The Three Percent Problem

You can help Chad Post game Amazon. It’ll only cost you $2.99, and you get a free ebook.

In other words, Chad’s put together an ebook called The Three Percent Problem, which is culled from all the posts on Three Percent. Today, Sept 16, he’s trying to get as many people as he can to buy it, to see if it’ll become an Amazon bestseller.

Here’s what he writes today:

This “best of” collection is a fairly coherent survey of the contemporary publishing scene, ranging from an explanation of the economics of publishing translations, to profiles of translators, to rants about book marketing, technology, and 99 cent ebooks. It’s sort of like Andre Schiffrin’s The Business of Books, but with a lot more swearing.

Since the point of Three Percent is to support international literature, all of the proceeds from the sale of this $2.99 ebook will go directly to paying translators. So, in a way, you can think of this as a sort of $3, non tax-deductible, translation . . .

I’m urging everyone I know to buy this today, so that we can game the ranking system, and hopefully get this into the hands of readers who don’t otherwise support international literature.

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Never in a million years. Not until some questions are answered.

[“a fairly coherent survey” – If he does say so myself…]

1) How is this “gaming” Amazon?

2) “will go directly to paying translators” – Which translators and how will the payments occur? No info is given. As a consumer being asked to basically donate shouldn’t I be able to know more that vague statements?

3) “and hopefully get this into the hands of readers who don’t otherwise support international literature.” – You mean like all those people who read Stieg Larsson and buy other Swedish mysteries (not to mention all of the other translated mysteries). Or are we talking real books here and not genre fiction?


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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