BAN THIS BOOK!!!! (please?)

Sunday, March 04, 2012 / Bloggified by Jake Bell /

My first professional writing gig was at Cracked, a comedy website. I got that based on a comic book blog I was writing. Both featured vulgar humor and lots of swearing and other things that might be considered offensive to the parents of kids in the 9-12 range.

When my agent started submitting my first book to publishers back in early 2007, I made an effort to separate myself from those works, at least as far as Google was concerned. For a while, I debated using a pen name for the books as I thought that would be easier than eliminating all connections between Children's Author Jake Bell and Comedic Vulgarian Jake Bell anywhere on the internet.

After much effort, I thought I'd removed all traces of my former career, but in January of 2010, a mom emailed Scholastic detailing how her son had purchased SECRET IDENTITY CRISIS through the Scholastic Book Club and she'd, in turn, found a Twitter account where I'd made roughly 3000 off color comments about politics, religion, my ex, fatherhood, bad drivers, grocery store customers, and myriad other topics. I had to change my username and go through another thorough scrubbing of my good name, including deleting the blog that got me my start as a writer.

Now, I stand poised on the precipice of admitting I am a failed writer. SECRET IDENTITY CRISIS has been out for more than two years and I have yet to have sold enough copies of any of my five books to show a profit. I am currently working on two projects that are for slightly older audiences and am debating if it's worth maintaining a squeaky clean image.

In fact, I'm debating cranking up my crude-factor to 11. Being inoffensive and vanilla has done nothing for me. The best thing that could happen right would be for some crazy right-wing religious group to declare me the devil and call for a boycott of everything Nate Banks-related. If there's a school board somewhere in the Midwest that would consider banning RED ALERT for promoting a communist agenda, I'd sure appreciate it.

The ensuing backlash by freedom of speech advocates would mean a certain boost in sales.

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