Lame Adventure 373: The Big Shill

As mentioned in my previous post, I have finally revealed the nature of my Manhattan Project. I have written a book, Lame Adventures: Unglamorous Tales from Manhattan. It’s comprised of a foreword and 25 Lame Adventures illustrated with 44 black and white photographs. Most of the tales originated on this site, but compared to how polished they are now in book form, it was as if I initially wrote them in Pig Latin.

Wraparound cover!

Wraparound cover!

When I started writing Lame Adventures in January 2010, I had dreams of a book deal. I quickly learned that that is probably the most common dream of every writer with a blog aside from the usual dreams about flying or walking in public naked. With the proliferation of bloggers all chasing the same elusive dream, I realized that catching it was not going to happen for the vast majority. Therefore, I was determined to find another way to make my dream come true while remaining true to my brand for this is my Lamest Adventure ever.

Last summer, I heard about Create Space, a self-publishing service that’s affiliated with Amazon. This intrigued me very much. I thought that I might be able to put my tome together in time for holiday season. That was almost as daft an idea as when I revealed at age five what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Me: A Beatle.

There are formatted Word templates on the Create Space site that can be downloaded at no charge. That’s what I used, but with significant tweaking. Create Space offers a variety of paid services that can quickly add up to a king’s ransom. To me, the point of self-publishing is two-fold, to have a calling card showcasing one’s dexterity with the quill, and to make a few bucks — not to sink into debt. What I did was assemble my own stellar creative team. Everyone worked for free or for a paperback copy of the book. Aside from purchasing proof copies to see how it looked in print, my primary expense was $15.40 for the helium-filled balloons that are carrying me over Central Park on the cover.

Balloon receipt complete with character building rotisserie chicken stains.

Balloon receipt complete with character building rotisserie chicken stains.

Milton was on board with me from Day One. He was instrumental in helping me select the blog posts I rewrote, and he guided me with the new material written exclusively for the book. Recently, he confided:

Milton: I’ve read your book so many times I feel like I’ve written it myself.

The book contains eight tales featuring his signature pith and wit.

After missing my holiday season deadline, I lowered my sights and aimed for one that was attainable: allergy season. I would have liked to have finished my book months earlier, but I did not want to reveal my real name, Vizsla Crankenhack, on a half-ass vanity project. Over the course of the seven months it took my team and I to put this book together, we like to think that the end result is now full-ass, and much better than it’s current listing on Amazon’s Best Sellers Ranks: 320,815.

Milton, my graphic designer bud, Godsend, and I remain old school about books. We think that the paperback can serve as a fashion statement.

Perfect compliment to bare hands.

Perfect compliment to bare hands.

Slenderizing with stripes.

Slenderizing with stripes.

Goes down easy with beer.

Goes down easy with beer.

Furthermore, this slender tome is the perfect accessory to carry in public spaces, especially if those spaces are tubular — trains, planes, tunnels, sewer pipes. It can also provide a welcome diversion to upcoming summer beach reading for anyone craving a fix of life in the Big Apple while soaking up rays in Paradise. If you’re not living in New York, but you’ve always wondered what it’s like to be a real New Yorker, allow this book to save you thousands of dollars on air fare, food, lodging and line waiting. Hot tip: try to get your mitts on a copy now before the New York City Tourism Bureau bans it. Did someone say?

Someone: Collector’s item?

Response to Someone: Nice try but no.

Bottom line: if you like this site, odds are good that you’ll like the book. For readers that prefer e-books, Godsend is working on the Kindle conversion. It should be ready soon. Meanwhile, the trade paperback featured in these images is available on Amazon here in the US and in the UK. We’re still trying to activate the Search Inside! feature. As for why it appears to be in the Children’s book section instead of Humor, I have an email into Amazon asking if this is their idea of playing a joke on me.

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95 responses to “Lame Adventure 373: The Big Shill

  1. unfetteredbs

    Dear Beatle-
    I think you rock and I cannot wait to use my newly purchased tome to guide me on my very own Lame Adventure into the Big Apple. NYC tourism beware 🙂

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  2. Ordered it! And since I’m an Amazon Prime member, I’ll have it by Friday. Now when are you going to be in Colorado for a book signing, V?

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  3. Sorry for the upcoming lame-ass proof reading comment (this really speaks more to my douche-like personality than it does to your lack of facility with numbers) but the balloons set you back only $15.24, not $15.40. The guy/lady at the store owes you another 16 shiny Lincoln pennies.

    I, too, am a Prime member on Amazon. I’m probably a prime _______ too , but I will let you fill in that blank.

    I am quite happy for you LA woman. I know how much this means to you.

    Hey, I didn’t want to be a Beatle when I grew up. I wanted to be one at the age of 4 1/2 when I saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show on my dad’s 43rd birthday (2/9/64).

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  4. well done, sugar! i guess i’ll be doing an amazon order very soon! xoxoxo

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  5. My cousin had one of those goofy Beatle wigs that made him look like Moe Howard. To me, they looked a little awkward in those little monkey suits when they first arrived on the scene. But I always loved their music.

    the cover design is awesome. I plan to carry the book in front of me to distract attention from my Hitchcock-like profile. Someone will probably ask, “Hey, Santa, whatcha reading?” This will give me a great chance to pitch your book–or punch them out–whichever strikes my fancy at the time.

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    • I remember those wigs. How I wanted one, but at least my parents knew better. I think this is another sign of how much they actually did love me. They gave me a ukelele-sized Beatle guitar.

      Yeah, we’re very happy with the cover, too. That was another team effort with Team Leader me saying, “Hey, you guys, you know what? I wanna hang over Central Park clutching balloons!”

      Please do use my book as your shield, Russell!

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  6. Can’t wait for the movie version!

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  7. Purchased! I am so psyched to get this book in my hands!

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  8. I’m going to have to check that out. 15 bucks for balloons, huh? Imagine what they would have charged for that city you’re flying over! What made you finally decide to just go with self-publishing? I’ve wondered about that myself.

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    • They were industrial strength balloons filled with premium helium (try saying that three times fast). Self-publishing just struck me as hassle-free. I’m very lucky that I have a number of artistically-inclined friends that helped me put it together. I’m using it as a calling card and of course, as a supplement to my modest income. I think it’s worth this roll of the dice to see what happens. If it’s a dud, it’s not like there’s a thousand of them sitting in a warehouse waiting to be turned into mulch. It’s print-on-demand. I like that, too, and hey, it’s better for the environment.

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  9. I just ordered your book on Amazon. I have been a fan (of yours) since I read about the fan (Vortex or something) last summer. We lezzies got to stick together. Now I know what to give all my hard-to-shop-for friends who wear sensible shoes and live in dreary Connecticut boondocks wishing they were having adventures (even lame ones) in NYC, too. Keep writing because I always look forward to waking up and seeing the link in my inbox! Best, Jane

    >

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    • My Vornado fan! Or, as they call them, air circulators. I’m very pleased with their products. They are defintiely endorsed by Lame Adventures.

      Thank you so much for the support! Yes, Jane, please spread the word amongst fellow members of the tribe!

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  10. Oooh how exciting! I just bought the UK version I wish they were all coming signed! 😉

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  11. Congratulations again V (when you wrote that fake name in this post I laughed and said, “My God I hope that’s not her real name”. I bought the book…and the shipping is costing me $0.02 more than the book. You’d think I lived in Uganda or something. 😛

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  12. Congrats to you! This is awesome. I’m in the process of writing my own book and this is GREAT info. Thank you for sharing! Here’s to your wide and WILD success! Can’t wait to read it. Have a great day!

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  13. LA… or Vizsla… (ha! LA still works!!!); I now know what you’ve done, how you’ve done it, and where you sell it. Fabulous! Well done, and I’ve seen you already on Amazon! I’d say this isn’t a Lame Adventure, though, it’s a wonderful one! I’m sure you’ll do well.

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    • Thanks for the vote of confidence dear Tom. By all means, continue to call me LA. As I’ve told my nearest and dearest, I expect my book to leap out of the starting gate like a snail, but I’m okay with that. My favorite fairy tale has always been The Tortoise and the Hare. I’m a big believer that “slow and steady wins the race”.

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  14. Just purchased my tome so when is the book signing at an NYC Irish pub my friend! Martini Max must know!!

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  15. Looking forward to recieving my copy, Lame. All the best with the sales.

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  16. Pinche Awesome! Thank God you didn’t become a Beatle. Just bought my copy and will be waiting for Mr. Postman to deliver 🙂 I bet you’ll celebrate allergy season from now on! Woo-Hoo! for Benadryl Time 🙂

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    • Considering that my musical talents are limited to the triangle and wood block, my taking on the music industry with one of the most treasured bands in music history, was seriously off the mark. Thanks for doing your part to make allergy special for me, Guat!

      Like

  17. After I leave this comment, my next course of action is to order your book. Congratulations! I think my favorite part of the post is the rotisserie-chicken stained receipt. It reminds me of all my items of clothing.

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    • Thanks Speaker 7! I’m not sure how my balloon receipt ended up in my rotisserie chicken bag. Funny how those things happen in this mysterious life we lead. The rotisserie chicken did not end up up in the air with the balloons.

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  18. OMFGAATAATROTA!!!
    I want it!
    Tell me they ship to Spain please!!!
    I’m fan of your blog I can’t wait to read the book.
    xx

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  19. Sara and I feel so honored to have gotten a copy for our wedding gift! Thank you, dear LA! Sara is now a HUGE LA fan, having finished your book within 24 hours of receiving it! We love you, and can’t wait till you come visit us in Ecuador!
    Hugs,
    Kathy and Sara

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    • I so wish this version was ready in time for your wedding, Kathy. It’s not much different, but it has been slightly further tweaked. Whenever I do visit you in Ecuador, I’ll bring two copies of it, one for you and the other for Sara. Say ‘hi” to Sara for me. You guys rock!

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    • I so wish this version was ready in time for your wedding, Kathy. It’s not much different, but it has been slightly further tweaked. Whenever I do visit you in Ecuador, I’ll bring two copies of it, one for you and the other for Sara. Say ‘hi” to her for me. You guys rock!

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  20. Snoring Dog Studio

    I’m so proud of you! And I can’t wait to have my own LA book. I wish I’d had that when my sister when to NYC last week. I’m sure her adventures were in no way as spicy and quirky as yours. Good work, V. And thanks for the self-publishing info. I’m so excited!

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    • First of all, thanks Jean, one of my original seven followers from Way Back in Blogland. You’ve been supporting me almost from the beginning. Even if I could have connected with your sister, I did not approve it for publication until last Friday and only received my first actual copies of it yesterday. The ‘wedding gift’ version I gave my friends now living in Ecuador was a proof copy and not the final version. When might you visit the Big Apple?

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  21. YAY! Congrats V on publishing your first LA book! I’ve been waiting for it to come out since you’ve mentioned it the first time… can’t wait to get my copy =) BTW – Love the cover image!

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    • Ling, buddy, sooooooooo great to hear from you!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just shared your comment with your protogee (now on her third LA name, Godsend). She said, “Yay, I made Ling proud!” Some of our shared LA’s are in the book, so your legend lives on!

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  22. Wow! I can so relate to everything you said, V, about formatting, editing and publishing you book. Currently I am in the throes of numbering the pages and matching them to the chapter titles (a mystifying Word experience) in Vol. II of my book, the CreateSpace version, this one titled “To What Green Altar.” I do know how far beyond our self-imposed deadline it takes to finally publish one’s book. Mine should be on the market by the end of allergy season, albeit planned for a Christmas 2012 release.

    CreateSpace does a very professional printing job. I am so pleased with the appearance of Vol. I of my book. On Amazon, the “Look Inside” feature takes a couple of days after publication to kick in.

    I can’t wait to get your book, and meanwhile, I will set up links on my blog, my FB page and my LinkedIn discussion group board in the “Women Writing for (a) Change” category. Also, a number of bloggers do author profiles. They send you a list of questions and then post your answers on their sites.

    Well, I could go on. I am just so very, very happy for you! I truly can relate to the feeling. I am still getting royalties from Vol. I of my book, lunch money (and I eat a small lunch), without doing much promoting. I will promote in earnest (not a place) when Vol. II is published. Congrats!! And I do love the cover, too.

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    • Samantha, thanks for all your support through the years, too. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity here in Lame Adventures-land and then I got smacked with a monster cold, my first since July 2011. Your feedback in this comment is much appreciated. I’m not on Linked in, I have to join Good Reads, I’m a laggard on FB. I have so much catching up to do!

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      • I have not yet joined Goodreads, amazingly. But do see my review of your book on Amazon (by Carol Child, my real name).

        Good luck ever catching up. I hope to one day. You’d think I’d lose weight chasing after all this stuff….

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  23. Ordering my copy right now… but I have a feeling that there aren’t many “lame” adventures in the book at all!

    Noticed that there is a “used” option at $26.15. Strange. I’ll order mine new, thank you Amazon. 🙂

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    • Thought the used was a signed author’s original.

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    • There are more than a few classic Lames in this tome, Jackie, and several shared with my buddy, Milton. All kinds of odd things are happening on Amazon that make no sense to me, but I would only buy it from them. It’s a print on demand book, so as for these used ones, I have no idea what that’s about. It only started shipping out this week.

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  24. Wow – we all get to have our own Lame Adventures! Quelle surprise! I had no idea you were planning this! I’m off to order my copy and will post reviews, just you wait! Congratulations and well done you … and Milton!

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    • I was afraid to talk about it on my site because it was taking so long for me to finish. I’ve been telling my friends and family that it was almost ready all year. I have a long line of credit with them, but here on my site, I’d rather look like a partial idiot, than a total idiot.

      Thanks for the support Patricia — and Milton thanks you, too.

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  25. You can be as self-deprecating as you want, but, dammit, this is a hell of an achievement and you should be proud. You are the first Crankenhack in history to publish a book!

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  26. You’ll be zooming up the Amazon charts in no time! Hopefully I’ll remember it on my next Amazon order … or just get 3 for the free shipping.

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  27. Congratulations!

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  28. Congratulations, publishing a book is quite an accomplishment.

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  29. Pingback: NYC visits London, or the Lame Adventures book is published! | Exploring Pixie

  30. Congrats V! I just finished reading the kindle version and enjoyed it thoroughly. Love you sense of humor – seriously. I think your ambition to be a Beatle was not totally unreasonable. I heard a little girl on the Ellen show who wants to be a mermaid when she grows up. Now that’s going to take a little creative work! Thanks for putting out your book, and I’m glad you made it in time for allergy season.

    Like

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