99 is a series of short, readable books on provocative, timely subjects that are precisely 99 pages long (prefaces, footnotes, and references aside). Although the Internet has changed the way we receive information, people’s love of books has not significantly diminished. But their attention spans may have, as has their willingness to receive books of pure text. 99 will serve a series of audiences who value both complex ideas and a readable frame for those ideas. In addition to standard pop culture subjects, these books will feature interesting visual components, making them even more attractive and enjoyable.
Why 99? A Focus on Ideas and Audience
Besides the fact that the number itself is memorable, 99 represents a commitment to the concise and focused, to the visual and the memorable, and most importantly, to the audience. Writing within a set format has produced memorable works. Consider the sonnet, whose formal limitations have enabled some of the best writing of the past 700 years. Pop songs work within a format of under two minutes, and moviemakers generally keep movies around 90 minutes, so we are used to powerful texts in small packages. 99 will benefit from our desire for short, meaningful experiences.
What’s more, the size, shape, and weight of the books will facilitate integration into the contemporary lifestyle. Small enough to fit in a pocket or a small purse, each book lends itself to being read on the run, while waiting in line, or before the kids get home, before bed, and over coffee.