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Ugly Duckling Presse's super-bargain sale

August 03, 2012|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • Two of the 70 titles on sale from Ugly Duckling Presse.
Two of the 70 titles on sale from Ugly Duckling Presse. (Ugly Duckling Presse )

Friday is the final day of a massive sale from Ugly Duckling Presse. Although sales often feature individual items at a discount, Ugly Duckling Presse is taking a different approach: It's offering a package of 70 titles. All you need to get it is $300.

That's a chunk of change, but it also means that the prices of those books average out to less than $5 apiece. The 70 books comprise all of the full-length books the independent publisher has in print, which includes several deluxe books and oversize editions. With Ugly Duckling Presse, the package is sure to be an interesting read.

With a history that stretches back to zines and handmade chapbooks, Ugly Duckling Presse publishes poetry, drama, prose, and hard-to-categorize intellectual ephemera. It's a nonprofit collective based in New York, with its editorial direction steered by about a dozen volunteers.

"Each editor really has to want to do whatever they're going to publish, and also it's their choice; it's not democratic, we don’t vote on which books to do. But we all come from similar sensibilities," founder Matvei Yankelevich told the website Brooklyn Spaces. "We all want to publish books that no one else is doing. And there's of course the handmade aspect. We're not Luddites by any means; sure, we’re a letterpress shop, but we also have two computers and we’re doing online books, exploring things that you can’t do in a print book. We just really believe in the book as a technology that works and that hasn’t been exhausted yet, one that is still interesting and immediate, and that it’s important how you make the book, not just what’s in it."

Ugly Duckling Presse's books include new works and reprints of overlooked books of the past. “Our books suggest many different lineages of the avant-garde,” Yankelevich told the New York Times in 2009. “We like books that build off of Modernism and go somewhere.”

The $300-for-70 books sale includes free shipping. It ends Aug. 3.

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