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Kevin Cramer

Kevin Cramer

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

2007 Samuel Goldwyn Award Finalist Kevin Cramer is also the author of five books including "Universe Point - A Book About Ultimate," and "Ultimate: The First Fifty Years."

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About the author

2007 Samuel Goldwyn Award Finalist Kevin Cramer is the proud father of a maniac two-year old girl who will only go down the tallest slides at the park and a nine-year old boy who’s trying to bankrupt him by being good at ice hockey. He’s most likely the only construction worker in Pittsburgh with two master’s degrees and five published books – three of which are about ultimate frisbee, an obscure sport that has put him in the ER in every American time zone. His wife is a roller derby playing tattoo artist, thus rendering anything he does super boring in comparison.
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Success! American Grunt has already sold 318 pre-orders , was pitched to 52 publishers , and is in discussions with publishers .

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Thanks for supporting the publishing of "American Grunt: Ridiculous Stories of a Life Lived at $8.00 an Hour"

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American Grunt

Ridiculous Stories of a Life Lived at $8.00 an Hour

Working dead-end blue-collar jobs your whole life can take a dramatic physical and emotional toll - unless you learn to embrace the absurdity.

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Biography & Memoir
110,000 words
100% complete
4 publishers interested


I’ve almost died at work three separate times, surviving each incident only through a minor miracle. It got me asking the question – why? Why do so many of us get up and trudge to a place we dislike, deal with dopes for hours on end, and sometimes quite literally put our lives on the line for people who typically don’t have our best interests in mind? “American Grunt: Ridiculous Stories of a Life Lived at $8.00 an Hour” is my quest to find meaning in a career spanning nearly a hundred forgettable jobs from paper boy through construction laborer and all of the warehouses, bars, parking lots, schools, and delivery trucks in between. Is happiness possible when your daily life revolves around washing cars, working a cash register, or digging a ditch? “American Grunt” is a book for all of us whose dreams never quite materialized and found ourselves both laughing and weeping at the insanity of where we got stuck - and provides hope that despite all the frustration, it's possible to live a modern blue-collar life without the oft-attached bitterness.

If the nonfiction publishing world has one unintentional oversight, it's that everyone involved in the process, from the writers to the agents to the publishers, tend to be hyper-educated people drawn to the stories of interest to the academics and intellectuals in their bubble. Consequently, a majority of Americans - the ones who wear boots instead of loafers to work, don't often see their reality reflected in what they read. Those I've approached in the publishing industry have mostly met the concept of "American Grunt" with a lukewarm, "That's intriguing, but I'm not sure what the market would be." When I mention it to anyone who punches a time clock every day, however, the response is an emphatic, "Oh hell yeah, I'd read that! Let me tell you about this stupid thing that happened to me yesterday. When's it coming out?" There's a genuine enthusiasm for the subject in a large, frequently overlooked segment of the population - working class, rust belt men and women who don't feel as if anyone's paying attention.

I've worked dirty, blue-collar jobs my entire life. I started as a paper boy when I was eleven. I'm now forty-five and spend my days hanging drywall and throwing toilets into dumpsters. I'm not the person you might expect to write a compelling narrative. What makes me (and this project) unique is that I also have two master's degrees - one in education from Penn State, and one in Writing for the Performing Arts from UC-Riverside. I have one foot in sawdust and the other in a classroom. While there have been successful titles that describe the trials and tribulations of blue-collar America, those books are written by and from the perspective of an outside journalist. They're almost never written by the person actually experiencing the day to day drudgery, which I believe provides an insight that most other writers can't. And even if they can, they're almost never funny. Tragic elegies of American decline don't focus on the goofy characters and pure absurdity that surround life on a forklift. Real people dislike doom and gloom. Life is difficult enough. They want to laugh. They want to escape into a relatable book.

Sales arguments

  • As of 2021, there were 63.6 million blue collar workers in the US, and that doesn't count the service or retail industries, teachers, and non-management office workers - the overworked and underpaid.
  • According to the New York Times, in our post-pandemic world there's been a small but noticable uptick in people who reject celebrity culture. These folks still need and crave stories - stories about real people doing real things.
  • Due to my previous memoir "Universe Point," published in 2017 by Seattle's Skyd Press, I have name recognition and a large following in the worldwide ultimate frisbee community, a sport played in 80 countries by an estimated 7 million people.

Similar titles

  • "American Made," - Farah Stockman /Random House 2021. "American Grunt" features similar rust belt themes but from a first person perspective and in a manner that highlights the humor rather than the depressing reality of the everyday grind.
  • "Failure is an Option," H. Jon Benjamin/Penguin Publishing 2019. H. Jon Benjamin's writing style is similar to "American Grunt" in that he looks for the comedy inherent in defeat.
  • "A Thousand Naked Strangers," Kevin Hazzard/Scribner 2016. Overall "American Grunt" most closely resembles this work in that the author takes the reader on a wild ride into the chaotic depths of his job, detailing the insanity of the situations he had to deal with just to earn money.


Working class and overeducated/underemployed Gen Xers who were deemed slackers when they were young but have been silently working their asses off for years.

Advance praise

American Grunt:

"More than just a memoir, "American Grunt" is an all-too-honest critique of America’s promise, occasionally real, more often illusory and broken. It is a story of hope and love and yearning, of good friends and bad bosses, of hard work and belly laughs and searing disappointments, of a life spent searching for meaning and purpose from one coast to the other, and the hurting heartland in between. Cramer’s story is, in many ways, the story of what America itself has become for far too many people, who find the American dream tantalizingly just beyond their reach, but who persevere in trying to make it real." - Robin Russin, author of "Screenplay: Writing the Picture," and "Naked Playwriting: The Art the Craft, and the Life Laid Bare."

4 publishers interested Express interest
Ballast Books logo Ballast Books

250 copies • Partial manuscript.
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1106 Design, LLC logo 1106 Design, LLC

1106 Design provides book design, production, and publishing services for independent authors seeking all the quality of traditional publishing without forfeiting their rights and royalties. 1106 Design offers traditional publisher quality with one-stop, end-to-end services from copyediting to worldwide distribution. We operate just like a publisher with one difference: YOU maintain complete control of your book, your schedule, and, most importantly, your payments.

In our model, distribution accounts are set up in your name. When a book is sold, the retailer takes a cut, the printing cost is deducted, and the balance is deposited directly into your bank account, never ours first. The difference can amount to several more dollars per book in your net revenue. Our most popular package for non-fiction books, 50,000 words and under, including copyediting, cover design, interior layout, proofreading, eBook formatting, and distribution set up in your name, is just $8,059. Fiction titles are slightly lower, at $7,085.

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Preview Chapter:

  • Update #4 - 318! Dec. 1, 2022

    Hey everyone,

    The campaign ended last night with a final tally of 318 preorders! Going into this whole thing, I had zero idea what a ...

  • Update #3 - Thanksgiving Nov. 24, 2022

    It's Thanksgiving morning...and yesterday "American Grunt" reached the 250 preorder threshold needed to entice small publishers to take a look. In the end ...

  • Update #2 - Is it marketing or begging? Nov. 10, 2022

    Yesterday, we went over 100 preorders, which I think is pretty darn good for nine days. Thank you to everyone who ordered. But here's ...

  • Update #1 - Preview chapter Nov. 3, 2022

    Hey everyone, we're at 61 orders already in less than three days, which has put me in the number one spot in terms of ...

  • Chloe Mills
    on Nov. 1, 2022, 1:50 p.m.

    Congrats, Kevin. I'm looking forward to this. Well done!

  • Robin Russin
    on Nov. 1, 2022, 3:51 p.m.

    How do I order more than one on this site? Wanna give 'em as gifts.

    • Kelly Halbrock
      on Nov. 2, 2022, 9:28 p.m.

      If you scroll up there's a little quantity drop down but it's easy to miss

    • Kevin Cramer
      on Nov. 3, 2022, 1:16 a.m.

      Whoops, sorry, Robin I've been so busy at work, in hockey rinks, and emailing people that I didn't realize I had comments. Yes, as my sister said, at checkout there's a little number that says "quantity" up at the top. There's a tiny arrow next to it you have to click on. I'd have absolutely missed it myself if I was ordering.

  • Aaron Pressburg
    on Nov. 1, 2022, 4:14 p.m.

    As a fan of Cramer's writing for the better part of 15 years, whether in play, screenplay, or fiction form, I'm very excited to read this nonfiction book!

  • jason tetlak
    on Nov. 1, 2022, 6:08 p.m.

    Big Fan. Always love Kevin's work, especially the story about the flatulent cowboy and the breakfast burrito. "Fraaap!" Get's me every time!

    Hoping this one is as good as that! Can't wait to see the finished product.

    • Kevin Cramer
      on Nov. 3, 2022, 1:22 a.m.

      Jason, as you well know I'm much too sophisticated to write about flatulence. Finding random sex toys in rental cars on the other hand....

  • Jason Pierce
    on Nov. 1, 2022, 9:52 p.m.

    Can’t wait!
    And maybe you should get your kid hooked on ultimate instead. Equipment is a lot cheaper.

  • Lisa Leonida Ismail
    on Nov. 2, 2022, 4:27 p.m.

    Hey Kevin,
    Looking forward to reading your book. Paying for Henry's hockey gear is a long term investment that will pay off when he is the captain of the Pens. I'm sure your daughter will make waves in her death defying fashion as well.
    Das Glück / Buenos Suerte!
    Lisa Leonida Ismail

  • Angie Rose
    on Nov. 2, 2022, 11:54 p.m.

    Best of luck to you, Kevin. I'm looking forward to reading this.

  • Judith Iovino
    on Nov. 3, 2022, 1:54 a.m.

    Proud of you Kevin.
    Love you,
    Aunt Judy and Uncle Steve

  • Mark Sundell
    on Nov. 3, 2022, 11:39 p.m.

    The first chapter was amazing. Can't wait to read the rest.

  • Stu Krieger
    on Nov. 4, 2022, 12:17 a.m.

    Can't wait to read it, pal. Congrats on getting the campaign up and running. Cheers, Stu

  • April Cole
    on Nov. 7, 2022, 12:54 a.m.

    The Gator shack rocks! Can't wait to read it.

  • Dave Lynn
    on Nov. 7, 2022, 2:42 p.m.

    Kevin, I look forward to reading AMERICAN GRUNT. I liked you video intro, very personal and so you! I wish you the best and don’t give up!
    Dave Lynn

  • Matt Vernon
    on Nov. 7, 2022, 4:57 p.m.

    Thank you for being such an awesome human being. Each time we get to hang out I am reminded of what friendship forged through a crazy sport truly means. Your books are truly some of my favorites I have ever read. I can’t wait to turn the pages on this one!

  • Matt Vernon
    on Nov. 7, 2022, 5:01 p.m.

    This one is for my kid! Gotta teach the younguns.

  • Darren Wills
    on Nov. 8, 2022, 2:48 a.m.

    Can't wait to get my hands on the book brother. Wishing you all the best and success! God bless, D

  • Julia Berg
    on Nov. 8, 2022, 3:25 p.m.

    Happy to support your work! Can't wait to read it!

  • Darren Iovino
    on Nov. 8, 2022, 7:44 p.m.

    Watch out for the Poop Boxes in life. There are hooligans out there putting them in the middle of the road.

  • Michael O'Neill
    on Nov. 10, 2022, 10:41 a.m.

    I've always loved the way you tell stories, and I know your life has been similar parts completely mundane/relatable and utterly absurd. This seems like the perfect chance to hear more of those stories that hit both ends of the spectrum.

  • Frank Sekely
    on Nov. 10, 2022, 4:06 p.m.

    Looking forward to reading another of your books. You are a very talented writer and deserve all the success in the world. Take care and keep plugging away.

  • Christopher Stack
    on Nov. 10, 2022, 4:11 p.m.

    Looking forward to reading this - unless it was just a ruse to steal my credit card info hahaha

  • David Dewald
    on Nov. 11, 2022, 6:52 p.m.

    Love ya buddy! Hope to yuck some plastic with you soon. What a nice dip in the ocean it was last weekend.

  • Gregg Landry
    on Nov. 11, 2022, 8:50 p.m.

    You were always kind in discussing scripts and such when we weren't busy talking about Ultimate, can't wait to dive into this new writing venture of yours! - Gregg

  • Thomas Ziemann
    on Nov. 11, 2022, 9:08 p.m.

    Good luck on your sales. We look forward to reading your book. Love, Jill and Tom

  • Molly Whitmire
    on Nov. 14, 2022, 4:49 p.m.

    Can’t wait to read all about your adventures since our time together at Flagler!

  • Connie Cramer
    on Nov. 17, 2022, 2:36 p.m.

    Congratulations Kevin on another novel! Eric will love this as one of his Christmas gifts as he has enjoyed your other Storm Trooper book. Best of luck on your sales!

  • Tyler Morris
    on Nov. 17, 2022, 2:50 p.m.

    Always interested in whatever THE Kevin Cramer is cooking up. Looking forward to reading this one!

  • Jennie Streich
    on Nov. 17, 2022, 5:11 p.m.

    I loved Universe Point so I know this book will be great too. Glad that I can support you, my friend.

  • Randy Kovitz
    on Nov. 17, 2022, 9:02 p.m.

    Go Kevin! I look forward to reading this.

  • Dustin Neild
    on Nov. 18, 2022, 1:22 p.m.

    Nice to see the grunting put to the page once again and may that transition progress inexorably onward. Way to go, Kevin, and I look forward to the read.

  • Robin Marushia
    on Nov. 18, 2022, 5:32 p.m.

    You rock. That is all. Sending hugs from the Great White North!
    Robin and Ken

  • Daniel Norman
    on Nov. 19, 2022, 2:47 a.m.

    I'll spread the word! Looking forward to reading when it gets published

  • Tai David
    on Nov. 19, 2022, 4:16 p.m.

    woohoo! Excited to add this book to small curated "Kevin Cramer-authored" collection!

  • Daniel Kulp
    on Nov. 20, 2022, 5:37 p.m.

    I'm excited to read this. I've had a few odd and dumb jobs (a 4yr degree MechE working on stock at Toys R Us) and look forward to reading about similar adventures.

  • Ainsley Thrailkill
    on Nov. 21, 2022, 9:30 p.m.

    I'm more in it for the "Miranda Cramer takes over the world atop a slide from the moon" fund. ;-)

  • Chip Gaul
    on Nov. 23, 2022, 4:11 a.m.

    congratulations on the book! looking forward to it, see you in the spring.

  • Randy Gowat
    on Nov. 23, 2022, 5:43 p.m.

    Let's go!! Congratulations on the amazing accomplishment and good luck!

  • Victoria Russic
    on Nov. 23, 2022, 5:43 p.m.

    love and miss you kevin!! thanks for being one of the best professors ever!! 💕

  • Charles Spink
    on Nov. 23, 2022, 8:44 p.m.

    You are the Man (or can I even say that anymore? Pronouns are confusing, oh well...I still like them more than adverbs. Silly adverbs).

    You're a fantastic writer, artist and friend. Keep up all three (Father, Son and Holy Ghost Style).

  • Jeremy Ferderber
    on Nov. 24, 2022, 1:17 a.m.

    Hey buddy, can’t wait to read it, and hoping for much success on your journey to replace Henry’s hockey gear!

  • Jerry Maloney
    on Nov. 24, 2022, 1:51 a.m.

    Looking forward to reading this! My old rugby pal Rob turned me on to this. Sounds a little like a book I read and liked years ago, Rivethead.

  • Michelle Roderick
    on Nov. 24, 2022, 4:10 p.m.

    Hi Kevin….I’m Michelle, Bill Madia’s sister…First congratulations to you on this book…so exciting! I’m looking forward to reading it…sounds interesting! Hope all is well with your Mom and Dad….Please say hello to them from me…Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Good luck with this and best wishes…Enjoy your holidays and have a healthy and Happy New Year!

  • Josh Deblasio
    on Nov. 25, 2022, 11:29 p.m.

    Just bought 3. Looking forward to getting these. Nice job!

  • Julie Varnish
    on Nov. 27, 2022, 2:15 p.m.

    Good luck Kevin!! Can’t wait to read it!! 😁

  • Jessica Harrison
    on Nov. 28, 2022, 9:33 p.m.

    Good luck reaching all of your goals, even the ones paying for Henry Cramer’s hockey goals!

  • Deborah Bigos
    on Nov. 29, 2022, 2:58 a.m.

    Look forward to reading your book, American Grunt, especially the chapter about the muffin truck! Good luck to you Kevin. Debbie Bigos

  • Cramer Howard
    on Nov. 29, 2022, 4 p.m.

    Kevin, It's been an interesting sometimes frustrating ride, but your mom and I are proud of all you've accomplished.

  • Brandon Wentzel
    on Nov. 30, 2022, 1:37 a.m.

    Knowing you personally and having seen your movie I know I’m in for a treat!
    Looking forward to its arrival at my door!

    Dr B Wentzel

  • John McGurk
    on Nov. 30, 2022, 12:38 p.m.

    Congratulation, Kevin!! I look forward to reading this and likely laughing out loud. Good luck on the rest of this drive and wish you many happy returns!! :)

  • Darren Shultz
    on Nov. 30, 2022, 5:22 p.m.

    Woohoo! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into the madness.

  • Ashley Mudder
    on Nov. 30, 2022, 11:08 p.m.

    Congratulations Kevin, I am excited to read it. We had lots of memories at tech and teaching Inspire!

  • Aubrey Guty
    on Dec. 1, 2022, 2:09 a.m.

    So excited to read this! You’ve always fostered the love of writing within myself and countless others. You’re also rad as hell. Looking forward to all of your future success!!

  • Carrie Teeter
    on Dec. 1, 2022, 4:25 a.m.

    Just ordered in the nick of time. Can’t wait to read about your days with us at GAMS! All the best…