Today's news will make both tech nerds and literary nerds very happy. McSweeney's, a publishing house founded by writer/editor Dave Eggers, has released an iPhone app. If you're scratching your head trying to figure out why the name McSweeney's sounds familiar, or you just don't know what the big deal is, then you should know that McSweeney's has published the works of well-known authors such as Nick Hornby, Michael Chabon, Stephen King, David Byrne, and Joyce Carol Oates.
The app will bring you daily humor from McSweeny's Internet Tendency site, along with news, updates, and announcements. But the main advantage of having the McSweeney's app is the debut of the Small Chair, which is a weekly sampler from different parts of the McSweeney's family. Besides publishing books, and the daily-updated literature and humor site McSweeney's Internet Tendency, McSweeney's also puts out three regular publications: the quarterly literary journal entitled "Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern," the monthly magazine "The Believer," and a quarterly DVD magazine called "Wholphin." The app will feature different surprises each week, such as a story from the upcoming Quarterly, an interview from the Believer, or even a short film from the next issue of the Wholphin.
Great minds such as Spike Jonze, Wells Tower, and Chris Ware are already lined up to release material for the app. The app costs $5.99 at the Apple App Store, and expires after six months. The material on the app will not be available anywhere else on the Web.
Read what McSweeney's has to say about the app after the jump.
It’s true. We hereby announce the debut of the Small Chair, a weekly sampler from all branches of the McSweeney’s family. One week you might receive a story from the upcoming Quarterly, the next week an interview from the Believer, the next a short film from a future Wholphin. Occasionally, it might be a song, an art portfolio, who knows. Early contributors will include Spike Jonze, Wells Tower, Chris Ware, and Jonathan Ames. This material will not be available online and is pretty sure to be good stuff.
The app will also deliver the daily humor from our Internet Tendency, specially formatted for the iPhone, along with news, updates, and announcements.
No longer will T-Pain be your only salvation on trains, during lunch, and through all the other empty gaps in a day; allow the Small Chair to fill your moments of solitude, moments of togetherness, moments of intolerable boredom. The Small Chair is available on the iPhone® and the iPod touch®, and currently nowhere else. It can be downloaded from the App Store, via the normal channels.
$5.99 (or local equivalent) gets you the app plus six months of weekly excitement — a half-year of surprises, all delivered straight to your pocket.
WHAT ABOUT, LIKE, REAL BOOKS?
We are more committed than ever to books, paper, and exploring the possibilities and challenges of our physical objects. This fall we’re publishing a prototype for future newspapers (the folded-newsprint kind); next spring we’ve got a rollicking pentagonal building-book coming; right now we’ve just debuted terrific novels from Jessica Anthony, James Hannaham, and Bill Cotter — all printed on sturdy 21st-century paper.
At the same time, we’re always looking for new ways to communicate with our readers. McSweeneys.net has been an important part of our operation from our very beginning, and this project is the next logical step. It’s fun to try things like this, and the iPhone format provides opportunities for working with different types of media, especially in small chunks and with fast delivery. We expect it to evolve in interesting and unpredictable ways, and hopefully you’ll follow along with us.