Friday's Project is full of woe • 13 March 2008 • The SnowBlog

Friday's Project is full of woe

I wonder if the saga of The Friday Project is finally coming to an end. According to their insolvency firm (quoted in a Bookseller article), their list is currently being sold off. I don't believe that publishers sell off their titles shortly before making a comeback. I think it's safe to say that they are being wound down. Perhaps it's considered inappropriate to idly speculate on such things, but I'm not not just indulging in gossip. In past years, I've put a lot of work into keeping The Friday Project going. I've taken heaps of IT support calls at odd times and spent many dozens of hours unclogging e-mail, resurrecting their website and crawling under desks with bits of cable (favours for which they very kindly ended up reimbursing me). We are also one of their creditors (among other things we've handled some of their cover design), although we are realistic about our chances of seeing that money. Not to mention that Scott Pack, who had been so personally supportive of us when he was at Waterstone's, and who we'd got to know in those days, made the move to become their commercial director. It's our personal belief that without his influence The Friday Project (TFP) would have long since gone under. So I don't feel my interest is idle and I also tend to think that when a firm is in debt, insolvent, in administration and its assets are being 'disposed of', it also isn't speculation to suggest that they're being shut down*. Besides Snowbooks, I've only known two other small businesses with any familiarity and both of them have hit problems and become slow torture for those involved. Small firms are labours of love and if they founder, which they often do, it's a wrenching experience. Anyone considering embarking on such a venture would be well advised to put themselves in Scott's and Clare's shoes and to think how difficult it must be for them. Once all this is concluded, I hope Clare is able to find a job without the stress and the demands she inherited when she found herself in sole charge of TFP. And I hope Scott gets some credit for the solid work he did in keeping a leaky ship afloat as long as he did. Just thinking about it is enough to stop Em and I grumbling that Snowbooks isn't more profitable and instead have us feeling relieved that we're not having to speak with disappointed staff and authors about their futures. Regardless of mistakes that may have been made in the past, it's not a situation I would wish on anyone. *Please note, I'm basing this view on public domain info like published articles and not on any insider knowledge, of which I have known.


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