Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Uncommon Stock: Exit Strategy launches today!

Drum roll...



Uncommon Stock: Exit Strategy is here at last! Mozaik is the fastest-growing startup in America and the envy of the Silicon Valley. But just as Mara and her team are rocketing towards their IPO, the conspiracy that's been haunting them since day one swoops in for the kill. I've got a feeling you're going to love the conclusion to The Uncommon Series and I can't wait to hear what you think. You can find it right here in digital or paperback formats:

http://www.amazon.com/Uncommon-Stock-Exit-Strategy-Series-ebook/dp/B0116B9ILS/

To be honest, I can't quite believe the day has finally arrived. It seems like no time at all since I sat down and started writing Version 1.0. Over the course of the trilogy, I really got to know Mara, James, Lars, and the rest of the cast. They started out as fragile figments of imagination and have changed and evolved until they started making decisions that surprised me. That was one of the most magical parts of the creative process.

Another unexpected, magical part of the process has been getting to know you. It still feels incredible to me that other people enjoy reading the stories I sit down to write. Nothing is more validating to an author than seeing the story come alive in the imagination of readers. Without you, books do nothing but collect dust.

You're a diverse bunch. I've heard from readers in Kenya, Ireland, Germany, Lebanon, India, Canada, Turkey, and across the US. Many of you share Mara's entrepreneurial resolve and James's creative brilliance. It's an honor getting to know you better. I couldn't be more giddy about the community that has grown around The Uncommon Series.

Books are a group effort and all of you have contributed to these stories as editors, beta readers, technical experts, and champions. I've consistently eschewed traditional publishing and promotional paths. That's because I try to think like a reader. I don't find new books on fancy billboards or via sophisticated marketing schemes. In fact, there's only one way I discover new books: recommendations from friends.

I don't have a publicist. That's how I know all the success these stories have found so far is thanks to YOU. It makes a world of difference every time you write an Amazon review, gift a copy to a friend, mention the story at happy hour, post a selfie with the cover, forward the newsletter to a colleague, or share the story on Facebook/Twitter/Reddit/Goodreads/Product Hunt etc. It may feel insignificant, but the impact is incredible. That's how the trilogy has climbed to #1 in its category on Amazon. That's how we've earned critical acclaim from industry leaders and tastemakers. So let's pull out all the stops as Exit Strategy is finally released into the wild. Share with wild abandon. Word of mouth is how good books find new readers.

Thank you for making this such an incredible journey. The act of writing books (or making anything) is fraught with pain, frustration, and existential crisis. It is so, so, so easy to give up along the way. Having friends and readers like you is an unbelievable boon. Your support gives me the energy I need to press on through a tough rough draft. Your enthusiasm gives me the inspiration I need to dream up new stories. That's why the first thing I did when we sent Exit Strategy off to the printers was... start a new novel :). Don't worry you'll here more about it in the months to come.

Once again, you can find Exit Strategy here:

http://www.amazon.com/Uncommon-Stock-Exit-Strategy-Book-ebook/dp/B0116B9ILS/

I still can't fathom that the trilogy is finally complete and I look forward to getting your take on the story.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Are Humans the Key to Discovery in a World of Digital Abundance?

I wrote a column for Xconomy about how the internet has changed the way we discover new stuff (books, songs, movies, news, etc.). The shift has been far more fundamental than most people realize. For example, the vast majority of traffic to The New York Times comes not through their front page but through social referrals, i.e. us sharing stories on Facebook/Twitter/etc.

The digital landscape makes curation far more democratic. This is wreaking havoc on legacy business models (record labels, publishers, newspapers, etc.) but is very exciting for the next generation of creatives.

In a fun twist, new services like Product Hunt Books (which launches today) and Apple Music are building platforms to enable more efficient human curation, so we're not left stranded with the current standard of algorithmic mediocrity embedded in Pandora, Google News feeds, and Amazon also-boughts.

Excited to hear your thoughts on the trend. You can read the full article here:

http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2015/07/23/are-humans-the-key-to-discovery-in-a-world-of-digital-abundance/

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What authors actually think of Amazon’s ‘Pay-Per-Page’ Model

Warning: geeking out about the books business for a moment. Last month Amazon changed its policies for how it pays out authors who participate in the Kindle Unlimited program. It caused a major media ruckus.

At first I was very concerned, especially because Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0 is in the program. Then I did my research and discovered that the uproar was nothing more than hot air.


Check out this article from Reedsy for a balanced perspective on the situation from a wide spectrum of authors:

http://blog.reedsy.com/amazon-pay-per-page-modelhttp://blog.reedsy.com/amazon-pay-per-page-model



Thursday, July 16, 2015

You Strategy is Your Story

I had a lot of fun doing this interview for the Rocketship.fm entrepreneurship podcast. We talked about the importance of storytelling to anyone hoping to build a company as well as the craft of shaping the best story for the right audience. Really cool to have the novelist/business worlds collide. 

In their words:
"Eliot Peper, author of the Uncommon Stock fiction series, talks with us about the critical importance of nailing your story. From communicating with customers, to investors, to employees, your story has to matter. He shares some fantastic strategies and techniques to make sure you're framing your story in the most impactful way."
They also cherry picked a few fun pull quotes:
"Storytelling is the skill that distinguishes the top 1% of founders."
"To tell a good story - focus on the obstacle, not the ending." 
"A strategy is not a roadmap, it’s understanding why you’re important." 
You can listen to the full interview here:

http://rocketship.fm/episodes/ep-150-eliot-peper/ 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Interview on the Breaking Biz podcast

Fred Williams was kind enough to ask me to return as a guest to his Breaking Biz podcast. The show normally covers entrepreneurship topics but Fred wants to start exploring lessons are generally applicable to all creative types.

We talked about the lessons I've learned over the course of writing The Uncommon Series (i.e. the mistakes I've made!), idea generation, internal motivation, why I write, and the value of fiction in a busy world. You can listen to the full interview here:

http://www.breakingbiz.net/writer-qa-eliot-peper-author-of-the-uncommon-stock-trilogy/


Friday, June 26, 2015

Art makes the world smaller

A couple of weeks ago I got a cold email from Phil Ruggiero. Phil said he had never written to an author before but he had just finished reading Version 1.0 and Power Play, loved them, and saw bestselling author Dave Eggers mentioned in Power Play (bonus points if you can find the reference!).

Dave worked with Phil's son Ryan for years at 826 Valencia, the fantastic  non-profit writing center (that Dave founded). He even wrote Ryan's letters of reference for graduate school, where he's now concentrating on social inequalities in education.

It's these kinds of connections that bring true joy to my heart (and that of any other artist/maker/writer/etc.). It's incredible that something as simple as a story can reach through space and time to link people leading entirely separate lives.

Phil ended up writing about The Uncommon Series in his first ever book review on his personal blog. I was delighted, honored, and humbled by his thoughts.

Art makes the world smaller.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What MUST happen next?


One writing heuristic I’ve found useful is to constantly ask myself, “What absolutely must happen in order to advance the story? What scene can this story absolutely not exist without?” Not, “What might happen next?” or “What could happen next?” but “What MUST happen next?”

Then I write that scene. I often feel like I’m getting ahead of myself. Isn’t that skipping a bunch of stuff? Aren’t I jumping right to the end? Won’t that turn this novel into a short story? I always feel that way but I always turn out to be wrong. The faster I advance the action, the more the momentum builds, and the more richness, depth, and conflict develops between the characters.