This month marks the 10 year anniversary of the release of our very first book, "Weird NJ: Your Travel Guide to New Jersey's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets," published by Barnes & Noble in Sept. 2003. As hard as it is for us to conceive of, we know that there are probably a few folks out there who still do not own this book. So, to celebrate this, our anniversary month, we are going to offer a free gift with the purchase of every hardcover copy of this book through our web site and Amazon Store--a free booklet of 23 postcards featuring Weird NJ sites and stories. (http://weird-nj.myshopify.com/collections/other/products/weird-nj-postcard-set-of-23) Wow, that's a $10 value, yours free when you order now! But don't call yet, because that's not all you'll get--we'll even sign each book at no extra cost to you! Supplies are limited and this offer may end without notice, so order your book today. We know you'll feel weird that you did.
Greetings friends and fellow travelers. In 2003 we came out with our first hard cover volume of Weird NJ. Here was our introduction:
We here at Weird NJ are very proud to announce the arrival of our first book! You heard us right – BOOK! It’s a hard cover, full color volume of 276 pages of weirdness that we know you are all going to love.
Over the past ten years that we’ve been publishing Weird NJ magazine, Mark and I have received several offers from various publishing companies interested in having us write a Weird NJ book. Few of these proposals were really worth a second thought though, as we knew these companies had neither the intent nor the means at their disposal to publish the kind of Weird NJ book that we had always envisioned.
Then, about a year ago, we got a call from someone at Barnes and Noble Publishing. The woman on the other end of the phone asked if we had ever considered doing a Weird NJ book. “Yes,” we told her, “yes, we had.”
“Would you be interested in having Sterling publish it?” she asked.
“Well,” we said, “that depends. We would be interested in doing a book if we thought that the final product would be up to our standards, and reflected the high quality that the material deserved. It would have to be a fairly large book,” we told her, “we’ve got an awful lot of stories to tell. Is that alright?”
“It would have to be hardcover--nothing disposable. This is something that people will want to hang onto for a long time to come. Can you do that?” I asked.
“We do not make ‘disposable’ books,” she assured me, with a noticeable sense of pride in her voice.
“And full color--we’ve got lots of pictures!” At this point we were almost challenging her to set limitations, but she would not.
“No problem,” she replied, adding, “there is one other thing, though. We’d like to make sure that the book is affordably priced,” she said.
I was floored, after all of the expensive production factors we had just reeled off to her, SHE wanted to make sure that it was affordable?
“If you can do everything that we asked for and still make it affordable that’s all the better.” We told her.
“We can.” she said.
“Then let’s make a book!”
So over the course of this past year we worked diligently on the Weird NJ book, while at the same time producing what we consider to be two of the finest issues of the magazine to date. And now, here it is--after ten years in the making, hundreds of pictures taken, thousands of miles traveled, and tens of thousands of emails read--Weird NJ: THE BOOK!
I don’t think that I need to tell you how proud we are of this, but suffice it to say, if we were not 100% satisfied with the final outcome, you never would have seen it. The book is a compilation of our travels over the past decade, a journal of adventures and a compendium of all that is weird in the state of New Jersey. There are old stories you may have read in previous issues of the magazine, many of which have been updated and added to. There are new stories that have never before been published in Weird NJ, or anywhere else to that matter. There are legends and lore that are brought into focus and put into perspective. It’s chocked full of the strange sites, crazy characters, odd roadside attractions and ancient artifacts that you’ve come to expect from Weird NJ. In short, if it’s weird and it’s in New Jersey, it’s most likely in this book!
So join us now on our continuing adventure to seek out and document all the weird and wondrous things that this great state we are proud to call home has to offer. It is without a doubt the weirdese we are proud to call home has to offer. It is without a doubt the weirdest state of all, and we should know – we wrote the book!
–Mark and Mark
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