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About Us

(The story of Misfit Press is inextricably linked to the story of Misfit Incorporated, which is inextricably linked to the story of AJ and Melissa Leon. These fascinating stories have been told at length on many other occasions – in newspapers, on TEDx stages, during numerous interviews and chance meetings in wine bars. If you want to explore the weird and wonderful company that is Misfit Incorporated, peruse our site. For the full backstory, check out this video interview.)

Misfit Press itself was established in 2014, with the publication of AJ Leon’s The Life & Times of a Remarkable Misfit. The little-known backstory to The Life & Times is that it was originally slated to be published by a major American publisher, who headhunted AJ after noticing the popularity of his blog, The Pursuit of Everything. About a third of the way through the writing of the book, AJ began to get twitchy about the compromises involved in traditional publishing: uncompromising editorial pressure, a lack of say on issues such as design and artwork. Not long later, AJ bailed on the contract, and decided to publish the book himself. The Misfit team created and ran a Kickstarter, aimed at raising $15,000 to cover publishing costs. By the time the fundraising had run its course, pledges totalled more than treble that amount. With the excess funds, AJ and Misfit decided to go one better than just publishing a book, and also founded a publishing house.

Since its founding, Misfit Press has steadily flourished. In 2015, we took under our wing Wolftree, the finest arts journal in the American Midwest; we released our 2015 Anthology, featuring the finest creative work we encountered over the preceding year; and The Life & Times of a Remarkable Misfit continued to find readers across the globe. In 2016 we published Destination Shakespeare, the debut poetry collection from esteemed Shakespeare academic Paul Edmondson; and we have more Shakespeare-related publications in the works for 2017, including Shakespeare On The Road, a tale of a Shakespearian adventure across the US.

Last  year was a big growth period for the Press, and there is lots more on the way for 2017. As you’ll see from our Forthcoming Publications section, over the next twelve months we will be publishing Saya Sayama: Three Years in Myanmar by incredible photojournalist Spike Johnson, a photonarrative account documenting a unique moment in Myanmar’s history: the violent shift from General Ne Win’s fifty-year dictatorship to the country’s first steps towards democracy. Also imminent is Tangentially Reading, featuring some of the most insightful, shocking, touching, and hilarious moments from the first 200 episodes of Christopher Ryan’s much-loved podcast, Tangentially Speaking.

These are exciting times at Misfit Press. To keep up to date with everything that’s going on, follow us at our blogFacebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. Into the future, we will always continue to work in the fashion we do right now: with authors we like, on projects that matter, in a way that leaves writer, reader and everyone in-between satisfied. We will also never renege on our One-for-One pledge; for every publication we ever sell, a child in India will receive money towards prescription eyeglasses, via the Misfit Foundation.

w: Matt

Quiz: Amazon Reviewers Versus Classic Novels

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
Ambrose Bierce

Amazon reviewers don’t pull any punches. If they don’t like something, they ain’t afraid to tell you. And so today, in the first of what will be a monthly Misfit Press literary quiz, we bring you Amazon Reviewers Versus Classic Novels.

In much the same way that you can go on IMDb and find that 32,459 people have awarded The Godfather one starbrowse Amazon, and you will find that even those novels most universally regarded as really rather good are not safe from internet ire.  Below, you will find ten real one-star reviews. From the clues lurking amidst the disdain and poor syntax, see if you can surmise which of four possible books the irate reader is reviewing.

These quizzes aren’t all fun and games, though. At the end of the ten questions, you’ll be given the option to enter your email address. If you enter your email address here, you will be signed up to our badass mailing list and entered into a random prize draw, in which three quizzers will win a free copy of the Misfit Anthology 2015 (retail value of $22, y’all). So if you hate receiving gorgeous collections of brilliant prose, poetry, art and photography absolutely free, then don’t enter your email. Otherwise, you know what to do.

And so, without further ado, I give you Amazon Reviewers Versus Classic Novels…

242 words

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W:

4.27.16

MattMatt is Chief Editor at Misfit Press. Alongside overseeing all activity at the Press, he is in the latter stages of a PhD, working on a thesis examining the intersections between literature, neuroscience and the philosophy of consciousness. Soccer, snowboarding, prog metal, Dostoevsky, a good Chianti and strangers' dogs all rank amongst his favourite things.

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