May 7, 2013

Finally, a self-published bestseller worth reading: @Seinfeld2000’s The Apple Store


@Seinfeld2000 “Imagen[es] Seinfeld was never canceled and still NBC comedy program today lol”

Self-published books are typically pretty terrible and books adapted from Twitter accounts have, historically, been entirely terrible. But last month the person (or people) behind  “@Seinfeld2000″ released their debut novel, The Apple Store and it is, astonishingly, both hilarious and popular.

@Seinfeld2000 emerged earlier this year, during the “what if Seinfeld took place at a different time” craze, but has yet to achieve the popularity of the trend’s catalyst, @SeinfeldToday (that account has 577,000+ followers, while @Seinfeld2000 has just over 6,000). But unlike the winking and reductive @SeinfeldToday, which panders to its audience with knowing references to Groupon and the Zune, @Seinfeld2000, which follows “Jary,” “Garge,” “Elane,” and “Kragdar,” is expansive and weird and wonderful (and often very, very funny).  It’s a parody of @SeinfeldToday and a Weird Twitter version of it at the same time. A few example tweets:

Considering that @Seinfeld2000 has published a number of (misspelled, as all of their tweets are) tweets indicating their desire for a book deal, it’s perhaps no surprise that they just went ahead and wrote a book without one. What is surprising, considering the feed’s limited reach, is that it’s become something of a bestseller, and now sits at #2 on Smashwords’ bestseller list.

According to Chase Hoffberger at The Daily DotThe Apple Store 

picks up on the four main Seinfeld characters (this round known as Jary, Garge, Elane, and Kragdar) as they emerge from prison in the modern era, exactly 15 years after the celebrated sitcom’s main cast members went to jail after a Massachusetts judge found them guilty of “doing nothing” at the scene of a crime…

What’s the gang up to? Sort of the same. Jary’s a prop comedian. Elane works for BuzzFeed Books. Kragdar lives in Times Square. Garge lives with his parents.

The Apple Store is an especially huge step for the Twitter account when you consider that it was shut down in its early days for threatening its detractors (and/or obsessively and erroneously reporting them to Twitter for spam).

The first paragraph? “Garge squint. And not because hes not wearing his glases. And not because some one squirt grape fruit juice in his eye.” Sure, it may not be “Call me Ishmael,” but it’s still the beginning of a masterpiece.


Alex Shephard is the director of digital media for Melville House, and a former bookseller.