March 18, 2014

Surprise! Meet CCLaP's unannounced new book, a re-release of "The King in Yellow!"

The King in Yellow (CCLaP Victoriana Series), by Robert W. Chambers

Surprise! CCLaP just released an unannounced new book! And that's because this project came about really quickly, ever since I became a fan literally about a month ago of the big cult hit for HBO, True Detective. I mean, you were watching True Detective too, right? 11 million of us officially were, which when you add BitTorrenters was more like 15 million; and when I discovered online that the complicated mythos behind the Satanic serial killers of that show was based on an obscure but real 1895 horror collection called The King in Yellow by an American named Robert W. Chambers, like many others I went and checked it out via the wonderful archival service Project Gutenberg. It was then that I realized that this original was actually really good unto itself, one of those quiet masterpieces that was not ever completely forgotten, but more known in the first place by only a select small amount of people in the know. (Among its many public admirers over the years has been H.P. Lovecraft, Raymond Chandler, and Blue Oyster Cult; but see the intro to the book, also being posted to the blog today, for more on the book itself and why it's so great.)

The King in Yellow (CCLaP Victoriana Series), by Robert W. Chambers

And this got me thinking about a book series I've been wanting to do here for awhile, called the "CCLaP Victoriana" imprint and dedicated exclusively to gorgeous new rereleases of cultishly classic books from the 1800s; although I had the idea back when we were only doing handmade paper books, the concept would never really fly until we had joined the print-on-demand paperback book company Lightning Source, because the key to this is in doing a whole bunch of them and having them all parked at Amazon for long-tail sales, with new copies only printed each time someone actually orders one. The idea in general is for CCLaP to be doing a certain amount of books each year that literally sell themselves, through the people who are already heading to Amazon and doing a deliberate search on that type of book; and with the massive amount of hype that's surrounded this first season of True Detective this year, even if only a tiny fraction of them come to Amazon to purchase a copy of the 1895 original, that'd still be a pretty nice paycheck for CCLaP when all is said and done. So we sat down to work a couple of weeks ago, I churned out a paperback version with a new sorta hipster layout, Ryan Bradley did a sharp-looking cover, and we got it literally registered and for sale by the time the season finale of True Detective rolled around the other Sunday. And now you can buy it too, for US$14.99 plus shipping, by using the button below...

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The King in Yellow (CCLaP Victoriana Series), by Robert W. Chambers

But of course, this being CCLaP, you don't have to buy the paperback to enjoy this new edition! We have it up for free download at our site too, just like we do with all our other books, in a PDF edition for sending to laserprinters, EPUB for most mobile devices, and MOBI specifically for Amazon Kindles. And of course there's a listing at Goodreads.com for this book as well, so I hope you'll have a chance to go add it to your library and say a few words about this new edition, if you're a member there like I am.

So what's next? Glad you asked! Next up will be a similar hipster reprint of Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1852 Blithedale, about a group of bumbling Transcendentalists who try and fail to open a community farm, and the ingenue spiritualist co-founder who all the men are obsessed with, based loosely on Hawthorne's real-life experiences with the infamous Brook Farm and Margaret Fuller; then will be Arthur Morrison's 1897 The Dorrington Deed Box, a series of detective stories about a deliberate "anti-Sherlock Holmes," a happy-go-lucky but deeply corrupt sociopath who not only solved crimes for the reward money, but then doubled his income by blackmailing and stealing from everyone involved; then after that will be a special deluxe new edition of Walt Whitman's classic 1855 Leaves of Grass, designed from start to finish by our art director Ryan W. Bradley, and which we'll also likely be releasing as a handmade hardback as well. Given how many original contemporary novels we're putting out this year as well, we'll be lucky to get through just these by the end of 2014, which leaves our 2015 wide open right now; so if you have a suggestion for a cultishly classic 1800s book that you'd like to see be a part of this series, please drop us a line at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com, or make a comment at our Facebook group, and let us know!

Filed by Jason Pettus at 11:06 AM, March 18, 2014. Filed under: CCLaP Publishing | CCLaP news | Literature |