I have survived the writing process! I have a draft of the Libra book!
It’s not the laugh-a-minute coiner slapstick the first one was — it’s more of a sensible chuckle at Silicon Valley hubris. Bits of it are not as good yet as I want — the history of regulators and central bankers telling Libra “LOL, this is trash” are slightly dull recitations of facts. I need to work out a better approach for these.
The draft is 49,612 words. 43,879 of that is the text — the rest is the footnotes. If you’re a $5-and-up Patron, you can read it this weekend!
Already getting great feedback — mostly where I haven’t explained what the heck I’m talking about, or have accidentally traveled in time. These things happen.
And yes, I forwarded a copy of the draft to Libra and Novi — any potential issues are best sorted out before the fact, not after.
How to write a book
My writing method:
- read every word of media coverage on Libra.
- write 40,000 words of text that don’t hang together as a book, but do have hundreds of footnotes.
- have writer’s block for three months — and, oh yeah, there’s a pandemic. Blame Corona-Chan.
- mind-map everything I know about Libra, make that into an outline.
- start a word count thread on Twitter, post to it EVERY DAY. This worked surprisingly well to keep me on track. [Twitter thread 1, Twitter thread 2, Twitter thread 3]
Attack Of The 50 Foot Blockchain was ridiculously successful, with 11,000+ sales self-published. It was the sort of independent hit that basically doesn’t happen — I have published friends who went “holy crap” at sales figures like that — ‘cos I accidentally timed a niche perfectly.
I don’t expect the Libra book to do the same — but it’s less niche and has more general interest about it.
The first book not only sold well, it made me the go-to media guy for this cryptocurrency nonsense. In the three years since, I have had a flat zero inquiries from publishers or agents. I guess Bitcoin’s moment passed quickly.
So, self-publishing ahoy!
Yes, but when’s it out?
I hope to have this out as soon as possible — next month would be ideal.
Things I need first:
- A title. The working title is Libra Unbalanced: How Facebook’s blockchain dream crashed and burned — I need a better one. Suggestions welcomed!
- A cover idea that won’t get Facebook suing me for trademark violation. (Yes, yes, nominative use. But.)
- Organise the promotion ahead of time.
- A placeholder page on Amazon. I should probably commit to a release date, that did wonders to get my backside into gear and make this real last time.
- Did you know that publishers actually do things, and if you don’t have one then you have to do them all yourself?
Once the text is final, there’s the print layout, and recording the audiobook. Yes, I want to do an audiobook this time. The e-book is likely to be out first, though.
Hey — if you’re in any sort of press, or do podcasts, ping me!
In the meantime
I’ll spend this weekend exhaling, and trying to think about everything else. I should have a newsletter post done today or tomorrow. Maybe I’ll redesign the blog. A more purplish theme?
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