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"with the big book under my arm" [STOC]

If you've been with us for a while, you'll have heard about Otto Penzler, BSI ("The King of Bohemia") before. He was our guest on Episode 17 when we talked about book collecting.

Otto is back with us to talk about the genesis of The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, the largest anthology of stories about Sherlock Holmes to date, as well as the rest of his enterprises. We learn about what goes into selecting (and discarding) stories that make up the nine Big Book anthologies under the Vintage Crime/Black Lizard label from Random House.

As if Otto's considerable and copious editing doesn't keep him busy enough, the additional Otto Penzler Enterprises include the Mysterious Press and the Mysterious Bookshop. From a dozen books a year via the Press, an epublishing platform, and proprietary publishing just for the bookstore. What impressed is that that Otto's business acumen, timing and good fortune tend to converge across his enterprises, making him quite successful at what he does — despite any misgivings about his memory.

Otto manages to survive our "Mental Exaltations" quiz program, which he plays on behalf of a lucky listener, who will go home with a copy of The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes.

We know we're mediocre at telling you about supporting us via Patreon. Make sure you listen closely for someone who knows what he's talking about.

A special thank you to Mary Miller and Christian Mongaard for your continued extraordinary support!


This episode includes our two longtime sponsors that deserve your attention:

The Wessex Press, featuring Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle and The Bookman, and The Baker Street Journal, where you should get your annual subscription in now to secure all four issues - now accepting 2016 subscriptions.

Would you care to become a sponsor? You can find more information here.


1:46 Welcome and Happy New Year
5:12 The Return of Otto
5:42 Otto has a flashback
8:00 The beginning of the Big Book Series
10:58 Approaching the task of compiling a Big Book
22:55 Why wait so long before doing a Sherlock Holmes Big Book?
27:45 The Mysterious Press
29:08 MysteriousPress.com e-publishing platform
31:40 A brief interlude, with thanks to John Rabe
40:15 Proprietary publishing - books only available in The Mysterious Bookshop
48:00 Everybody comes to Otto's — The Mysterious Bookshop
52:04 Doing business in the shadow of the World Trade Center in NYC
58:21 What Otto is collecting these days
1:06:12 Sign up for Otto's email newsletter
1:09:30 Mental Exaltation
1:15:21 Old haunts in the city that influenced book buying habits

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