Before I get to the "book deal," a quick word about Facebook. I get a lot of friend requests from readers but I must ignore them all. As my about page states: "Please note that I do not accept Facebook Friend requests from anyone who is not a current or past in-person friend or a family member." I'm not trying to be mean. I can be engaged in comments and I answer emails when I have the time. But Facebook is intended as a personal space for me with my family, physical world friends and a select few virtual world friends I've had for years and years. Please understand, and no begging to make an exception, please (as I've been subjected to a few times). Also, there is a Facebook Page for the blog. Onward.
So, yes, I have "book deal;" that is, I've made a deal with myself to self-publish my book and work has begun in earnest on all fronts. So, the book is pretty much planned out, cover to cover, and I have made a number of competent & successful contacts in terms of consulting, editing, design, proofreading and distribution into the brick & mortar and online booksellers.
It will be a hardcover, professionally done in all respects. And while I know a lot of published authors (including in the non-paleo world) and have many ways to be introduced to agents in order to seek a conventional deal, I also have an understanding of the economics of publishing and what authors really make for their efforts. Essentially, unless you're Black Swan lucky, you're pretty much destined to earn minimum wage. Read up sometime on Tim Ferriss' marketing efforts for 4-Hr Workweek, on his blog. Essentially, he had to do most of the work, not only to write the book, but market it. My point is, if I'm going to have to market it myself, which I have to do either way, why settle for a couple of bucks per copy on a $25 hardcover?
Plus, I have the wherewithal to finance the up-front costs of production and printing.
Moreover, far from being afraid, I'm elated. It's a challenge I'm up to and am very confident that I have a far higher chance of big success through self-publishing, since my reward for success will be immeasurably greater. And besides, self-publishing is the wave of the future.
And oh, one other thing: I don't have to put up with milquetoast editors and a publisher that wants to tone down my invective, dumb down the message, or run in fear of lawsuits. Screw that. When my book comes out, every single word will be just as I want.
So why the sudden surge now, when I've been talking about it for a long time? Enlightenment. I recently got a piece of advice from someone in the know (familiar with my blog), that I definitely ought not write another how-to paleo diet, fitness and health book. That that should be only one aspect of it in the larger context of Free the Animal. So, it's going to be part telling the story and laying the basis for an evolutionary outlook to everything: society, culture, politics, public policy, and yes...religion.
Or, to put it another way: nothing is safe.
This opens a whole new realm, as I have posts on politics, culture and religion going back to 2003 for reference. While this book most definitely will not be a compilation of blog posts, there will be a few dozen included in the book, all tied together with a narrative, a story.
So, here's the plan:
- I'm concurrently writing a "Quick Start Guide" (~ 10 pages) on Paleo practices primarily for new visitors to this blog. This will be available for free download within a couple of weeks, in exchange for an email address.
- I'm also concurrently writing a more detailed How-To-Manual (~100 pages) on Paleo practices as an eBook download for purchase. This will be available in a couple of months. The Paleo section of the hardcopy book will be more story than How-To.
- I am currently working on the TOC and sub-chapters, with a lede for each chapter.
- It should then take about a month to go through the 2,800 posts to find the few dozen for inclusion in the book.
- Then, 2-3 months to rough draft the narrative that ties it altogether.
- Goal for completion of the initial draft: July 1, 2011
- From there, I will strive to have it on bookshelves by the holiday season
I will hold myself accountable by giving a progress update at least once per month, so expect the next one by April 1. Please encourage me to meet these milestones, on time. That's why I'm posting this: accountability.
In the end, I think I will have met two goals. I do want to have a book that gives good detail on how to do Paleo. I just didn't want to write a major work on it, scour for scientific reference, go bug-eyed reading studies, and so forth. I just want a simple, practical, easy to implement guide with my take and style thrown in.
The second goal is to write a book that old-hand Paleos and longtime readers of this blog just might be interested in reading, because it will go far, far beyond Paleo, into areas of self-discovery, success, failure, disappointment, and enlightenment.
The title will be, of course, Free the Animal. I should have a half dozen or so subtitles by my next update and perhaps you all can help me decide which hits nerves best.
Addendum: It occurred to me that I left out an important detail. The writing style will be decidedly misanthropic. But I suppose you'd have guessed that anyway. The twist is, it's not misanthropy directed at man qua man, but toward authoritarian aspects in all facets of what's ironically referred to as "civilization."