Irreverent guide selling like hotcakes
Since its mid-June release, “The Stranger Guide to Seattle: The City’s Smartest, Pickiest, Most Obsessive Urban Manual” has been flying off bookstore shelves and out of dot.com mail-order warehouses — and not just in Seattle.
It went as high as No. 4 on Amazon’s list of best-selling travel books in mid-July but has since dropped back, Amazon reports.
Some 50 staff members and contributing writers produced the book’s sassy-yet-informative copy, edited by Paula Gilovich and Traci Vogel.
“The great thing about it is that we’re probably going to make a little dough on the thing,” says Stranger Publisher Tim Keck, “but more importantly it’s been a way to really establish ourselves as a critical voice for the city, and it’s just nice to have something that doesn’t get thrown away in a week.”
The 258-page paperback published by Seattle’s Sasquatch Books is not only an insider’s guide to the Seattle scene (complete with an index), it’s also a compendium of new work by some of the paper’s best writers. (Yes, that’s the same Sasquatch that was formerly owned by The Stranger’s main competitor, Seattle Weekly.) The writers stretch out on longer pieces inserted between blurbs on everything from dive bars to thrift stores.
“It was nice to kind of get in one place a lot of our key writers doing essays — think-piece essays — about the city, and to just really take a good, cold, hard look at the city and see what’s good about it,” says Keck.
John Ferri is a freelance writer based in Tacoma, Wash.