CJ hurled the book across the room. "That's awful!" He shouted. "We can't publish that. It's a turkey. I didn't get where I am today by not being able to recognize a turkey when I see one. "
Gwendolene shifted uncomfortably in her seat. "Well, it does have one good bit, I think you'll agree."
CJ snorted. "Hmph. Yes. One good bit of four pages. The other nine hundred are complete drivel! How do you propose we get people to just read the good bit, eh? Print four pages of print and nine hundred blank ones?"
"No, CJ, that would be dishonest!" And kind of weird, thought Gwendolene. "But if readers are browsing in a bookshop, and the book accidentally fell open to those four pages, might they not be so impressed that they bought the book?"
CJ's caterpillar eyebrows regarded her. "Are you trying to find a job for that useless boyfriend of yours? Breaking the spines on all our books just so that it falls open on the right page?"
"No, CJ." Not after last time. And besides, Charlie might be gorgeous but he was totally unreliable and would probably fall asleep after book number three. "But there is an alternative. Professor Gurtwhelter in R&D has created a new device which he calls the PageSlapper. It grabs books off the conveyor belt (or whatever the heck they have in book factories), then using a simple ratchet mechanism slips in a cake slice at the correct point, opens the book a couple of times, and then sends it on its way. When a reader opens the book, it naturally falls open at the good bit. They're impressed, and buy the book."
She'd definitely engaged his interest now. "Hmm. And this Gartbelter's invention works then, does it?"
She shrugged. "Worked for Harry Potter."
(One bestseller later...)
"Genius, young lady, genius! I didn't get where I am today by recognizing genius when it bit me on the nose. I was thinking, if we took all the good racy bits out of, say, a Joan Collins, we could spread them over five or six rubbish books and sell vast numbers! Whaddya think, eh? Brilliant!"
"I think people have already done it, CJ..."
"Never mind. Gad, the firm is saved. And it's all thanks to that Professor Wurstbunter and his marvellous PageSlapper machine!"