Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After cranking out three bestsellers, E! Entertainment Chelsea Lately host Chelsea Handler has taken the next step forward. She has been given her own imprint by her publisher, the Hachette Book Group USA division Grand Central Publishing. The imprint, called Borderline Amazing/A Chelsea Handler Book, will kick off with Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me, a book that will be published May 2011. The imprint starts with a three-book deal. The second will ostensibly written under the byline of her long-suffering dog, Chunk (the pooch has a co-writer, who has been helping with a Twitter feed that apparently has a rabid following). Borderline Amazing Productions, the shingle she runs with Tom Brunelle, will oversee the publishing venture.

Handler, who has become increasingly entrepreneurial since her E! show premiered in 2007, said the imprint gives her the opportunity to hatch books from some of the talent that appears on her show. Handler is also embracing the inevitable: once up and comers get established, the public wants to see them taken down a few pegs. Why shouldn’t the latter process be handled by loved ones who can profit from it?

Said Handler: “I’ve written three books now, and while they throw money at you after awhile, I completed the Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang book tour, went out every weekend and signed all those books, and I don’t know if I can do it again. I’m 35 years old, I’m tired. This is a different approach, getting all my friends and family involved, telling them how I’ve screwed them over. I’ll be editing and overseeing, while my family and friends make money off me and get something back from the torture I’ve put them through. I’ve got a couple other ideas and people I want to see write books.” Of the Chunk opus, Handler told me: “Chunk has it tough. All he wants is to be with me, but I leave him with all the misfits in my life while I go on the road. This will be an easy book for him to write.”

Handler, who aside from the show and the three books has headlined 80 dates of the Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang comedy tour and rang up 33rd on the Forbes list of 100 Most Powerful Women. One of her books,  Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, was sold for an NBC comedy series on which she’ll be exec produce and play a recurring character. ISB New Media made her publishing deal.

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