Yesterday we released Uncommon Stock: Power Play, the second book in Eliot Peper’s Uncommon Series trilogy. Get your copy today! If you haven’t read the first book, Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0, we’re celebrating the launch by giving it away for free on Kindle today and Friday (and only on those days), so pick up a copy for your holiday travel.
We have the most demanding customers.
Here at FG Press, our “customers” are our authors. Saying that out loud makes me want to die a bit, so I put it in scare quotes to achieve the appropriate rhetorical distance. But it’s true. When you start a business and sit around the table talking about what your product *is,* you naturally end up talking about who it is *for.* And while our aim is to sell a whole hell of a lot of of our authors’ books, our differentiator—our product—is what we do for our authors. The side effect is hopefully that folks like you will buy the books and like them and tell your friends and our authors can take 50% of the proceeds and rapidly acquire an Imelda Marcos-sized shoe collection. If they want to, of course. We don’t pay our authors in shoes.
At my last company, Gnip, we sold a product—access to filtered, real-time, streaming data—that if it was interrupted for even a few seconds we risked jeopardizing our customers’ relationships with their own customers. So you can imagine how demanding they were. It was not a “Sorry we sent you the wrong size sweatshirt xoxo” relationship. And this meant that our engineers had to be really good at making our product work and work all the time. And our sales and account management teams had to, on the rare occasions when something went wrong, have some difficult conversations with our customers. Sometimes there was yelling.
But I’ve learned over the past few months that authors put Oracle to shame. They spend their lives trying to perfect their art, agonizing over an empty page, attempting to teach us something about who they are, about the world. So you try picking up the phone and telling them that because of Amazon’s opaque rules and your ignorance of same that their book is going to be available later than they told their readers. But this also means that nobody is more motivated to try and sell their book than the authors we work with. This is the kind of author that Eliot Peper is.
When he sends us an email at 11pm about a new marketing idea, he’s not trying to impress anybody. He wants to sell his book. We’re not his boss; we’re his partner. When he stands his ground about some editorial change we wanted to make, he’s not trying to be difficult. Well, actually, he is. Putting out the best book he can is incredibly important to him and he’s willing to fight for it. And we love that about him.
Writing isn’t Eliot’s day job. Yet. He wants it to be. He is currently working on about three separate book projects in his free time, including the third book in the Uncommon Series, a trilogy in a genre we’re calling the “startup thriller.” Imagine John Grisham but instead of choosing one of the world’s most boring professions, he chose one of the most interesting and ripe for drama.
We’re excited to be releasing Uncommon Stock: Power Play, the second book in the series, 8 months after we launched not only the series but our company with Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0. In this book, we continue to follow Mara Winkel, her cofounder James, and Mozaik, their growing venture-funded financial intelligence startup that may or may not have been funded by some very bad dudes. You get a trip to Burning Man, a cinematic shoot-out, and some creative post-coital machinations. If you haven’t read the first book, I don’t want to ruin anything for you. You can go download it for free here. And then come back and buy Power Play. And let us know what you think! We love hearing reader feedback, and Eliot is always happy to answer questions or talk to readers about the books.