In a variety of podcasts and other posts, I’ve made reference to a “best of Three Percent” book that we were putting together. One that would sell for $2.99 with all the proceeds going to benefit translators . . .
Well, at long last, after forcing Taylor McCabe (Intern #1) to read and sort some thousands of blog posts, and giving Nate a migraine converting all these pieces into an ebook, The Three Percent Problem: Rants and Responses on Publishing, Translation, and the Future of Reading is now available.
Initially, I thought we could throw this together in a week or two and just make a book featuring the funnier posts that have appeared here, along with a few reviews, long pieces, etc.
Once we starting going through all of these though, it made a lot more sense to piece these articles together into a more coherent overview of the current publishing scene. Obviously, the book focuses mostly on international literature, but also includes articles about the economics of publishing, the future of bookstores, etc. (There are also a lot of rants, including the one about the two versions of The Golden Calf, and how to make an archnemesis . . . We’re here to entertain.)
In other words, this is meant to be an intro to the world of literary publishing, and hopefully will appeal to anyone interested in the field. It’s sort of in the vein of Jason Epstein’s Book Business and Andre Schiffrin’s The Business of Books, although not as smart, a lot more fragmented, and way more obscene.
For practical purposes, we’re only offering this as an ebook for the time being, at the very low price of $2.99. And as mentioned above, all of the proceeds from the sales of this book will go to paying our translators. . . . So you should buy two copies.
Actually, what I’d like for all of you to do is to buy a copy on Friday, September 16th at noon. Yes, I want to game Amazon’s ranking system and see if we can spawn some extra sales simply by inflating our position on the best-seller list. So, if you’re interested in supporting translators, or want something fun to read, or just want to see what happens when there’s a mad rush for a particular ebook, buy a copy for yourself and tell all your friends to do the same.
As linked to above, this is listed on Amazon, and for all the nook users out there, it’s also available via BN.com Still working on getting it into the iBookstore and Google, but I’ll post those links as soon as possible.
And please forgive me in advance, but I’m going to post and repost about this all week, leading up to the September 16th “buy date.” And in exchange, I’ll share with you all the sales info, etc., etc.
Thanks for your continued support in helping Three Percent and Open Letter expand the number of international voices available to American readers. It’s thanks to all of you (and the University of Rochester, natch) that we’re able to do all of these projects . . .
UPDATE: A few people have emailed me about how they want to participate in this, but don’t own an ereader. Not to fret! Aside from Kindle apps for the iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, and Windows Phone, you can also read/buy Kindle books via the Kindle for PC app, Kindle for Mac app, and the Kindle Cloud Reader. So there you are . . .
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .
Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .
There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .
The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .