Writing It's Done, It's Cool

Being Geek

My favorite part of finishing a book is when the index shows up.

I’m not sure who the magicians are who are responsible for building this index, but it’s an unexpected glimpse into a book that you thought you knew, but actually do not.

See Crisis Situations

This is a welcome perspective because at the end of a book, you’ve been in your head far too long. You’re sick and tired of how you mentally sound and how you construct thoughts. All of the delicious moments of discovery have long been forgotten among the endless writing and editing whilst lumbering towards an immovable deadline.

And then the index shows up and you realize you might’ve written something cool.

It’s Done, It’s Cool

I wrote another book and it’s called Being Geek.

The first book was for managers — this book is for everyone. If you’ve ever wondered how to negotiate an offer letter, whether your boss is brilliant or a doof, or if you’ve ever thrown a book providing career advice against the wall, this might be the book for you.

The goal of Being Geek is to provide ideas and stories for the complete lifecycle of a gig — from looking for a gig, loving it, hating it, and then looking for another. While there is more to a gig than 40 chapters, I touch on the trickier aspects of your gig, including:

  • What to do with toxic personalities
  • How to get your head around an interview
  • Figuring out your professional worth.

One of the complaints regarding the prior book — Managing Humans — was the lack of book-specific original content. While Being Geek does republish some articles from the past few years, there is a significant amount of new content available only in the book, including chapters such as:

  1. How to Win
  2. Managing Managers
  3. The Issue with the Doof
  4. The Curse of the Silicon Valley
  5. Bad News About Your Bright Future.

As with the prior book, existing essays have been lovingly updated and sometimes augmented. I’m particularly happy that The Nerd Handbook is touched up and now in printed form.

Unlike Managing Humans, Being Geek is readily available in a variety of formats. These digital formats, I hope, will get the book in front of a wider variety of eyeballs, but I remain fond of the printed version. See, you finish a book by writing it, but in my head, it’s not really done until it’s sitting in your hand.

Being Geek Cover

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27 Responses

  1. Should get this book.

    And can’t make myself believe that your name is Michal Lopp. I was unaware of this all the time, though I’ve been reading you for quite some time now.:)

  2. Ruh-roh – the Kindle version has gone missing. Your “variety of formats” link, and the one that Google knows about, lead to 404.

  3. Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it.

  4. Congratulations man! I already ordered my hardcopy, can’t wait to read it!

  5. Amazon link you posted is 404?

  6. rands 14 years ago

    Not sure where the Kindle version went — was there last night. Links are updated — will re-add Kindle when it’s live again.

  7. Clinton 14 years ago

    Just ordered the paperback on Amazon. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and look forward to the book.


  8. Congratulations on getting the book out.

    However, I’m not sure about the index – if I had issues with giving presentations, I think I’d be looking under P for Presentations…

  9. The paperback on Amazon is $16.49, but the epub is $20 at O’Reilley. That’s kind of braindead, but whatever.

    Which version do you make more money off of? $4 isn’t worth splitting hairs, but I’d rather more cash goes to you than the middle-man.

  10. Marco Rogers 14 years ago

    No Barnes and Noble ebook love? Yeah I know I can get the ePub or even pdf version, but it would be nice to have an official version.

  11. Congrats!

    Could you please tell me about the font in the paper edition? I want to read this on paper (no Kindle, no plans to get one), and I remember the font size in the first book being something of an eyestrain problem for me.

  12. I’m wondering about a B&N nook version too. I’m traveling and thought I’d be able to download and read this tonight. Disappointed.

  13. rands 14 years ago

    The text font is a Sabon and the headline font is Myriad. I’m very happy with the readability.

  14. Congratulations on the new book! I enjoyed Managing Human immensely and am looking forward to reading this one.

    Got mine as an ebook via O’Reilly as part of their ebook of the day ($9.99 using the discount coupon code DDGEK, while it last) and looking forward to reading it!

  15. Congrats! Looking forward to reading it later this summer in between late night startup coding sessions. 🙂

  16. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    My husband is an indexer. He often buries a joke in the index to see if the author reads it, and gets a tickle if the author notices.

    Steve Jones: It’s probably also under P.

  17. Michele 14 years ago

    As one of those “magicians” who creates back-of-the-book indexes (though I did not do any of yours), just wanted to say thanks for your kind words of public praise for our often-unacknowledged hard work. Lovely to know that our work can give the author insights into his own!

  18. I look forward to the book. I hope I can get my copy in time and pack it for my vacations to read it on the beach.

    What I missed in the previous book was the great graphics that accompanied many of the earlier posts – like the “Deconstructing Managers” series. They really added to the reading experience. I hope the new book has illustrations.

    Or are graphics banned from paperback publishing?

  19. O’Reilly has some excellent magicians on staff. (Not that I’m one of them, though I am delighted to know them.)

    Thanks for the public acknowledgements. As Michele said above, it’s great when you guys notice our work!

  20. If you go to “P” in the index, and look under “Presentations”, you’ll see the following entry: “how not to throw up when giving, 210-214.”

    That is, yes, “fretting about presentations” is double posted under “presentations,” nicely.

  21. Hi…I wrote the index for your book. Thanks so much for appreciating the it! We indexers rarely get a nod, so thanks! Indexing is a fairly geeky profession, and I think that’s why you noticed. (They are made by actual people, who work mostly alone, in very quiet rooms, while drinking lots of coffee, sometimes through the night, etc…like the people you write about in your book.) Being Geek was really fun to work on. Best of luck with it!

  22. Great to hear the new work is done 🙂 I’m still waiting for my copy of Managing Humans to arrive. Look forward to reading this as soon as I can get my hands on it.

    Congratulations and I know the sales will be strong.

  23. Ordered and on its way.

  24. Andrew 14 years ago

    I downloaded and devoured the sample kindle book the day before a job interview. It helped. A lot. Thanks. I’m debating whether or not to purchase the paper version.

    I’m really curious to know what the process is for building an index. Is it as simple as it seems? (read book, make notes and page #s, then sort a-z.) I often use the index as a way to determine whether or not to purchase a book as it’s more descriptive than a back cover or table of contents.

  25. I ordered the book. Got it. Reading it. Loving it. But there are a lot of typographical errors. In fact, there are a lot of places where your index is off by a chapter. (Like, for example, in the resignation entry, and others.)

    But.. over all.. I like it. I think it’s good, and helpful. Just got that first edition jitters.

  26. QnA site for developers 14 years ago

    Must have book for geeks:)

  27. I just finished reading Being Geek – excellent work. Is there any point in going back to read Managing Humans (As I haven’t yet)? Is the material different / still useful? Thanks