Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 14, 2013.

Update #18 - For backers only

A new edition, and then some

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Update #17 - For backers only

Order a signed paperback for the holidays

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Update #16

Pretty Good Number One in Japanese, and one more thing...

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『Pretty Good Number One』の和訳が決定!

Pretty Good Number One is coming to a Japanese-language bookstore near you!

I heard last night from my agent, Megumi Sakai of Japanese Uni Agency, that Pretty Good Number One will be published in Japan by X-Knowledge, best known for their beautiful books on architecture and home design. The book will include the wonderful interview Takumi Ono did with me for Seattle's Junglecity.com.

I have a lot of questions at this point and not a lot of answers. Let's try a Q&A.

When will the book be published?

No publication date is set, but most likely next year.

Will it be an ebook or paper book? Paperback or hardcover?

It will be a paper book. X-Knowledge didn't buy the ebook rights. Naturally, I hope there will be an ebook as well, and I'll see what I can do about that.

They haven't decided on paperback or hardcover yet. I'm hoping for paperback with a sleeve, which is a common format for Japanese books. Have you ever seen a book published in Japan? The quality of paper, binding, and printing is outrageous.

Will they change the cover? The title?

Beats me! Maybe they'll call it ちょっといい一番街. Or maybe プリティーグッドナンバーワン, which would be delightful, because it would be a phrase translated poorly into English and then phonetically back into Japanese.

Where will I be able to buy it outside of Japan?

Definitely from Amazon.co.jp, albeit with expensive international shipping. If you have a local Kinokuniya store (in Seattle, Portland, SF, LA, New York, and Chicago), I don't know if they'll stock it but they'll be able to order it from Japan with fast, free shipping for in-store pickup. I often order ramen magazines and other stuff for obsessives from my local Kinokuniya and it works great.

Why would Japanese people want to read an introduction to Japan written by a non-Japanese guy who only lived in Japan for a month?

I'm asking myself the same question. I look at it this way: if a food-obsessed Japanese person spent a month in Seattle and wrote a book about all the wonderful and puzzling things about the people, food, and culture of Seattle, I'd read that book. In fact, if you're thinking about writing that book, put me down for $100 to your Kickstarter. :)

One more thing

I'm heading back to Japan for most of December and a bit of January. I'll be working on three projects. I'm not quite ready to reveal the first.

The second project is an update to Pretty Good Number One with new chapters on Christmas and New Year's in Tokyo, plus some foods we didn't have a chance to eat last time because they were out of season or because we ran out of time. On my radar: oden, kushiage, and yakiniku. I haven't decided yet how this will be published: rolled into Pretty Good Number One (2nd Edition), or a paid supplement, or a free supplement. In any case, I promise all Kickstarter backers will get it for free.

Third, I'll be writing a weekly Japan Journal column for The Magazine on Medium, a publishing venture of my Seattle friend (and Jeopardy! champion) Glenn Fleishman. Glenn has already kindly excerpted two pieces from the book, on garbage sorting and tempura.

Thank you again for supporting my book.

Best wishes,

Matthew


Update #15

Great seeing you on book tour; upcoming events and more

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I'm back from book tour. A few stats:

  • Flights: 4
  • Trains: 2
  • Bowls of ramen eaten: 5
  • Slices of pizza: 5
  • Takoyaki: 6
  • Awesome people met: lost count

In case you missed it, here's a blog post about the Japanese eating I did in NYC.

Thank you so much for making the book tour a success. I met a ton of new friends and old, signed some books, and was constantly reminded why being an author is the best job.

I have one more Seattle event coming up, and I'm delighted to be sharing the stage with my friend Shauna Ahern, creator of Gluten-Free Girl. The event is at Elliott Bay Book Company on Friday, August 16, 6pm. The paperback of Pretty Good Number One will be for sale (as will Shauna's great new book Gluten-Free Girl Every Day). After the event, join us at Cal Anderson park for a potluck.

One more favor

Several libraries have purchased Pretty Good Number One for their collection, including Seattle, Bellingham, and San Francisco. If your library has a purchase request page, would you please request that they pick up a copy of my book? The ISBN is 978-1-4841269-8-1, and if your library owns Hungry Monkey, my previous book, it's helpful to mention that. Here are a few purchase request pages I rounded up:

If your library isn't on the list, Google "[library name] purchase request" or "[library name] suggest a purchase". Thank you very much for your help.

I have a couple of projects underway that I think you'll want to hear about, and I'll share details in a couple of months. Hope you're having a great summer.

Best,

Matthew


Update #14

Book tour approaches

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Hello, backers. A few quick items.

Book tour is coming soon

Want a sneak preview of what you'll get when you come see me this month? Seattle's Jungle City posted a video from the Seattle event in June at Ada's Books. That's Iris in the front row.

Here are the rest of the tour dates.

  • Saturday, July 13: Brooklyn, 61 Local, 3pm, with the hilarious Tim Anderson, author of Tune In Tokyo
  • Monday, July 15: Boston, 7pm (private event, email me for an invite)
  • Wednesday, July 17: Los Angeles, Pop Hop Books
  • Friday, July 19: San Franciso, Mission Women’s Building, 7pm, with Karen Solomon, author of the awesome Asian Pickles series. Pickles will be served!
  • Saturday, July 20: Berkeley, Hacker Moms Collective, 3:15pm. At 2pm, I'm teaching a workshop on making your own ebook, and it's only $12. Tickets.
  • Monday, July 22: Portland OR, Milagros Boutique, 7pm

I'm working on putting together an event in August in Seattle with Shauna Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl. Details when I have them. See you on the road!

More bookstores added

Pretty Good Number One (paperback) is now on sale at Ada's Books, University Bookstore (on the Ave), and Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle. University Bookstore has signed copies.

Final(?) request for reviews

If you've read the book, aren't family or a close friend, and haven't yet left an online review on Amazon or elsewhere, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you!

Tea is sent

If you chose the premium Japanese tea as your reward, thanks for your patience. I sent it out today, and wow is it good.

Tooting of horn

Wouldn't have been possible without a professional cover and copy editor, of course. Thanks again, everyone, and see you soon.


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    A copy of the ebook in Kindle, ePub, and PDF formats.

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    Your name in the acknowledgments and a copy of the ebook.

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    A handwritten thank-you postcard from the author, featuring the book cover on the front of the postcard. Plus your name in the acknowledgments and a copy of the ebook.

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    Hungry Monkey Fan Pack: An inscribed copy (not an ebook!) of the author's previous book, Hungry Monkey, plus the postcard and the ebook with your name in the acknowledgments.

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    Tea Lovers Pack: You'll receive a custom Pretty Good Number One blend of spring-harvest Japanese tea (3 ounces) created by tea master Anthony Arnold of Seattle's Remedy Teas, where the book was written. Ships in packaging suitable for a gift or for enjoying yourself. Not available in stores. Also includes the postcard and the ebook with your name in the acknowledgments.

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    Book Club Pack: Copies of the ebook for your entire book club (up to 20 people). Plus, Matthew will appear at your book club to discuss the book with you, either in person (Seattle area) or via Skype. And, of course, you'll receive the postcard and your name in the acknowledgments of the book.

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    Planning your own trip to Tokyo? Get a personal consultation with Matthew via email, phone, or in person. He'll recommend restaurants, neighborhoods, and itineraries tailored to your preferences. You'll also receive the postcard and the ebook with your name in the acknowledgments.

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    Live in Seattle or planning a visit? Have lunch with Matthew at a Japanese restaurant (Matthew pays!), then go shopping at Uwajimaya Japanese supermarket (you pay!), where you can hit him with all of your most burning questions about Asian ingredients. You'll also receive the postcard and the ebook with your name in the acknowledgments.

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    Matthew will come to your city (US or Canada only), set up a reading, call you out personally at the reading as his favorite local patron of the arts, go out drinking with you and your buddies, and tell stories that didn't make the book. You'll also receive the postcard and the ebook with your name in the acknowledgments.

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