The Book of Kevin

Announcing a New True Book Series — and the first of the new titles is just coming off the press.

What is it? At my mastermind group’s fall meeting, one of the members (and Premium subscriber) suggested a new This is True book series. I told him I was already way behind on books since every time I train up an assistant to get books ready, they very shortly after move out of town.


That’s when Kevin gave me a forehead-slapper. “You always liked Becky,” he said — my assistant who moved away a bunch of years ago and was the best at book projects. “Maybe she’d like some remote project work.” I checked, and she did …as soon as she recovers from some surgery. She’ll be at it shortly to help catch up with both True and Honorary Unsubscribe books.

The Kevin Kover
The first title in the new series, which you can order here (click cover to see larger).

So what was Kevin’s idea? A series of books, each featuring a name. You know, like “Kevin” — all (or the best of) the True stories that include someone with that name. Another member quick pulled up the U.S. Social Security Administration’s lists of most popular given names of each decade (Kevin was #13 in the 1970s).

Of course, I realized the “most popular” surnames would be interesting too, or various locations. (Don’t suggest Florida! I thought of that years ago, and it would be the size of a dictionary!) Someone else suggested letting readers pay to get a specific name pushed ahead in the queue if they don’t want to wait. (Not sure yet if I’ll do that. Addendum: see my reply to the first comment on this page.)

The First One is Out

Meanwhile, I whipped out the first such book as a proof of concept. Which name did I choose? Kevin, of course! That’s the only title that will be out by Christmas. It’s intended as a gift item, so it’s available in paperback only. You can order it now but it won’t ship until at least December 12, since I don’t have my copies yet. But Amazon does: that makes it affordable to buy if you’re outside the U.S. — shipping costs have gone through the roof, especially overseas, so if you’re on “Amazon Prime” you “should” be able to get it without any delay or shipping charges. Perfect! Of course, other This is True titles are also available on Amazon.

The Book of Kevin
An example story from The Book of Kevin. Order here.

Then What?

James and Mary are almost certainly next. New titles will be announced in the newsletter. [Not already a subscriber? Click for a subscribe form.] Meanwhile, you can get more details and order Kevin here, though as of now I can’t guarantee arrival by Christmas. If that’s a concern, get it through Amazon. I look forward to your feedback on the idea.

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This page is an example of Randy Cassingham’s style of “Thought-Provoking Entertainment”. His This is True is an email newsletter that uses “weird news” as a vehicle to explore the human condition in an entertaining way. If that sounds good, click here to open a subscribe form.

To really support This is True, you’re invited to sign up for a subscription to the much-expanded “Premium” edition:

One Year Upgrade

The Book of Kevin
(More upgrade options here.)

Q: Why would I want to pay more than the regular rate?

A: To support the publication to help it thrive and stay online: this kind of support means less future need for price increases (and smaller increases when they do happen), which enables more people to upgrade. This option was requested by existing Premium subscribers.

1 Comment on “The Book of Kevin

  1. The whole concept is cool! For the record, I like the idea of paying to push a name ahead in the queue. Sadly, my name has become less popular as the years have gone by, so that might be the only way you’ll ever get to it! As long as it’s not more than a couple-hundred bucks, I think I’d do it. Let me know if you decide to offer that.

    “Kevin” is just perfect too! That’s my husband’s name, so I’ll be ordering that when I get home from work, and no big deal if it’s not here by Christmas. 😀

    Pamela was #13 for females in the 1950s, #14 in the 60s, and … #48 in the 70s and #112 in the 80s. I feel your pain: Randy has had a similar decline.

    And here’s why I haven’t decided whether to do it or not: the biggest problem with the idea is, even if paid, I probably wouldn’t want to do a name book for a name that’s unpopular for two reasons: few would buy copies, and the less popular, the less likely I’d have enough stories with the name.

    For that reason, female names are a “problem” in that you are so much less likely to do something stupid that gets into the news, so I don’t have anywhere near as many stories with women’s names as men’s! (It doesn’t have to be something stupid, of course: sometimes witnesses are named in stories, or police officers, etc.)

    Sorry to break it to you, but Pamela is in that category. I need around 100 stories to make a book viable (even “Kevin” only has 40 pages, with a few less than 100 stories). “Pamela” has just a few, and even “Pam” only brings back 45 hits — and that’s before I review them to rule out stories with words that start with “Pam”, like pamper, pamphlet, and pamprodactyl (adj., “having the toes turned forward”).

    Surprisingly, even “Randy” has 57 hits, though that’s before subtracting “randy” as an adjective, or adding “Randolph” and “Randall”, because men rule the stupid news genre! 🙂

    So I’d probably publish a list of names I’d be willing to take “bids” on, after doing a sanity check (data base search) on each to see if I have enough stories to actually do it. And that will take time to fit it into my schedule.

    Just to be totally clear, it would probably be several months to deliver any “paid” name book, and if I do it, the priority would be set by how much was paid …since I can’t think of a better way to do it. -rc


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