August 17, 2010

CCLaP's newest original book is finally here!

99 Problems, by Ben Tanzer

Screenshot from 99 Problems, by Ben Tanzer

Screenshot from 99 Problems, by Ben Tanzer

Happy day! CCLaP Publishing's newest original book is finally here! It's entitled 99 Problems and is by our old pal Ben Tanzer, who of course has already published a book with CCLaP in the past as well, the remarkable story cycle Repetition Patterns from 2008. This time, Ben has turned in an essay collection, one that deals with the curious relationship between running and writing (or if you will, between physical activity and creative intellectualism), done by literally penning a series of stories right after a string of actual runs across the United States in winter 2009, examining not just the details of the runs themselves but what new insights he was able to have that day regarding whatever creative project he was working on at the time, whether that was a new short story, his latest novel, his perpetually frustrating attempts to finish his new screenplay, etc. I'm a big fan of the book, to tell you the truth, and am very proud to have it come out under the CCLaP name, and I hope you'll get a chance to become a fan of it too.

Screenshot from 99 Problems, by Ben Tanzer

Screenshot from 99 Problems, by Ben Tanzer

Screenshot from 99 Problems, by Ben Tanzer

Screenshot from 99 Problems, by Ben Tanzer

Screenshot from 99 Problems, by Ben Tanzer

Screenshot from 99 Problems, by Ben Tanzer

As with CCLaP's other books, 99 Problems is shorter in nature to help make it easier to read on an electronic device, and has been released under a Radiohead-style "pay what you want" system, with those paying "nothing" receiving the same full-length, DRM-free version as everyone else. Thankfully, the eBook industry has gone through a major shakeup since the last book CCLaP put out (Palm has gone out of business, iPhones now accept book files, and nearly everyone besides Amazon has finally agreed on a common tech specification), which means that I no longer have to offer the rainbow of file types like I've had to before; now what's available with your purchase of 99 Problems are PDF versions for American and European laserprinters (those are screenshots from the American version you're seeing at the top of this entry), plus a newly enhanced EPUB version that should work on just about every type of eBook/e-ink device out there except Amazon Kindles. (The screenshots above, for example, are of the book running successfully on an iPhone and Sony Reader.) If you're a Kindle owner yourself, you will of course need to purchase the book directly from Amazon for a flat $5 (link coming later this week, as soon as Amazon approves the listing), because That's What Amazon Decrees And No One Can Fight The Amazon; and also please know that when you purchase the book there, Amazon keeps a whopping 50 percent of the cover price for the "privilege" of selling it at Amazon, meaning that Ben only receives a total of $1.25 out of every $5 purchase there. (As you can tell, I'm not much of a Kindle fan, and really urge people to migrate to other devices as soon as possible, not least of which is so that you can actually own the books you're purchasing, instead of expensively "renting" them from Amazon for full price and then losing them all once you stop being an Amazon customer.)

Screenshot from 99 Problems, by Ben Tanzer

Anyway, like I said, I do hope you'll have a chance to download 99 Problems soon and hopefully become as big a fan of it as I am; and of course don't forget the supplemental material being published here at the blog today as well, including a new critical essay by me on why I signed it in the first place, as well as a fun and inventive customized Google map of one of the actual stories from the book, showing graphically just how that particular run progressed through the pedestrian trails of Chicago's Lincoln Park. And of course for my fellow members of that literary social network, don't forget that 99 Problems has its own listing at Goodreads.com as well; both Ben and I are happy and active members there, and know exactly how much good word-of-mouth there can help a new book, so would really like to encourage our fellow GRers to add the book to their "to-read" list there whenever they have a chance, and especially to post a few thoughts about the book after they're done reading it. It's highly appreciated.

Filed by Jason Pettus at 10:27 AM, August 17, 2010. Filed under: Arts news | CCLaP Publishing | CCLaP news | Chicago news | Literature | Profiles |