Hey, today is the official publish release day for “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life — The Chump Lady’s Survival Guide,” my new book. How fitting that it comes out on a Tuesday. (To the newbies — Tuesday is my answer to “When does the pain stop?” Tuesday. I don’t know which Tuesday, I just know that Tuesday is out there waiting for you.)
Thanks to everyone who’s already read and reviewed the book. (Except for Fiona, and really, would it be a publishing event without Fiona the Troll?) I know the book has already shipped to those who pre-ordered or got one of the oops! Amazon Kindle pre-lease versions. (Re-download, they’ve worked out the kinks.)
And a final reminder that this Saturday is the official book launch party — or as I’m calling it, Chumpapalooza! — at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Please come and have a whack at the Sparkles the Unicorn piñata. (Haven’t quite worked out how we’re going to whack unicorns at the Press Club. We might have to improvise and thug-kick it in a circle.) Hope you can make it!
Forgive the day of self-promotion here, but I thought I’d do a little new book FAQ. Happy Tuesday everyone!
So how come I can’t get your old book and why is it $300 used on Amazon?
When I got a traditional book deal, I had to stop producing my self-published book as part of the contract. So any copies out there floating around are from third-party sellers, who will scalp it for any price they think they can get. I’m oddly flattered at the exorbitant prices. But really, forget the old book.
I read your last book, why should I read this one?
This book is all the best of the old book, plus twice as much new content, plus letters, plus new cartoons. So, there’s some bang for your buck here, even if you read the old one.
I didn’t leave much out from the last book, I just reworked it. I think it’s much more digestible now, a better read, and the cartoons are in COLOR!
Also, buying the book does more than just line my publisher’s pockets. (I already got my advance, so you’re not lining mine unless we out sell the advance. I’m optimistic here, but it could take a year or two.) Buying the book:
- Is a blow against the Reconciliation Industrial Complex. Right now, to the best of my knowledge, this is the ONLY infidelity resource out there that doesn’t assume reconciliation and focuses on CHUMPS.
- Increases sales numbers and rank, which is what publishers pay attention to. You want more chump-centric, non-RIC infidelity resources for future chumps? Support this book. That means other voices will be heard because they can point to the success of this book. I self-published at first because I had NOTHING to compare my message to in the market.
- Is a nice way to pay it forward for another chump. You don’t need your copy any more? Give it to a friend. We all know people going through this crap.
I read your blog. That’s enough of your potty-mouthed diatribes for me. Why should I get the new book when everything is here on the blog?
A) There is new content in the book that is not on the blog. B) You can’t afford $10? Really? C) It’s a handy toolkit for anyone going through this. Call me crazy, I still like print, especially with illustrations. A book and a blog are not mutually exclusive. My hope is that they complement each other.
What was it like to work with a traditional publisher this time?
Well, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve worked in academic publishing for years, so I’ve sat in the editor’s seat. But I’ve never had any experience with other non-wonky publishers. I suppose what really surprised me was how YOUNG everyone was. (I’m not that old! 49!) My editor didn’t get certain references, like “trip the light fandango” (which is taken from Milton’s “trip the light fantastic”) or words like “quiver” (as in a quiver of arrows). Essentially, I had to stop being a flaming nerd. But I fought in some instances to keep my nerd voice as written.
My editor at Running Press was great. The freelance copy editor they got, however, was a hot mess. I wrote the book to be gender and orientation neutral, so that means writing with the singular “they.” IT’S A THING. And this nitwit went through 240 pages and rewrote it as “his or hers.” So I had to painstakingly take all that crap out (as well as the appalling misuse of hyphens — learn about MODIFIERS!)
Anyway, I marked up my galleys with a hundred supercilious grammar notes. Not fun.
The book designer they got was absolutely awesome. I love the edgy fonts and use of color. I’m not so sure about the cover with “me” in a superhero cape, but that was the publisher’s call.
Overall, a very positive experience. And I’m eternally grateful to Running Press for taking a chance on Chump Nation.
Are you in my head? Did you base that letter on ME?
I wrote all the letters myself, based on actual letters I get here. One letter was lifted directly from the blog (why do cheaters get married?), which is a letter I wrote myself when I started this blog.
Some telling details (like the cheater who wants his ex-wife chump to finance his wine bar) is a REAL EXAMPLE. (My editor was like “you’re making that up” right?) I got permission in those few instances.
But overall, the chump experience is so universal that I’m sure many, many people think those letters are based on their situation personally. They aren’t. Cheaters are really that banal and predictable. (As are we, I suppose.)
Who drew the illustrations?
I did! I know I haven’t drawn much here lately, but I think I overdid it for this book. I drew and colored a lot more cartoons than wound up in the final book. I’m sort of taking a hiatus from cartoons for a little while. (Well, that and my old Mac still isn’t set up. We moved recently.) But I promise to get back at it.
I think my favorite cartoon in the book is the hopium smoker. What’s yours?
You’ve probably known a few evangelizing forgivers. Their Facebook posts go something like this:
I’ve forgiven my cheating ex and now I feel as light as an untethered balloon! I had to let go of the hate and bitterness. I didn’t want to be that Angry Woman–unkempt, twigs in her hair, spitting at the ground, muttering curses at her long-departed husband.
I saw my future and it was bleak — just lonely nights with my cats, Netflix, and Andrea Dworkin manifestos. But now that I’ve freed myself from resentment, people like me again and I smell better too. I’m so happy I finally forgave! Forgive someone today!
The post comes with a shiny sunrise picture, a yoga pose, or an untethered balloon (maybe all three). Chumps read it, feel less than, and check their hair for twigs.
I begged my editor to keep the Dworkin reference and told her to Google it. (My editor was born around the time Dworkin was popular.) The cartoon is my little homage to Andrea Dworkin, who was a radical feminist. If you were an earnest, granola-headed liberal arts feminist in the 1980s, you read Dworkin.
She’s the hairy-legged man hater boogyman You Will BECOME If You Don’t FORGIVE!
Twigs in the hair (I’m sure Dworkin’s hair was just fine) is just something I thought of as wild and unkempt. You crazy radical un-forgivers you!
Are your exes going to sue you for writing this?
The book was thoroughly vetted by the publisher’s legal team. There’s nothing identifiable or not the truth. Besides, if they have a problem, I’m married a very accomplished trial lawyer.
Anyway, the book isn’t much about my personal story. I really don’t care what any of the exes, mine or my husband’s or yours think. I didn’t write the book for them. I wrote it for chumps.
Are you going on a book tour? Are you coming to my town?
As of yet, no book tour. That’s the publisher’s call. We’ve recently relocated to the DC metro area, so if you’re a few hours away and want to set something up, email me. Self-promotion and flogging the book are up to me — and Chump Nation. Thank you! And a shout out to Tempest, the Che Guevara of the Chump Revolution!
What did you hope to accomplish by writing a book?
I wrote this book (and created this blog) to be the resource I wished I’d had when I went through infidelity. I’m sorry the topic of cheating is perennially relevant, but at least there is one resource out there now that’s for chumps alone.
Couldn’t have done it without you all. THANKS!