Marketing gurus all at sea? Literary experts lost for words? PR departments in freefall, struggling to make sense of a left-field move industry moghuls have described as commercial hari-kari? Call it March madness in January, call it a fire-sale in high season [call it anything you like, this is still a tortuous stretch for a teasing opening paragraph [Ed]], it's self-evidently far from business as usual at the Threadbone Press where the simultaneous launch of two major campaigns have left publishing rivals in shock. [Whew [Ed].]
No sooner had the high profile launch of The Nether Cerner hit our TV screens than Dorset's most reputable publishers announced a second major campaign promoting [a] a brand new paperback Crime imprint [Albatross] and [b] their signing of former glamour model Nadine Rumshow whose Stella d'Artois Mysteries have already appeared - self-published - on the worldwide interweb. Since the three extant Stella d'Artois "novels" - featuring louche yet smart ex-cat walk model Stella d'Artois as the crime-solving heroine [surely the heroin-addicted crime-solving protagonist [Crime Ed]] attracted only moderate interest [220 hits in 4 years], no-one expected that a stable boasting the likes of solidly bankable authors Doug Graves, Gordon Tanqueray, Polly Anthus, Emma Roid, Quintus Remus, Agatha Panthus and Eleanor Beechwood, would stump up good money for the analogue rights. Yet it is clear that they have done just that, confounding industry insiders who were caught blindside, unawares and with their literary trousers down [We get the point [Ed].].
So far so unconventional. But what can we make of a second expensive TV Campaign from the Threadbone Press in as many days? Ambition? Disarray? Crossed-wires? Panic?
Marketing experts M T Ware-Haus believes she has the answer. "I was walking past the Great Heaving offices of Charles and Maurice MacPro the other day", she says "when I noticed a sign that said: CAMPAIGNS: Two for the Price of One in January". It was an unusual but, she believes, entirely explicable move. "It's unusual but, I believe, entirely explicable; I mean, after that fiasco with the whales, they are probably lucky to have any business at all".