’20-’21 updates: A New Book and eBook

We have exciting news for the new school year!


After 19 years of guiding graduates, we’re retiring life after school. explained. and are proud to announce our brand new book, The Graduate’s Almanac, with lots of updates.

  • New topics. In addition to updating our popular topics, we’ve added topics on health, setting up Wi-Fi, auto care, LGBTQ issues, home fixes, food safety, being nice, cleaning your place (with how-to’s and a schedule!), and much more. There’s even a new section on navigating remote work, addressing both the current pandemic and the trend in recent years whereby more employers are engaging remote workers.
  • Humor. Graduates love the humor we add to otherwise dry content (e.g., HMOs, taxes, investing, etc.), and they’ll find our new jokes to be thoughtful, warm, and up on current popular culture.
  • Inclusiveness. Our anecdotes are designed to be inclusive across a wide range of gender identities, income levels, and more.
  • Design. The book is newly designed with a fresh layout, organization, and illustrations.


We’re keenly aware of your challenges and your desire to help your students during COVID. We have come up with two additional ways to help you connect with your new graduates that may prove especially useful during this challenging school year.

For the 2020–2021 school year only, you can purchase an online license to our eBook for roughly 50% off our physical book cost as a lower-cost alternative.

We look forward to helping you build affinity with your graduates and help them with the practical life skills they’ll need after school.

Remote graduation package

With many colleges canceling their graduations, give our book life after school. explained. in our customizable, “remote graduation” packages, shipped directly to your graduates.

Custom book (see pricing; e.g. $6.50/book for 500)

+ Graduation confetti (see options; $50 for 500 books)

+ Custom letter (full color)

+ Custom envelope (example; full color label)

+ fulfillment by us (letter, envelope, and fulfillment for $2.75/package)

+ drop-shipped to graduates’ homes ($1.00/each for standard, $2.50 for first)
(ref: books are 7 oz; 5 1/8″ x 8 3/8″ x 1/4″)

= Thankful graduates

  • Production: We can print and mail everything in-house.
  • Timing: Print and delivery in about 21 business days.
  • Pricing: See book pricing and request a quote for letters, etc.
  • Review: Request a PDF to review the book ASAP.
  • Ideas: We’re flexible. Add school pin, etc.

We look forward to helping!

New! ’19-’20 Book Update

Every one or two years, we update life after school. explained. based on customer feedback, topics of interest, pop-culture changes, and more.

We’re proud to announce our latest update for the 2019-2020 school year with a focus on more inclusive content. We’ve edited and removed some text so our book is more gender and income sensitive. We welcome your feedback.

Email us to request the latest version by PDF or request a hardcopy version shipping in August 2019.

More beautiful covers

We love seeing the creativity of our customers. We’ve posted some of our favorite covers in a previous post. Here are some more!

You’ll notice how some customers rename the book. 🙂

We look forward to more creativity in the 2018-2019 school year!


Over One Million Real World Ready!

Apply for a $1,000 grant for graduation gift books…

We’re thrilled to share that we’ve helped over 1,000,000 new graduates be “real world ready” with topics on business dinner etiquette, money, apartments, and much more!

We’ve sold over one million copies of life after school explained to 500+ colleges, 400+ companies, and 20+ greek organizations!

1,000,000 Penny Giveaway

To celebrate those million read world ready readers, we’re giving away 1,000,000 pennies:

  • We’re offering ten $1,000 grants to share our books with more graduates
  • We’ll have ten random drawings between Aug and Dec 2017.
  • Any organization is eligible (e.g. alumni office, school, company, etc).
  • The grant can only be used for life after school. explained. books ordered by Feb. 3, 2018.
  • An organization can only win once.
  • Details and winners will be posted on our Facebook page.


  • Step #1: Share the following text with at least 5 of your professional peers via email, listserv, or any social media:

Cap & Compass is giving away ten $1,000 grants before Dec. 15, 2017 for the purchase of their book “life after school. explained.” as part of their “One Million Real World Ready” celebration. http://bit.ly/2w5rTiI

We’re proud to help 1,000,000 graduates and look forward to helping even more in the 2017-2018 school year!

Beautiful book covers

Some of our book buyers use their own graphic designers to create their customized book covers. I’m always inspired by their creativity.

I thought you might enjoy some of my favorite covers over the years.

If you’re designing your own cover, I encourage you to download large versions of the above images for inspiration. Enjoy!

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Do people like our book?

Do people like our book? We’ve had over 750,000 copies sold and organizations buy our book every year. But let’s ask the real experts… Amazon reviewers.

So we’ve had 27 reviews so far with 4.2 stars out of 5. Let’s hear what the experts have to say:

The writers of the book were resplendent… This made the book easy to follow and hard to put down.
– jmccon (five stars)

I don’t even know what resplendent means, but I hope it’s good.

The humour also helps ease your mind…
– Quasar (five stars)

When you spell humor as “humour,” I think you live outside the US. Maybe we have an international audience?

Moreover, the prose is written with what passes for humor for some people… and nearly impossible for non-Americans to glean what information is real and what is not.
– Moni3 (one star)

Nope. We should stick with a US audience according to Moni3.

This is the perfect gift for a new graduate … especially girls !!
Betty Johnson (five stars)

On occasion, I’ll get two emails within a week from readers. “This book is perfect for guys.” “This book is perfect for women.” Hopefully it’s perfect for everyone.

If you’d like to learn more about our book, see our sample pages, purchase a copy online, or request a sample for your organization. If Amazon reviewers like the book, I’m sure you will as well.

Kind Words About Our Book

One of the best known personal finance magazines and websites, Kiplinger, recently named Life After School Explained as one of the “Five Great Money Books for Young Adults.” 

Read their review:

If you’re clueless and overwhelmed by what lies in store after you untie yourself from Mom and Dad’s purse strings, this is a good book to get your feet wet. It’s short and humorous and doesn’t weigh you down with a lot of confusing terminology.

I read it cover to cover in about two hours and actually understood what it said — without my eyes glazing over once. It’s sprinkled with witty anecdotes, pop culture references and comic strips to keep the mood light, even though it discusses such heavy-weight topics as choosing a health insurance plan, filling out tax forms and investing your money. It also covers lighter-yet-important subjects, such as how to avoid looking stupid at a business meal, what to wear on your first day of work and what to look for in a good apartment.

Life After School Explained is written by a team of young professionals who draw largely from their personal experiences in the real world. Its focus is for those who don’t know anything about living on their own, which, whether we want to admit it or not, is probably most of us. It’s basic, straight forward and a cinch to understand.

Thanks for the kind words, Kiplinger!

New app promotion artwork

One of our app customers recently sent us an email:

“We have used the old set of ads for several years now and are in need of something new to get the word out. We are looking for something bright, hip, young, colorful, eye catching.”

Good news! We now have a snazzy new design:

If you’d like to use this new design to help promote your Crib Sheet app, please let us know. We’ll also supply you with native Photoshop files.

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New App Promotion Posts

An app customer recently requested additional posts to help them promote their app. I hope everyone enjoys these ideas.

It’s Image Improvement Month. Time for a cherry red convertible? Read about Buying vs. Leasing a Car in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

Valentine’s got you seeing red? Time to redecorate. Brush up on all you need to know about Paint in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

Whoa! It’s National Collision Awareness Month. Learn about Care Care and Disability Insurance in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

Not contributing much to National Smile Month? Learn about the research behind Happiness in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

Not sure how to celebrate Older American’s Month? Read up on Retirement Accounts in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

Job hunting? Get helpful tips on interviewing in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

Celebrate your independence this July 4th with tips on apartment hunting and home buying in our free alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

Football season make you feel inadequate? Up your game with tips on Watching Football in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

It’s Subliminal Marketing Month? We’ll skip the subliminal stuff if you’ll read up on Alumni Giving in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

Raise your awareness this Disability Employment Awareness Month. Brush up on Disability Etiquette in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

First Thanksgiving with the in-laws? First business dinner? Get tips on Dinner Etiquette in our alumni app: http://mycribsheet.com/username

All this talk of a man coming down the chimney got you sweating? Read up on Renter’s Insurance in our app: http://mycribsheet.com/username