1. How do I get to write one of these books?
Every 18 months or so, we put out an open call for proposals - announcements are made on this blog. We don't accept proposals at any other time.
2. When did the 33 1/3 series start?
The first six books were published in September 2003 - on Dusty in Memphis, Forever Changes, Harvest, The Village Green Preservation Society, Meat is Murder, and The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
3. When will it finish?
That could be construed as impolite. We genuinely don't know. Maybe after 100 volumes, maybe a little after that...
4. What's the best-selling book in the series?
As of today, it's still Meat is Murder by Joe Pernice, which has been the best-selling book since the series started. The Kinks and Neutral Milk Hotel books are not far behind.
5. Why doesn't my local bookstore stock these books?
There's not a great deal we can do about that. Several of the bigger branches of Barnes & Noble carry the series, and many more Borders stores will be stocking the series very soon. Plenty of awesome independent record stores carry the series, so they're always worth checking. And Virgin Megastores, too. In the UK, it seems like FOPP is a good bet, and some branches of Waterstones. Amazon.com and .co.uk carry all of the books, and you can always buy them direct from us through the Continuum website.
6. Why on earth are you publishing a book about Celine Dion, if this is a series of books about the best albums ever made?
The (modest) remit of the series is simply to publish interesting books about interesting albums, and Carl Wilson's book promises to be very interesting indeed.
7. I've never read a book in the series - what would be a good one to start with?
Gosh, that's a tough one. These books are really quite different. You could try the R.E.M. book, maybe, or the Beatles one. A lot of people like the Kinks book, too.
8. How do I write one of these books?
See answer no.1, above.
9. Why are these books so inconsistent and unpredictable?
Well, we've always encouraged the writers to try different approaches; not everyone will like all of these. We try to make it clear, on the back cover of each book, what the contents are like. If you're looking for straightforward music journalism, you might want to avoid the books on the Smiths, the Replacements, and the Band, to name a few.
10. What the hell happened to the My Bloody Valentine book?
It's out, now.
11. What the hell happened to the London Calling book?
The original author has, for various reasons, been unable to finish the book in time. We'll be announcing a new author for this book very shortly. We are very sorry about this. The book will absolutely be worth the wait.
12. What does "33 1/3" mean?
It's a bit like MP3, but different. 33 1/3 is the number of revolutions per minute at which a vinyl album should be played.
13. Which books are coming out next?
Coming up very soon are the books on Steely Dan, PJ Harvey, and A Tribe Called Quest. After that we'll have a little summer break before unleashing a few more books in September - U2, Belle & Sebastian, and a couple of others.
14. Why is there only one Radiohead/Beatles/Dylan book in the series so far?
From the start, we've had a "one book per artist" rule, on the assumption that the series would probably disintegrate after about 25 books. We are starting to realise that this rule may not be entirely practical, from a sales point of view. Next time we look for some more proposals, we'll probably ditch this rule, unceremoniously.
15. Is it really worth paying $55 to see the Jesus and Mary Chain play at Webster Hall?
No, but let's go anyway!