June 11, 2009KR Blog

I Have A Cunning Plan

Well, actually, I read about it in the newspaper this morning. Here’s the story:

An international fraud in which a gang allegedly made thousands of pounds downloading its own songs from online music stores with stolen credit cards has been cracked by the Metropolitan police and the FBI, the Met claimed yesterday.

You can read the rest of the story here, but the summary goes like this: a gang recorded several songs, which they gave to an online company in the US to upload for sale on iTunes and Amazon. Then they downloaded their own songs “thousands of times” (to the tune of $750,000, apparently) using stolen credit cards, collecting $300,000 in royalties.

Brilliant! The only thing missing was to steal a nuclear weapon from a former Soviet republic and use it to blackmail their way into a Grammy nomination and a seat next to Eminem at the next MTV movie awards.

But I also can’t help seeing promise in this idea as a new model for publishing. So here’s my cunning plan:

1. Join a crew of Somali pirates;
2. Hijack a supertanker;
3. Use ransom money to start a small, independent publishing house. Put out a fall list of sensitive, closely observed domestic fiction;
4. Move to Idaho, join right-wing militia, start a book group;
5. Convince militia’s charismatic but psychologically unstable leader to take over Federal Reserve Bank in New York City in an armed insurrection;
6. Turn it into a Barnes & Noble, offer free coffee;
7. Train hostages in customer service;
8. Place books you’ve published on front tables;

At last, you’re almost ready. Everything is in place! Time for the final, and most important, steps:

9. Use the mountains of cash from the vaults to purchase your own books, over and over, until they hit the New York Times bestseller lists and attract Oprah’s attention;
10. Lunch at Michaels. Drinks at the Century Club. Wait for the offer from Bertelsmann AG.

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