BADASS (the book)

Does anyone wonder where I’ve been? Am I being self-aggrandizing to think that anyone cares when I write a blog post? That people might notice when I’m not commenting on their blog? When I go missing for what, two weeks?

I just passed my five-year anniversary as a blogger. If you’re astute, you might look at my sidebar and say “Whoa, that’s not right. You started in November 2015.” Well I have another blog, it’s called Undercrust. My first post was published in 2013.

Undercrust is a big secret. Well it was when I wrote it, but it’s not any more. Still, there’s almost nothing written there that will tell you who I am. Only my last post, which gives the URL to this site.

I wrote it anonymously because I thought my world would collapse if anyone ever found out about my past drug use. Or alcohol abuse. Or that I have Tourette Syndrome. Or Anxiety. Or OCD. That I don’t blindly love my country. Or worship our flag. These are the topics I explored on Undercrust.

This seems quaint to me now. I outed myself in 2016 with my memoir, Fragments. I took the best posts from Undercrust and assembled them into a book. If I was going to review my book, I’d say pretty good. I’m a better writer now, but I was a better story-teller then. And that’s what this book does, it tells a story.

Self-publishing is a rough way to earn money. I make about $2.50 per sale. I expected that after the initial rush, earning me ten thousand dollars, Fragments would settle into a steady flow of a couple thousand dollars in royalties per year. In actuality, I’d be astonished if I’ve sold more than a hundred twenty-five copies. I check my sales stats way too often (every day) and when I get a sale, I shout out “Hey, I sold a book!” This happens once every couple of months.

I now know I’m never going to get rich selling a self-published book. My brother actually sold a publishing-house published book, and while I’ve never asked him directly about his earnings, I’m not under the impression that he’s getting rich either. Now, when I sell a book, what I think is “Hey, someone’s reading my writing!” Which is definitely more important to me than $2.50.

Many bloggers have their website linked to a Patreon account—a site where readers can set up a recurring monthly payment as a monetary thank you to their favorite blogger. Some sites have a Paypal link where you can leave a tip. I have a link that says: Like my blog? Buy my book. But what I really think is that I should be paying you to read this blog, because being read is an honor.

The real purpose of this post is to introduce my forthcoming book BADASS – My Quest to Become a Back-woods Trail-runner (and other obsessive goals)—an ebook available soon on Amazon. This is where I’ve been for the past few weeks. Working nightly on assembling a book. Twenty-seven essays, thirty-two thousand words. And all about running. I’ve taken five-years of stories and arranged them into a narrative about my growth as a runner. Another memoir? Sure. But not as deep. This book will only work for people who want to read about a runner. Specifically, me. How self-aggrandizing that?

BADASS should be finished in the next month or so, and because I want people to read it, BADASS is going to be free. Reading the book will be doing me a favor, and I don’t want to charge people for that. And while I’m looking for favors…I’d like to find a few proofreaders willing to give BADASS a spin ahead of publication. It’s a pretty simple task. I’ll email you a word document. Just make comments and corrections as you read through the book: Did I leave something out? How’s my spelling? Is a section boring or confusing? Make a note.

But don’t do it to get a free book, because it’s going to be free anyway once it’s published.

So please, if you’re willing to give BADASS a read and give me some feedback, I’d love to have your help. Leave a note in the comments, or use my contact form to connect. But I’m not kidding, the book is about running and me as a runner. Every story. So weigh that factor before you volunteer.

~ ~ ~

Note: The following paragraph from this essay illustrates just how important my journey as a writer has been. In five years I’ve transformed from a closeted everything into and advocate for substance abuse, mental illness and democratic thinking.

Undercrust is a big secret… I wrote it anonymously because I thought my world would collapse if anyone ever found out about my past drug use. Or alcohol abuse. Or that I have Tourette Syndrome. Or Anxiety. Or OCD. That I don’t blindly love my country. Or worship our flag. These are the topics I explored on Undercrust.  

21 thoughts on “BADASS (the book)

  1. That’s great, Jeff – congrats! I’d be happy to proofread it for you if you need someone to – I can already tell I am going to like it, cause you know, I like to run and talk about running. If not, I am excited to read it when it comes out. Congrats to you!!

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  2. Good to have you back, Jeff. I’m happy to proofread–I like running, and I often catch glitches in writing. And I’m amazed at the number of errors I miss in my own writing. Tough when you already know the story.

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  3. It would be an honor to proof read for you if you need more people. I’ve been thinking lately about editing and assembling a book myself but haven’t looked into publishing yet. I think my blog was just me very, very slowly writing it the past few years.

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      • You bet. I can’t promise how quick I’ll be but I’m happy to take a look. Don’t forget I write under a pseudonym so you might not recognize my name right away. I’m pretty sure I can trust you with my real name after this long 🙂

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    • BTW – ebook publishing is a very simple process for someone who can follow instructions (I can’t). Print book publishing is more involved in terms of formatting and there are some mandatory costs associated (getting a proof copy is one, I’m sure there are more). So for now, I’m just going ebook for Bad-Ass, but I’m sure at some point I’m going to want a print copy, because it’s really very cool to have a copy of a book *you* wrote on your bookshelf.

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    • Well, this ebook will include a link to my other book, so maybe this is just a big marketing ploy. I agree, I would *like* to be paid, but so far, it’s just a labor of love. Even the pieces I’ve had in magazines have been give-aways. “Stay the course” my inner voice says, “karma takes care of us in the end.”

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  4. I am so pleased to hear you’ve worked on your second book. I really loved Fragments – it was such an eye opening and engaging read and I learnt many lessons from it. I am not a runner or even a fan of running. I’ve tried it and will try again and often dream of running a marathon – just because it’s such a battle of endurance. I doubt I ever will even run a 10k race. Anyhoo I am a fan of you and your blog so if you need another bod to read your book simply for the proof reading – my hand is up!

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