Wow! It’s been quite the twisty road getting here but Uncommon Stockis finally shipping. You can order it now from Amazon and other major retailers (if you want a print copy, please order through FG Press for the moment). You can even download a free excerpt here.
Now, I need five minutes of your help.
To be honest, I can’t really believe this is happening. I keep pinching myself to make sure I’m not stuck in some backchannel of The Matrix. But somehow it is real. And readers are already getting to know Mara, James, and the other characters.
I started writing Uncommon Stock because I couldn’t seem to find much startup fiction to read. Working with entrepreneurs and venture investors everyday, I experienced first-hand all the courage, despair, loyalty, ambition, and betrayal in the world of tech startups and wanted to help people get an entertaining sneak peak behind the curtain.
Uncommon Stock isn’t the Next Great American Novel by any means. That wasn’t and isn’t my goal for the book. But at some point during the writing process, Mara started making decisions I hadn’t anticipated and the story started to really come together. My grandest hope is that at least a few readers connect with the characters, engage with the story, and get an entertaining glimpse of the magical emotional kernel at the center of entrepreneurship.
Many people think of writing as a solo affair but I’ve experienced the complete opposite. Brad Feld, the leading venture capital investor, read countless early drafts and provided suggestions and encouragement along the way. The team at FG Press shocked me by requesting that Uncommon Stock be the lead title for their groundbreaking new publishing company. Many friends and colleagues helped shape the story as beta readers, Jason Gurley crafted an absolutely kickass cover, and my editors helped keep me in line with Track Changes. My beautiful fiancee Drea kept me sane, supported me every moment, and spurred me to new heights. Bestselling authors William Hertling, Robin Sloan, Daniel Suarez, Ramez Naam, and Hugh Howey have even provided occasional encouragement along the way.
But today is launch day. Today is the day I need YOUR help. As a first-time author without a traditional New York publishing company at my back, I unfortunately don’t get champagne-soaked Gulfstream rides between my appearances on The Daily Show and Oprah (I’m actually convinced that nobody gets this kind of treatment but we can all dream, right?). Instead, all of my “PR” efforts are driven by one person: you.
Books live or die based on a single question: are they good enough that people recommend them to their friends? At the end of the day, readers are the only people that matter. I would rather have one happy reader than a hundred marketing directors. Authors launch books along a path of a thousand favors, but I’ll start with five. This is what you can do to help:
- Buy a copy on Amazon right now. Amazon’s sales algorithms favor titles that start strong and snowball. Your order will help build that momentum. Consider gifting it to friends/family/colleagues. It costs $4.99, just a tad more than that fancy cappuccino you’re sipping on.
- Write a review on Amazon and Goodreads. This is critical. Reviews make a massive impact on readers browsing for their next book. I know it’s how I make many of my purchase decisions! Longer reviews are better and the best reviewers detail how the story impacted them and what it made them think about. I read every single review and take them extremely seriously.
- MAKE SOME NOISE! Capital letters really are loud, aren’t they? It’s launch day and I want the neighbors to call the police on this party. Share through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. (#UncommonSTOCK). Email everyone you know with the landing page and free excerpt. Mention the book at happy hour. Tell your office you’re buddies with the author. I’ve included some links at the end of this post to help.
- Hook it up. Introduce me to bloggers/media folks/speaking events/influencers/etc. These kinds of people can really help amplify the message so that more readers get the chance to connect. Know someone in a book club? Have a friend who works for Techrunch? Are you an alumni of a university or startup incubator? Have a friend with a Gulfstream? Is Ashton Kutcher your cousin? We all have many more networks at our disposal than we realize and any introductions here would be incredible, no venue is too grand or humble for reviews/interviews/speaking events/etc.
- Take a deep breath. Sandy Grason, a bestselling author herself, gave me some great advise yesterday: celebrate those perfect moments. It’s so easy to get sucked into the rigors and thrills of life and sometimes you just have to step back and bask in a sense of wonder at it all. I’m launching my first book today. This is a perfect moment for me. So, please, raise a proverbial glass and think about all the people and magic that you’re grateful for in your own life. It’s an amazing day to be alive!