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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: Clare

Quiz: Match the Iconic Cover to the BookDo you recognise these famous pieces of literary cover art?

Recently, we’ve been having a lot of fun designing the cover for our upcoming publication, Destination Shakespeare, and we figured what better way to seek inspiration than by studying some of the most iconic book covers ever created? We thought you might be inspired by these too, so we’re delighted to bring you the second of our monthly quizzes: Match the Iconic Cover to the Book.

Book covers are an essential part of the experience of reading. Often, they will be the only thing that encourages you to pick up a book in the first place. They have to speak to the essence of a book; to sum up the content of its pages in a fleeting glance; to be a picture that really does speak a thousand words. These covers have had their publication details removed, leaving it up to you to match the iconic design to the book itself.

If you choose to enter your email address at the end of the quiz, you’ll not only be signed up to our badass mailing list but entered into a random prize draw, in which three of you lucky literary enthusiasts will win a free copy of the Misfit Anthology 2015. This little beauty contains some of the finest poetry, prose and artwork encountered by us over the past 18 months — but if this isn’t up your street, then don’t enter your email.

Scroll down to begin the quiz!

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W:

5.19.16

ClareClare is Assistant Editor at Misfit Press. She enjoys taking pictures with a variety of strange cameras, chasing after cats, drinking pale ale and exploring new places.

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