Hey, so, I’m writing a book.
I realized I’ve mentioned it in a variety of contexts over the last nine months or so, but haven’t actually posted anything about it here.
So here’s a little on what it’s about, how this came together, and where I am in the process.
I also have some questions for you at the end if you just want to skip there.
What’s This Book About?
In short, crypto.
Those of you who have read me for a while know I took a severe career detour into crypto-land from early 2021 through mid-2022.
It wasn’t something I ever really planned to do. It just sorta happened. A little curiosity and fun combined with being at the right place and the right time led me down a crazy rabbit hole that changed my life in a number of exciting ways.
Almost everyone knows something was going on in crypto those two years, between the crazy NFT sales, the hacks and scams, FTX, that one relative or friend who either made a ton of money or lost everything.
But very few people actually knew what was going on under the hood. Behind the scenes. And there’s not much out there explaining what was going on in an approachable way for people who know basically nothing about crypto already.
So that’s what this book is doing. It’s the “what was going on in crypto?” book for people who don’t know anything about crypto. If you’ve read a book like Liar’s Poker or Chaos Monkeys, think that kind of style. It’s a wonderful challenge to explain complicated crypto jargon without getting boring, and I’m enjoying it immensely.
Which brings us to the next topic:
How Did This Book Happen?
During the crypto bull market, I wrote a lot about crypto. I had my separate crypto blog, wrote some pieces for Every, wrote guest posts, went on podcasts. I ended up doing a surprising amount of crypto content.
One piece was on The Curve Wars. It’s rather in the weeds, you don’t need to read it, but it talks about how liquidity and leverage gets wrapped up into these crazy loops within DeFi which could (and eventually did) come crashing down in rather severe ways.
When I wrote that, Evan Armstrong, another writer for Every, sent me a nice message saying it reminded him of the sorts of stories you heard about Mortgage Backed Securities and other financial craziness in The Big Short. It made me realize there was definitely an interest in some of the crazier things going on “inside” crypto, but that craziness wasn’t visible to people outside crypto.
That led me to write this tweet:
But I didn’t do anything much with it for a few months. I eventually reached out to a few friends I knew who had published books and asked if they could help me contact agents. Chris Guillebeau, Tiago Forte, and Zach Obront were all extremely generous with their time and intros (thanks, guys!), and I eventually found a wonderful agent, David Fugate.
Along the way, and with David’s help, I put together the book proposal. It turned out to be nearly 50 pages long. It’s quite the lift. I also have to thank Dan Shipper in particular for his help on the sample material in the proposal.
David shopped the proposal around, and we eventually made a deal with Penguin RandomHouse’s imprint Portfolio, where I get to work with the fantastic Noah Schwartzberg.
What Stage is the Book In Now?
We didn’t sign the deal until mid October, but I started writing it in June.
From June until Thanksgiving, I worked on the first draft, though most of the work happened from September to November.
Then I let it sit for six weeks per Stephen King’s advice, and picked it back up at the start of 2023.
I worked on the second draft from January 2nd till last Friday, February 17th, and now I’m letting it sit for a few weeks again while I get feedback from Noah and others. I’ll probably pick it back up March 13th or 20th depending on how I feel. I want to wait until I’m itching to get back to it. I know the itch will come.
The final manuscript isn’t due until October 15th, 2023. I’m fairly ahead of schedule, though, so I might finish it sooner. It depends on how I feel when I pick it back up and start aggregating everyone’s feedback.
It will likely be published a year after I finish the manuscript. So expect it to come out sometime in the summer to fall of 2024.
Question for You: Future Book Updates?
This was all relatively high level because I’m honestly not sure if this is just self-indulgent or if you’re actually curious to get book updates.
So, a question for you, should I do more of these? Should I explain parts of the process more? What are you curious about?
Obviously, I’ll have a bunch of launch stuff in a year, but until then, what kind of info would be interesting?
Or if you think I should skip the updates and just go back to regular posts you’re welcome to say that too.
Anyway, happy Monday, and have a great week!
+1 on the process, but more so from the research to the outline. I'd love to know how you knew what you were going to talk about, got the source material and stories for reference, and then how you organized all of that material into a cohesive narrative. I think this is one of the most abstract pieces of the book writing process to people, but I feel it's rarely talked about in favor of an author's daily word count.
+1 to sharing more about the process. I admire your ability to deconstruct complex process/events in thoughtful and interesting ways -- I'm sure this adventure will not disappoint!