Robert Isenberg

Robert Isenberg
December 31
Robert Isenberg is a freelance writer, playwright, photographer and stage performer. He is a past recipient of the Brickenridge Fellowship, McDowell Scholarship, Trespass Residency, and two Golden Quill Awards. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University, where he served as Whitford Fellow, the program’s highest honor. Originally from Vermont, he lives in Pittsburgh. His book, The Archipelago, about backpacking the postwar Balkans, was released by Autumn House Press in January 2011. See more at

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MAY 9, 2012 7:45PM

Breaking News!: My Book is on Kindle

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This morning, I received the following email from my publisher, Michael Simms.

Hi Robert,

The Archipelago is now available as a Kindle Edition!  Please get the word out that the Kindle text costs only $9.99.  See below.



I nearly jumped out of my IKEA chair. A Kindle edition? No kidding! I never really expected this to happen. The book has been available for about 18 months, but always as a physical paperback. Never once was a Kindle version discussed. It seems my publisher, Autumn House Press, has joined the digital revolution, and I couldn’t be happier.

            For the record, I prefer actual books, made of paper, ink and glue. There is nothing I love like the ranked spines on my bookshelf, their colors and titles and fonts. I love to blow dust away and crack the volume open. There is nothing as delicately beautiful as the splay of pages. Since my earliest years, I adored books as objets d’arts.[1] Instead of potted plants or memorabilia, books were my sole décor.

            But ebooks are changing the world, and not in a bad way. Publishers bemoan declining book sales, not to mention the deluge of subpar titles. And it’s true, some books are too half-baked to deserve an ISBN, and now anyone can globally release them. Yet ebooks save trees. They are simple and efficient. Thanks to grayed screens, they even resemble paper. For voracious readers, for beach books, for mysteries and romances too trashy to keep or reread, Kindles and Nooks are perfect. Why lug the weight of a hardcover Executioner’s Song? And isn’t it nice to avoid judgment on the bus, when fellow passengers know exactly what you’re reading—Recipe for Temptation, perhaps, or a Louis L’Amour Western. Thanks to ebooks, your reading material is as private as a text message.

            What really excites me is the price: $10, instead of $20 for the paperback. Don’t get me wrong: The Archipelago is absolutely worth two sawbucks, but most of my friends are impoverished bohemians who wouldn’t spend $20 at the supermarket. One Hamilton is a much easier sell.[2]

            And because it’s an easier sell, I encourage everyone to procure a copy. You will have my book instantly. Through its prose,  you will journey through the heart of the Balkans. You can enjoy it anywhere. And I’m confident you will love it.

[1] Let it be known that I was a pretentious child, and if I had known the term objects d’arts, I would have used it constantly. Seriously. I often referred to money as “pelf.”

[2] Even if the transaction is digital and no image of Hamilton is exchanged.


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