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Getting to know: Richard Eoin Nash.

April 29, 2010 \am\30 9:18 am

We have seen the future of content/art/narrative dissemination and monetization, and it is led by a human, a real live hunky human, Richard Eoin Nash. Former Soft Skull Press editor/publisher and co-founder of social publishing startup Cursor, Nash says things like “novels break algorithms,” and makes it make total, human sense.

[Full disclosure: Richard published three of my four books and I would be nothing without him.]

“The supply side game is over in a certain sense,” he recently told an auditorium of publishing types in Canada. “The genie’s out of the bottle. We’re going to keep doubling, or tripling, or quadrupling the number of books published in English on this planet every year.  And even if everyone here in this room says we won’t be a part of it, we won’t do it, everyone else will. So this is happening.”

Breath. So, in a world where anyone can put a book together, what role do publishers have? By taking advantage of the “social glue” of people reading books together, of course! Humans read books, humans write books. Along with sartorial-oratorial grace, Richard is also a writer himself. Check out his piece in the upcoming father-daughter collection, What I Would Tell Her, coming out in May; also check out his interview with Joseph Matheny at The Nervous Breakdown.

We caught Richard on his laptop one afternoon to ask him some questions, and we are glad we did!

Full Name:
Richard Eoin Nash
Age: 39
Height: 5′ 11′
Currently Live: Brooklyn
Hometown: Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Instruments: None
Car: None
Secret Talent: Rugby

What is the best thing about your job? Blowing folks’ minds.

If you could live in any past era which would it be and why? None, because the past is WAY overrated.

Who is your role model and why? Barney Rosset, founder of Grove Press, because he wanted to change the world, not just publish books.

What do you do for fun? Browse.

Do you have a good luck charm? Nope.

Before I die, I want to: See the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis.

When I fly I have to have: Food.

My first financial splurge was: A nice pair of glasses.

When friends come over, we: Eat and drink.

Do you like to cook? If so, what? Grilled rack of lamb; seared skirt steak; potato & parsnip gratin; maple-glazed carrots.

TV show I never miss: Mad Men.

Anything about yourself you wish you could change? All those things I’m too embarrassed to mention.

I’ll eat sushi, but not: Brains

What’s the last thing that made you cry? News that one of my authors, Lydia Millet, had been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

What would people be surprised to know about you? How often I cry.

Have you had a starstruck Hollywood experience? Who was it with? Yes and no. I once had a ten-minute chat with Rachel Weisz. I think she’s very cool and lovely and would have been starstruck had I known.

Favorite Movie: Dr. Strangelove
Favorite Singer:
Gavin Friday
Favorite Candy:
Favorite Philospher:
Walter Benjamin
Favorite Sports Team:
Pittsburgh Steelers
Favorite Athlete:
Hines Ward
Favorite Book:
I won’t know til I’m at least 70 and have ready all the books I intend to have read by then.
Cell Phone or iPod:
iPhone GS which I don’t have
Summer or Winter:

[Full disclosure: Nash is Daniel Nester’s publisher at Soft Skull. Daniel Nester is one of WWAATD’s contributors.]


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