Uncommon Stock – The First Book From FG Press

Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0 is officially available today and can be bought online at Amazon and pretty much everywhere else. It’s the first title from FG Press and is in a category we call “startup fiction” and expect to be publishing a lot of. Think of what John Grisham did to the “legal fiction” genre. That’s what we are doing with Uncommon Stock and startup fiction.

Mara Winkel and James Chen are undergraduates at CU Boulder. Mara is pre-law, James is a computer science major. James comes up with an idea for a new machine learning technology that he creates a prototype for using the game Go as his starting point. James asks Mara to join him as his partner in the new company Moziak, which they launch against the protests of their parents but the surprising emotional support of Mara’s boyfriend Craig. Early on Mara and James start applying the technology to forensic accounting and get tangled up with some bad guys.  As Mara tries to get funding for the company, James cranks on the product, and Craig goes off the rails, endangering everyone. Then things start getting really complicated. And interesting. And then the VCs show up.

I love this book. This project started about a year ago when Eliot Peper send me a cold email. I didn’t know Eliot, but he sent me a thoughtful note and attached a few chapters of a book to read. He was upfront that this was his first book, that is was tech fiction, and that he wanted my opinion. I read it that night on my couch in my condo and I can still remember turning to Amy after I finished, saying “wow – this is really great!”

Eliot continued writing and I continued giving him feedback. About six months ago I told him about the idea we were cooking up for FG Press and asked if he wanted to publish with us as an experiment. He jumped at it and our relationship, which now included Dane McDonald (FG Press’s CEO) deepened. Eliot finished his first draft in January and over a period of a few weeks I read through the book several times, making significant edits, adding a bunch of local Boulder color, and tuning up some of the story. Eliot was amazing during the edit process – working closely with me, my wife Amy Batchelor who also provided an editing pass, and then our formal editors who did a tight copy-edit of the book.

During this period, we worked together with Eliot on the launch of FG Press as well as his book. We’ve used Uncommon Stock as the alpha test for our process and have improved a lot of things. You’ll see some obvious things from us, like a 10 chapter free giveaway (if you want to sample the book before you buy it). You’ll also see some not so obvious things, like the ability (soon) to buy the book using Bitcoins.

You’ll be hearing a lot from Mara Winkel on Twitter. She’s an amazing entrepreneur – just the kind of learning machine I love to back.

Grab your copy of Uncommon Stock: 1.0. Or, if you just want a taste first, download the first 10 chapters.

  • Thanks so much Brad! It’s been a true pleasure working with you, Dane, Amy and the gang. You were an inspiration since day one and I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with FG Press. Startup fiction is the new killer app! Seriously, could a genre be any cooler?

  • I find it remarkable how many businesses you can simultaneously move along. This post is a great story in its own right.

    • Thx. I’m able to do even more in parallel now that I’m not wearing out my meat puppet by traveling.

  • Peter Neame

    Love the business model for FGPress – so much that I splurged (!) 4.99. But there seems to be no method to download the book from the website once paid for?
    It’s getting great reviews on Amazon and your book recommendations are always spot on…

    • You should get it within a day. If for some reason you don’t, we’ll fix whatever we’ve broken!

      • Peter Neame

        Thanks Brad. Indeed – Dane is completely on it. Although so far downloading on bookshout seems, er, challenging….
        No matter. If it persists, I’ll grab a Kindle copy – I don’t really want a third collection of books to read (as well as assorted PDFs and real paper books that seem to accumulate at a frightening speed in spite of my best efforts). I’m confused enough as it is!

  • Great stuff Brad and grats on the launch, will read this weekend–

    • Thx Ben!

    • Awesome Ben! Can’t wait to get your thoughts on it. Make sure to leave a review. I read every single one.

  • AlejandroMMoss

    Every year we run a big VC, LP & Tech Summit in Los Angeles (this year downtown) to showcase the best of our community and invite others from around the country. Our event this year will feature many portfolio companies and also emerging LA tech companies such as Tinder & Whisper. http://num.to/4093-2685-3756

  • In my Kindle and will be read in the hammock while in Tulum in a few weeks.


    • Tulum is a beautiful place and a hammock is an ideal location to read Uncommon Stock. Excited to hear what you think of it.

      • I will let you know….

        Yes we do a house down towards the biosphere once a year for the extended family.

        So looking forward to this after a New York winter.

  • Leonard Welter

    only £3 from amazon.co.uk – downloaded and next on the reading list (but do I bump Headspace??)

    • Thanks Leonard! I think you’re going to have to meditate on the reading list question… Looking forward to getting your thoughts on the book!