile of shit that is Thomas Piccalilli's Return of the Slightly Unwell." In the end the series was destined for the remainder shelves, though the worst-selling titles went directly to landfill. The Threadbone Press retreated - temporarily - into safer waters, concentrating on children's books (the Ladybone imprint) and Scouting Annuals under the general editorship of ex Spanish Boy Scout and former Threadbone amanuensis Enriqué (de los Chicos Perdidos).
Fast forward to 2018 and the digital studios of Maurice and Charles MacPro. Commissioned to resurrect the series and recoup the losses of its previous incarnation, the design/promotion/advertising gurus invented "a whole new way of marketing the unmarketable". Invoking their famous mantra "You can't polish a turd but you can roll it in glitter", the MacPros redesigned the covers, rewrote the back-story, rebranded the goods and launched THREADBONEnoir to uncritically ecstatic reviews. Sales are booming. As they say in the more glitzy wine bars of Cerne Abbas: never mind the contents feel the cover!
Maurice and Charles MacPro's Hello My Precious: Constructing Images, Selling Stuff: The Inside Story of the Campaign for Threadbone Noir is published by The Threadbone Press in its THREADBONEarts series and is likely to become a classic text for students of marketing, design, PR and professional B**l Sh*****g.