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Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Perrenial Springs Anew

Time to check out Harper Perennial, apparently. I found the preceding ad in the back of my new issue of A Public Space. Never one to turn down abject pleading, I investigated and found the Olive Reader, HP’s blog packed with news not just about books but also unicorn tatoos, fake Criterion Collection DVD covers - more hip than a fixed-gear bicycle.

But if that weren’t crazy enough, HP is doing something even more insane. It’s promoting short stories. A real live, major publishing house (owned by Rupert Murdoch, for God’s sakes) is giving away one free story a week at This week they are on number 24, ‘Alyosha the Pot’ by Tolstoy. At the bottom of the page you can see the contemporary and classic author collections HP is publishing now. I like the tease because it plays to the short stories' strengths. It gives the casual web-browser something short but complete to read but then hits you with promotions for the collections that possibly contain more treasures within.

One of the best parts of the Olivereader blog are the short story public service announcements. The first one I’m not so crazy about but this one

And this one

are a scream. What's the deal, HarperCollins? Are you trying to break my big-publishing cynicism? Well, it just might work.

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