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June 07, 2005

残っているものとなくなったもの

なんか久しぶりに時間の余裕があるんでネットとか回ってたら、ソフトマジックの倒産って小さい騒ぎになってたのんですね。で、どうも全体的に情報不足みたいなので、微妙な場所にいる当事者としては、できるだけ情報提供せんといかんかな、とまあこう思いました。

負債一億二千万、とかになってます(管財人からうちに来た手紙では一億四千万。さらに管財人が把握してなかったうちの債権乗っけると一億六千万という勘定になる)が、その額が大きいから潰れたんじゃなく、毎月回す運転資金が枯渇したのが倒れた直接の原因です。

去年の夏に「すいーとP」シリーズ出した頃には、社内には社長含めて三人しかいませんでした。で、営業だった人を編集に回し、もう一人にDTPやらせて、なんとか本作ってたわけですよ。

「すいーとP」シリーズは、重版になった本も4冊出てますから、前半においては結構好調でした。が、その利益は全部前の年の借金の支払いに回ってしまい、製作者にはほとんど支払われてなかったんです。このブログの左っかわで紹介されている本4冊のギャラは、全部未払いです。でもまあ、「売れてるんだから、そのうち立ち直るだろう」と考えて、あんまりきつく請求もしませんでした。

で、年を越したら多少マシになったかと言うと、逆に悪化して1月から従業員二人に対する給与が支払われなくなります。3月になると、もうこれ以上従業員を雇い続けられないので解雇し、書籍の製作業務をうちの会社に委託してきた、とこういうわけです。だから、4月売りと5月売りの本の奥付には、わたしの名前が編集人として乗ってるのですね。

3月に仕事引き受けた時には、「PC本の返品がまだ止まらない。でも、もうほとんど残っていないはずだから、年度が変われば状況は上向く」と社長に言われました。なるほどそうなら、6月ぐらいからは製作資金を回して貰えるでしょ、とこちらでは期待したわけです。1~3月の間、かなりズレた本出してたけど、ここでうちがテコ入れすれば、昨年後半みたいに、いやそれ以上に売れる本作れるでしょ、という自信もありました。なにせこのブログのバックナンバー見ればある程度わかるように、社長はオタじゃありませんでしたが、わたしゃオタなので。

4月~5月前半はそういう感じで比較的平穏に過ぎたのですが、5月の20日過ぎになって、数日前の記事にも書いたように、社長また落ち着かなくなってきたのですよ。曰く「ノベルの返品が止まらない」。止まらないって、前から返品されてたのかよ、とかこちらでは思いましたけど。なぜかこちらでは、取次さんから来た資料見せて貰ってないので、どの本がどれぐらい返本されてたのか正確なことはわかりません。

んで、「話がしたい」というので、四谷にでかけていって居酒屋でビール飲みつつ話聞いたわけです。そこで言われたのが「どんなにいいものを作ってもらっても、うちの看板ではそれを売ることができない。だからノベルの製作やめよう。」とのお言葉。それに対して一時腹を立てたけれど、一晩で考え直した、てことについてはすでに書きました。


その翌々日、ソフトマジックという会社は事実上業務を停止しました。この時点をもって、取次さんとの取引も停止しているはずです。同日夕方には、HPも閉鎖されてます。うちの方も、当日になって電話一本貰っただけで、事前に「会社たたむ」とは一言も聞いてません。なお、不渡り出しての倒産ではなく、あくまでも自己破産の申請なので、社長が思いとどまったらまだ多少持たせることはできたはずです。

結果的に最後の2ヶ月を他社に下請けに出してしまっているため、「すいーとP」シリーズの製作チーム(編集・作家・イラストレータ)はそのまんま残ってます。ついでに、印刷所に入れたものと同一のDTPデータも、全部保持してます。6月売りについては、校了寸前のほとんど完成品のDTPデータがあります。あと、最後に社長が送ってくれた、4月刊までの見本が各10冊ぐらい。

ないのは、5月刊の本。取次や書店さんに送る分どころか、著者に渡す見本すらありません。
しょうがないから、自分の書いた分だけでも買いに行こうかな、と思うのですが、何か釈然としませんな。

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