I should be wearing clothes right now.
I always imagined that when I finally wrote a book and made the big pre-order announcement, I'd be wearing clothes. But alas, I did not plan on making this announcement from a Holiday Inn in Gibson, Pennsylvania (where obviously clothing is banned), and I certainly did not imagine doing so after a night of imbibing pumpkin-infused spirits. (Okay, fine, that part was planned.) But as anyone who has ever worn clothes before knows, it's a risky business. Choose the wrong ones, and spend the entire night hiking up your tights over your muffin top and wishing you didn't wear butterfly sleeves. (Butterfly sleeves are a cruel, cruel joke. “Wear them, they're cute!” they said. And then you saw yourself in a photograph and it was all: JOKES ON YOU, BUTTERFLY SLEEVES ACTUALLY MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE A FLYING HIPPOPOTAMUS.)
So I'm not putting on clothes for the big day today. Not yet. Too much pressure. For now I'm just going to sit here naked in this Holiday Inn, writing to you from my hometown in the woods where this book began.
And in case you're like, “who in the squirrel crotch are you?” let's do a little rundown of why this book matters:
- Girl grows up in a trailer park in rural America
- Mom = social anxiety, doesn't leave house
- Dad dies when girl is 14
- Mom dies when girl is 21
- Girl leaves small town. Goes to big city. Tries hard to fit in with people who paid real money for “nude” as a nail color.
- Becomes disillusioned to discover nobody actually knows what they're doing and the rules were made up by a guy named Ted who ate a cheeseburger for lunch and has a dog named Wedgie.
- Leaves job. Rebels. Sleeps in car in Kmart parking lot.
- $26 left. Lots of chicken nuggets.
- Hears radio announcer. New music album available for pre-order. Suddenly realizes that value comes in many forms—not just in all of material things she never had—and art is worth paying for.
- Takes hidden talent—writing—and uses it to create an all-new job for herself.
- Earns first $2,000 from backseat of car.
- Uses it to kick start new life.
- Makes first $103,000 that year, and then goes on to earn several million dollars from her art.
- Learns lots of lessons along the way, like: You must be brave enough to cause problems. And: Sometimes you've got to be a bitch about money. And: Every good idea is offensive to someone. And: Selling yourself requires you to insist on your own brilliance. And: We must learn to become mothers to ourselves.
- I NEED TORN DOWN SOULS TO READ THIS. I need them to see that they can do so much more than they think. And not just them, but anyone who feels like an imposter every single day of their life. Anyone who doesn't know what else to do. Anyone confused about their career. Anyone who doesn't have passions anymore. Anyone who feels like they've lost themselves. And anyone who is still really just an innocent babe inside, trying to find their way.
I wrote this for every single person who's ever read The Middle Finger Project blog. I wrote this for every single one of us who's ever questioned their role, or felt directionless, or became heartbreakingly disappointed by the state of their own life. I wrote this for the imposters, the small town girls, the trailer park trash, the inner city warriors, the dirt road queens, the women who’ve hit rock bottom, the ones without a voice, the ones being supervised by a man, the ones broke and divorced, the ones without much self-esteem, the ones who don’t know what to do next, the ones fighting every day to find themselves, the ones who don’t know what their passions are yet, the ones who could use a big sister, the ones who need someone to grab them by the hand and say “get the fuck back up, we’re doing this” the ones who are gravely underestimated, the ones dying to find their purpose, the ones who need a dangerous dose of confidence, the ones who are down to ride because THAT IS WHAT WE DO, and the ones who don’t know, yet, that they are so much more capable than they think. This book is for you bitches. I love you. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.
So here's the best part of this entire post. I'm not just going to ask you to pre-order a copy of THE MIDDLE FINGER PROJECT book, I'm going to ~bribe~ you to do it. Who doesn't love a good bribe? I know! Bribes are great! So here's what we're doing, my sweetness. (Your new nickname, sorry.)
*********If you pre-order THE MIDDLE FINGER PROJECT for yourself or for every family member you have anytime before Christmas, I will send you a very special, TMF-reader exclusive, signed and personalized author book plate—industry term!— in the actual physical mail to accompany each copy of the book to make it a collectible…or just leave it casually around your dining room table so the neighbors come by and you can be all like, “oh yeah my friend Ash, wrote a book, I've got connections, teedily doo.” You can even request what you want it to say and who you want it made out to. ? See below for instructions. **********
BUT, BUT, BUT—Penguin's only sending me 1,000 book plates to sign, which means that once we're out, we out. So hop on this pony right now if you want one. You can pre-order for yourself, or pre-order for a friend, or pre-order for both you and a friend! (Psst, it's the perfect Galentine's Day gift since it comes out right before V-day, and it's also a darling Christmas gift if I do say so myself—you'll just have to give them a Polaroid of your middle finger as a place holder for now with something cryptic written on it like “February 11th, present arrives, not a severed head.”) I've got a special form to fill out if you want to have the book plate sent as a gift and I'll make it out to them however you want—inappropriate jokes welcome—within a 140 character limit. Just make sure to pre-order each book in a separate transaction and then upload each receipt separately and I GOT YOU, BOO.
So to recap, here are the steps laid out in a nice, organized fashion:
- Step One: Take off all your clothes. (Kidddddingggg.)
- Step Two: Pre-order The Middle Finger Project book from yo' favorite retailer and get ready to laugh, cry, jump, punch, and take on the f*cking world. It's available through all major retailers including (first in the U.S.) Barnes & Noble, Amazon US, Target, Walmart, Apple Books, BAM, Indie Bound, Hudson Booksellers, Powell's, Rakuten, and Penguin Random House New York, in the U.K. at Amazon UK, Waterstones, Hive, and Penguin Random House UK, in Canada at Penguin Random House Canada and Indigo, in Australia at Penguin Random House Australia, and in New Zealand at Penguin Random House New Zealand. If you're in a country not listed, you should buy through the United Kingdom! 🙂
- Step Three: Take a screenshot of your receipt (it doesn't matter where you're from or where you buy it from) and upload it here if it's for you, or here if it's a gift for a friend.
- Step Four: I'll send a signed and personalized author book plate in the mail, anywhere in the world, before the book is released on February 11th. IS THIS FUN OR WHAT?
I'm so grateful.
I'm so excited.
I'm so nervous.
I'm so happy.
I'm so emotional.
I'm so WHOA.
And seeing your name come through in a pre-order for this will probably make me cry. So please! Submit screenshots of your receipts as soon as you can so I can send you my gratitude in the form of a handwritten love note, through the mail the old fashioned way.
I love you.
Thanks for being here.
This is fucking crazy.
What have we DONE?
P.S. If you want to place a giant bulk order, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.