Loyal as a Book #6

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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

Announcing: Christopher Ryan’s Tangentially Speaking Book Tie-In

This May, Misfit Press is thrilled to announce another forthcoming publication. Tangentially Reading will be the book tie-in to Tangentially Speaking, the popular podcast from bestselling author Dr. Christopher Ryan.

Chris is best-known for his 2010 book, Sex at Dawn. Co-authored with his wife, Cacilda Jethá, Sex at Dawn spent three weeks on The New York Times best-seller list. It was described by Dan Savage as being “the single most important book about human sexuality since Alfred Kinsey unleashed Sexual Behavior in the Human Male on the American public in 1948.” Following the publication of Sex at Dawn, in 2013 Chris gave a TED talk which has since received millions of views. He is a regular contributor to Psychology Today, and is currently putting the finishing touches on his second book, Civilized to Death (scheduled for publication in 2017, from Simon & Schuster).

On top of all this, Chris hosts an extremely popular podcast called Tangentially Speaking. “Dedicated to the idea that good conversation has to be organic, revelatory, and free to go down unexpected paths,” guests on the podcast have ranged from musicians to comedians to doctors to bank robbers to historians to porn stars to primatologists. Tangentially Speaking has, at the time of writing, notched up 182 episodes. Amongst the better-known interviewees are Frans de Waal, Esther Perel, Joe Rogan, Neil Strauss, Graham Hancock, Gabor Maté and Caitlin Doughty.

Tangentially Speaking is where Misfit Press come in. Later this year, we are delighted to be putting out Tangentially Reading, the book tie-in to Chris’s podcast. Tangentially Reading will feature some of the most insightful, shocking, touching, and hilarious moments from the first 200 episodes of Tangentially Speaking. Arranged around the themes which animate the podcast – sex, love, civilisation, travel – this carefully curated collection will be adorned with original artwork and include a new introduction from Chris.

This is a publication which everyone at Misfit Press is very excited about. Enter your email below to receive ongoing behind-the-scenes updates, and access discounted pre-sales ahead of publication.

Additionally, Chris is very keen to receive input from the many Tangentially Speaking listeners on their favourite episodes, guests, and conversational moments. If you have any such comments, please head over here to submit them. The more feedback we receive, the better this book will be.

In the meantime, having subscribed to the mailing list below, subscribe to Tangentially Speaking on iTunes.


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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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