I've moved to JennetteFulda.com

What’s in a name?

Remember how my weight loss memoir to be published next year was going to be called Half of Me: The Last 200 Pounds are the Hardest? You do? Crap, I guess that memory eraser only works once. Forget that! My book is now going to be called:

Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

(click to pre-order from Amazon at the discounted advance price of $10.85!)

and look, my publisher put me on the cover:

Imagine my surprise when I looked myself up on Amazon to find my huge fat pants staring back at me. When I sent my publisher my photos, it occurred to me that they could hypothetically use them on the cover, but I figured I was just being vain. Surely they would find someone with sexier forearms as the cover model. But no! That’s me! On the cover of my book! Someone hand me a paper bag to breath into please! I have no grounds to complain though. Hell, I scheduled the photo shoot myself. It’s unusual because authors don’t typically get much control over their covers. I’m glad I didn’t know the image would end up on the cover or surely I would have spent another 6 hours critiquing my shoe choice.

Why’d we change it? Because this is better. I know the use of the word “ass” will probably offend some of you. I’m sorry. If it embarrasses you to read a book with that title, just keep your fingers strategically placed over “ass” as you hold the cover. There are books that have much naughtier words in their titles that have sold well (Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook and Skinny Bitch). If it’s still a big issue for you, I give you permission to design your own cover in PhotoShop and rubber cement it to the front if you want to. But if you want to find it at the book store, this is the name you will have to request. I originally came up with this title on the second page of my six pages of notebook scribbles, but Rah also came up with a variation on it in the name my baby thread and Christine morphed it into the same thing I’d scratched in black ink, which made me reexamine it. So congrats Rah and Christine! I will mention you in the acknowledgments of my book.

This name change reminds me of my grandfather, who had to get a copy of his birth certificate to join the navy in his early 20’s, only to discover there was no record of a John Gerard Fulda. There was however a birth certificate for Melvin Vernon Hitchins and an awkward family conversation that went something like, “Oh yeah, that guy you thought was your dad? Heh, funny story, he’s not your biological father. What, we never told you that?” So, there is some alternate universe where my name is Jennette Hitchins, which would be kind of cool because my motto could be “Jennette Hitchins is bitchin’ ” but might also suck because people could say “Stop your bitchin’, Hitchins!” But I am not Jennette Hitchins, I am Jennette Fulda. My grandfather changed the name on his birth certificate several decades after his birth. So just be grateful that we’re only changing the title of a book, not your name, and that it’s only happening a couple months later.

The title has changed, but the book remains the same. I hope you will still buy it, pretty, pretty, please. It is tasty and delicious and inspirational. And as all fat girls should know, it’s what’s inside that counts. Thank you.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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Susan • October 8, 2007 at 8:53 am

Love the cover, love the title, love the shoes. Congratulations, PQ!


Kris • October 8, 2007 at 9:08 am

I’m going to be totally honest, and please don’t punch me for doing so.

Based on the cover, I wouldn’t buy it. I think it would sell A LOT better if they showed your face!

You’re so beautiful, and you’ve worked so freaking hard. It just seems wrong to crop out your smile.

Congratulations, and I *will* still buy it! I just wish they should show the WHOLE you.

PQ – I think I would seriously have a panic attack if they put my face on the cover. It’s bizarre enough having my arms on there.


Mia • October 8, 2007 at 9:29 am

SEAL PRESS!!!!!! Holy Crap, woman. You and Jessica Valenti can hang out together some time! Bullshit to the person who said the front cover isn’t good. It’s amazing. Clever. Wonderful. Eye Catching. And the reason you don’t want your picture on the cover is the natural response is to want to know who lost this amount of weight. And what do I have to do to answer that question? Pick up the book. I hope they buried your picture in the middle.

Congratulations. That’s awesome!

PQ – I did think about turning comments off on this entry since I’m sure there will be people who don’t like the cover or the title change. But I figure, that’s okay. Everyone has a right to their opinion. I can’t make decisions by committee and the important thing is that I like the cover and the title.


Urban Chick • October 8, 2007 at 10:23 am

Lookin’ good pasta queen. Love the cover.



Cindy • October 8, 2007 at 10:26 am

Hi PQ,

Bitchin’ title! I had to get that out of the way, so you wouldn’t worry that “ass” might offend… And I love that they put you on the cover. What a great idea and I think it will attract all kinds of readers (not just your loyal fan club from the blog!). Best of luck with this endeavor. I hope you come to my area on your tour—we have a lovely little independent book store in my town…


hanlie • October 8, 2007 at 10:28 am

I like it! And yes, I’ll definitely buy it, even though the delivery charges to our neck of the woods is about the price of the book!


yo • October 8, 2007 at 10:54 am

The title is SOOOOO much better — I love it.

And the artwork is amazing. I love it even more (wish shirt was girlier-colored, but what can you do).

Also, you don’t have an agent, do you? Is Seal Press going to fly you around for readings, visiting book clubs, etc? I hope so!


JanB • October 8, 2007 at 10:57 am

I LOVE it!! Congratulations, I can’t imagine how it feels to see yourself on amazon.com!!


Lurker • October 8, 2007 at 11:14 am

De-lurking to say that I think that the title and the cover perfectly convey the irreverent and straightforward style you have in expressing yourself and this is EXACTLY what people want in a memoir. The title and cover should be clever, not cute or pretty (like your face :). I think you’ve nailed it and hope you sell a ton of copies.


Charity Froggenhall • October 8, 2007 at 11:15 am

Love the cover photo, love the title, pre-ordered. :)


kim • October 8, 2007 at 11:29 am

Isn’t that the shirt that you wore in your biking pics? The shirt is great, shoes are cool. Title is fun. I’d buy the book, even if I hadn’t been reading your blog…. there is just something about a pair of fat pants that sells. Off to pre-order.

PQ – Yeah, it’s the same shirt. It’s one of my faves because it shows off my collarbones. I wore it to the 5K because it was the IrishFest 5K and I was afraid I’d be pinched to death if I didn’t wear green :)


melsky • October 8, 2007 at 11:30 am

I think it’s a great title and cover.


Debbie • October 8, 2007 at 11:38 am

No matter what the title, good luck with your book, Jennette. I think it’s your story that’s inspirational.


spacedcowgirl • October 8, 2007 at 11:40 am

I agree 100% with Lurker. The title is just right and a stroke of genius. Awesome!


Girl on a mission • October 8, 2007 at 11:45 am

Wow! Congrats on the cover-it was my favorite picture! It shows the journey and the accomplishment! I wish they had put the full picture on there because your face captivated your accomplishment! I hope some day to stand in my ‘fat pants’ like you did…and I’ll tuck them away in the closet for safe keeping. Till then, I’ll keeping blogging on my site and reading yours for a true motivation!


Diana the Scale Junkie • October 8, 2007 at 11:53 am

Love the cover, Love the title! Why on earth would you be shocked your publisher put you on the cover? You belong on the cover…you EARNED that cover!! Congrats PQ!!


Holly • October 8, 2007 at 12:04 pm

I really like the title AND the photo. I think the previous title could have been construed as a book about divorce, or relationships…like when someone says yes, I lost 175 pounds. I divorced my loser of a husband. I hate that!

Some people will be inclined to buy it just BECAUSE it has the word ass in the title!! :)

Congrats on the book!


Laura • October 8, 2007 at 12:06 pm

It’s so excellent! I love the cover. It’s gonna sell like crazy. The cover will get people to PICK UP THE BOOK, which is the whole point of the cover. The back cover will be witty and clever, because it will be filled with YOUR WORDS, and you’ll be all over the Morning Talk Shows and will be in O magazine (and even ON OPRRAH??!!!) and we’ll all get to say “WE KNOW PQ!” And I will get to say, “And she’s a Hoosier, like me!”

Congrats, Jennette. I’m going to go buy your book now. =)


Jenny • October 8, 2007 at 12:15 pm

I’m so on it – will order. And, I’ll read it too!


Jem • October 8, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Half Assed is funny and would make me pick up the book even more so…Can’t wait to read it.


Crystal • October 8, 2007 at 12:23 pm

I pre-ordered the book BECAUSE of the naughty word in the title! Can’t wait to get it.


Reb • October 8, 2007 at 12:42 pm

I think the picture is wonderful, the title is clever and funny and I am sure the book will be as good as the blog to read. Congratulations!


Sandi • October 8, 2007 at 1:13 pm

I think it’s awesome! It has been pre-ordered!!! I simply can’t wait!!!


coraspartan • October 8, 2007 at 1:23 pm

Love it, love it, love it–everything about it! The title, the cover photo, everything! I can’t wait to read it. I’m off to pre-order right now!


Tawnya • October 8, 2007 at 1:30 pm

I think I liked the old title better but the cover picture rocks! I pre ordered it today and can’t wait!


sara • October 8, 2007 at 2:14 pm

You must be so psyched! and whoa there nurse… 300 pages??? woohoo!


Alexandra • October 8, 2007 at 2:21 pm

Love the new title and the cover. Looking forward to reading it.


adrienne • October 8, 2007 at 2:22 pm

I LOVE the title and the cover! Did you ever envision yourself as a covergirl?

The shoes are perfect- fun, youthful, and down to earth. That and Half-Assed are going to do great things for your sales (says this purchaser of Stitch and Bitch).


Kelly • October 8, 2007 at 2:39 pm

I think it is absolutely terrific! I love the cover shot. I pre-ordered it and can’t wait to read it!


Kyle • October 8, 2007 at 2:48 pm

I’m SO excited for you PQ!!!! I actually think I squealed and giggled out loud a bit when I saw the cover. That’s YOU! That’s your book! You are having a something that most people only dream of become a reality.

It’s bookmarked and will be pre-ordered next paycheck (end of the month). I’m happy because Amazon actually has decent international shipping rates. Sometimes when I want to buy books the shipping rate to Chile costs more than the paperback itself. Grrr.

Do you have any way to track how many copies are being sold? Or do you just have to wait until your publishers come up with the information?

PQ – I’m glad the shipping wasn’t too high! I don’t have access to the number of copies preordered. Once the book is released I can get sales numbers from my publisher, and of course all those numbers will be listed on any royalty statements.


Tiffany • October 8, 2007 at 3:17 pm

I preorder it! Can’t wait until it arrives! Congratulations PQ!


Têtue • October 8, 2007 at 3:17 pm

I LOVE IT! I would totally pick it up off the shelves!

And I’m most def buying a copy, but I want an author-signed edition. What do I need to do to get me one of those?!

PQ – I don’t know how I’ll be handling autographed copies, but I’ll let you know when I do. You can always cancel your Amazon order before it ships if you end up needing buy an autographed copy from a different source.


Amy • October 8, 2007 at 3:48 pm

Congrats-I pre-ordered today!

Love the title



Erin • October 8, 2007 at 5:11 pm

I’m TOTALLY pre-ordering it! Friday is payday, and I’m THERE.


elissa • October 8, 2007 at 5:51 pm

I LOVE IT. It’s funny, clever and fun, and I think it actually works better than the “the first 200 pounds are the hardest” title, even though I liked that too.

I am preordering a copy for my sister and me. Amazing!


Marshmallow • October 8, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Love it love it love it, and so far, I’m only judging the book by its cover :-D

Pre-ordered, ahoy!


MaryK • October 8, 2007 at 7:11 pm

OMG OMG OMG!!! This is so exciting! (My mom would say it’s “pee-yourself exciting!”) I pre-ordered the book this morning and can’t wait for it to arrive!!

Could. not. be. more. happy. for. you.


Lisa C • October 8, 2007 at 7:31 pm

Congratulations! Love the title and book cover.

By the way I think you should change the website side pic to the picture on the book.


Susan • October 8, 2007 at 7:41 pm

This is funny! If *we’re* this excited, I can’t imagine how you must feel!

I’ve pre-ordered too. Congratulations on all your hard work and accomplishments.


Cat • October 8, 2007 at 7:57 pm

I don’t normally books of this type, but based upon the title and cover, I WILL BUY IT! That title tells me I am in for a good read. Kudos to the person who thought up that title.


MB • October 8, 2007 at 8:35 pm

Congratulations! I love it! It is the perfect cover.

I’m sure your loyal readers will make it a big success even before it hits the bookstores.

I’m not sure if I’m going to pre-order it or wait to pick it. I’d need the autographed copy too. There is something very exciting about picking up a new book off the shelf of new releases. I spend hours in the bookstore and can’t wait to see PQ there.

I think the title may throw people off because your weight loss efforts were certainly not half assed – that was just the end result – having 1/2 the ass :)

Maybe I’ll pre-order so I can have an early edition and then buy another on the book tour for the autographed copy. I’m sure I’ll end up buying multiple copies anyway.

See you on the book tour :)


MB • October 8, 2007 at 8:36 pm

Congratulations! I love it! It is the perfect cover.

I’m sure your loyal readers will make it a big success even before it hits the bookstores.

I’m not sure if I’m going to pre-order it or wait to pick it. I’d need the autographed copy too. There is something very exciting about picking up a new book off the shelf of new releases. I spend hours in the bookstore and can’t wait to see PQ there.

I think the title may throw people off because your weight loss efforts were certainly not half assed – that was just the end result – having 1/2 the ass :)

Maybe I’ll pre-order so I can have an early edition and then buy another on the book tour for the autographed copy. I’m sure I’ll end up buying multiple copies anyway.

See you on the book tour :)


Nory Roth • October 8, 2007 at 9:03 pm

Love the title, love the picture, love the shoes. Will definitely pre-order — can’t wait to read it! Congratulations — you’ve inspired me to try “one more time”.


Angel • October 8, 2007 at 10:41 pm

Congratulations!!! What a great cover! And I love the title (though, um, I might have to cover it up when I’m reading it certain places lol)

Can’t wait until it comes out!! By the time I’m done, I will have lost around 180-ish pounds. So I really need the inspiration!


Denise • October 9, 2007 at 12:38 am

Love the title and the picture. Thanks for the great birthday present….yes today is my birthday and I just ordered your book!!!!!!! YEAH. I’ve been waiting for a long time for this (well ever since you told us you were writing a book anyway). Can’t wait to get it now.



Christy • October 9, 2007 at 1:02 am

That’s so… real! Congrats :) I’ll make a point to order/buy it once I find myself some money, lol.


Kery • October 9, 2007 at 1:31 am

Argh, Amazon.fr doesn’t carry it in pre-order, but I’ll make sure to lay my hands on it as soon as possible. I love the tone of your blog, even though I’m a lurker way more than a commenter, and I wouldn’t pass on it.


Rina • October 9, 2007 at 4:41 am

YAAAAY!!! I’m HYPER about the book! I hope they put your photo on the back, because you really are beautiful. But yeah, the title is a little risque – I’m one of those semi-moral people who can’t have a book with that title lying around :) but I’ll camouflage it :)

Just wanted to say – on that pre-order page on Amazon, visitors can “tag” the book, entering search terms they think should yield your book as a result. Anyone who wants to make sure everyone finds PQ’s book (uhh… that would be all of us) can go there and enter relevant tags.

How about autographing a bunch of copies and making them available directly through the publisher?

[This was an Official Delurk. I’m almost through reading the archives, and my husband thinks I’m losing it because I’m laughing out loud and won’t stop. Okay – you. rock.]


Princess Dieter • October 9, 2007 at 8:29 am

You better believe I”m buying it! And I LOVE the title. It made me giggle. :D

The Princess


G.G. • October 9, 2007 at 10:09 am

Love the title, love the cover. I was planning on buying the book no matter what it was called, but I did think the previous title was too serious in tone. A little too afterschool special or Lifetime movie of the week for me. Not that there would have been anything wrong with that, of course:-)

Love the shoes, too:-)


Bobette • October 9, 2007 at 11:51 am

I’m actually really glad, I was afraid the other title wouldn’t sell well because it was a little, well, boring. This one is way more interesting and funny and, yeah, it’s a “swear” word but not really too crass in my opinion, more funny. It’s not like you’re using sex to sell the book. I am sure you will sell WAYYY more with the new title.


KatieG • October 9, 2007 at 2:12 pm

Cool – I like the photo and the title. I think it is awesome they used your picture! So many weight loss books have generic overweight people photos on them. (unless the person who wrote it is already famous.)I’m excited about buying the book – April seems like a long way away to me (though perhaps not to you!). It was also cool to look on Amazon and see your name listed as “Author”. Congratulations!


workoutmommy • October 9, 2007 at 10:13 pm

I’m definitely ordering it!


Kary • October 9, 2007 at 10:47 pm

I pre-ordered your book last night (pre-order now and you get an additional 5% off at checkout). I have been reading your blog for a couple of years and love your writing style. I do not have your ability to write that well, nor the commitment to keep at it day after day like you do. So, sister, call the book anything you want and put whatever you like on the cover. I am sure it will rock no matter what.


Rachel • October 9, 2007 at 11:41 pm

300 pages! I know it’s gonna be awesome and I can’t wait to read it. :)


Marie • October 10, 2007 at 6:24 am

I LOVE the cover! Will definitely buy the book, and will keep my fingers crossed that you’ll make a trip up north to Michigan so that I can get it autographed…I soooo want to meet you. Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!


Christian Faith • October 10, 2007 at 8:27 am

In our home saying bad words will get you in trouble but I am going to be naughty and buy your book anyway. After reading Fat Girl and feeling like I got ripped off surely your great story will make up for that loss.

Off to preorder at Amazon…..


Mymsie • October 10, 2007 at 9:10 am

SO exciting – congrats! And I ♥ the cover picture. It’s perfect!


PastaQueen • October 10, 2007 at 9:17 am

Thanks to everyone who has pre-ordered a copy! You guys are great :)


v'ron • October 10, 2007 at 10:34 am

I’ll get it in a bookstore! Can not wait.

As a huge fan of sans serif fonts, and bold things in general, I love the cover. Bold font, bold colors, and bold words. You have to be bold to not only lose this kind of weight, but to tell the whole world about it.


Sarah • October 10, 2007 at 11:16 am

I buy a lot of books by their covers… and this is a terrific one. Congrats. They captured your spirit, energy, accomplishment and verve! I’ve preordered 3 copies! You go girl! I plan on leaving two as “secret santa” gifts in February… I know two people who really wouldn’t get the book because of finances…am already excited about the surprise!

PQ – It’s not out until May of next year, so you’ll have to about a year after that for the X-mas gifts. Sorry for the wait, but that’s how it goes!


Amy • October 11, 2007 at 1:57 am

that’s the coolest pic — congratulations! i’m excited for your book :)


sarah • October 11, 2007 at 4:20 pm

February? May? Either way… they are getting out the second they come in! No waiting until the next December… except for the next wave of purchases! So…are you working on your next book yet?


Princess Dieter • October 12, 2007 at 4:15 am

I pre-ordered it yesterday, just so you know. :)

Can’t WAIT to read it.

The Princess


Miz Booshay • October 12, 2007 at 2:54 pm

I think it is a really funny and catchy title!!!

Next stop.



Sophie • October 13, 2007 at 4:49 am

Hi Jennette,

First time commenter, long time lurker. Congrats on your book – as Miz Booshay has suggested, I can definitely see you on Oprah’s couch.

So I’ve finally persuaded myself to leave a comment on your wonderful blog which I have been reading since (almost) its inception. This is one of this first blogs I click on in my Google reader.

I have kept off roughly 10 kilos for over 2 years now, and it is for sure something that one must be forever vigilant about – some days it can be exhausting and easy to fall off the wagon (esp. at the weekend), but it is certainly worth it.

Cheers! Thanks again for a entertaining, earnest, well-written read.


Israel • October 13, 2007 at 7:11 pm

pretty cool. i like the title.


kentuckienne • October 14, 2007 at 10:49 am

Loki and I approve. Hey, permission to pimp this to everyone I know?


Pam • May 24, 2010 at 11:18 am

I know I’m late to your blog, but am enjoying reading it. And I just ordered your book from Amazon, it arrived this weekend! How is the current weight loss battle going? I think I read somewhere that you had gained 50 lbs. Hope you can get it off. I need to lose about 100 more, after having lost 62. You diet bloggers and authors give me inspiration. Thanks!


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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