Thursday, May 19, 2016

About That Time I Ate Nothing But Fermented Food For One Year (The Fermented Man Pre-Order)

In two months, on July 19th, The Fermented Man will finally be released, so I think it's time for a little update on the book. Many of you have no doubt been waiting for The Fermented Man these last few years as ravenously as the masses anticipate a new Star Wars film, so if you don't require any further elaboration from me, I'll here point out that the book is already available for pre-order. For more details, please read on!

In Case You Don't Know About the Book-
During the year of 2014, I lived off of nothing but fermented food for the entire year. Yes, an entire year consuming only things which were fermented. However, this isn't a new lifestyle diet I'm going to be endorsing on Dr. Phil, but more of an experiment (a thought experiment turned into a challenging reality), and a means to journey through the world of fermented food in an interesting and immersive way. I wanted to write a book that would be entertaining and informative for any reader, whether you know a lot about fermentation already, or absolutely nothing at all.

Even though fermentation is as old as civilization itself, studies into our microbiome and our relationship with microbes are only recently entering the public consciousness. One might be tempted to conclude that probiotic foods are just another new health fad, but fermentation is anything but. It is a fundamental element of the culinary world. So fundamental, you could even, just for example, live off of nothing but fermented foods. The influence of fermentation really does permeate just about everything.

There are many excellent guides to making fermented foods at home out there. In fact, that is primarily how the publishing world has dealt with fermentation thus far. I wanted to write a different type of book, one for hobbyists and general readers alike. Maybe you can't even pretend that you'll ever be motivated to go home at night and spend a few hours packing cabbage into a jar to make sauerkraut. That's totally fine — not everyone needs to be (or has time to be) a hobbyist, and fermentation is far more important (and interesting) than as just as DIY activity for foodies. Maybe you've spent most of your life convinced that you need to slather your hands in sanitizer gel to lead a healthy lifestyle, and are simply fascinated that anyone would risk eating food crawling with living bacteria, much less a whole year of it. After all, we go to great lengths to eradicate microbes in almost every area of our lives. Why would we want more of them?

This is a book for those terrified of microbes, and those who love them.

What To Expect From The Fermented Man-
The Fermented Man is a narrative non-fiction journey into the world of fermentation. Living off of fermented foods for a year posed a host of challenges and educational opportunities alike, and allowed me to structure the book as a walk-through of the entire world of microbe-made foods, as well as an exploration of the very nature of diets. You will hopefully learn a lot. You will probably read some thoughts about diets and health that you weren't expecting. You will hopefully be entertained, and get a few chuckles out of my ordeal, here and there. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be inspired to post passionate memes on Tumblr demanding a sequel. In the back of the book there is even a brief recipe section, so after traveling with me through this eye-opening culinary realm, you can try your hand making a few of my favorites at home, if you are so inclined.

When Does The Fermented Man Come Out?-
The book will be released (both online and in bookstores) on July 19th.

How To Get a Copy Of the Book-
The Fermented Man will be available through all the typical channels that books are typically available.

You may guess that authors generally take home more money when you order from the author directly, rather than, say, Amazon. And while I could probably make a few more bucks by setting up a sale for the book through my merch store and encouraging everyone that reads this blog to order the book that way, it's actually probably better for me in the long run if you just order the book from a regular store — either your local bookstore, or Amazon. While I might make less on each sale, Amazon is also a very powerful marketing platform, in a sense, and the more visible my (or any) book is on Amazon, the better it is likely to do. So, it's probably ultimately better if Amazon sees that my book is selling well, versus trying to squeeze out a few extra dollars by selling a bunch of copies myself. Likewise, your local bookstore can always really use your support, and their interest in my book is also supremely helpful. So, please visit them and ask if they'll be getting copies of The Fermented Man in. If they are not already, you can always request that they do so. A win for everyone!

One more thing: after you have read the book, please consider doing me a huge favor. I mentioned that Amazon also essentially works as a marketing platform. Along those lines, the more reviews a book has, the better for its visibility to other shoppers. So please consider doing me a major solid and adding a quick review to the Amazon page. Even a short review is immensely helpful to an author — especially a new, unknown author like myself.

How Many Copies Of the Book Should I Order, Just To Be Safe?-
At least four or five, but up to 10 if you really want to improve your social standing. Copies of The Fermented Man make excellent gifts for any family member, friend, significant other, or all 527 of your Facebook friends!

How Can I Order Copies To Sell At My Store?
If you work at a bookstore, you'll be able to stock the book as you would any other. However, if you work at a store that isn't able to order this book through your usual distribution channels, you can email Ross Gerstenblatt at my publishing company (Overlook Press), who will set you up.

Will You Be Doing Events To Promote the Book?
Indeed I will. I don't have a ton of details on this front that I can announce just yet, so I'll save this stuff, mostly, for another post.

Will You Be Doing Any Events That Are On A Big Roof?
One event that I can reveal now is a fermentation workshop I will be doing with Brooklyn Grange, who operate the world's largest rooftop soil farms. That workshop will be on Tuesday, August 9th. This will be a really fun, very unique event, and you can sign up now by clicking here.

Will You Do An Event At My Venue, Please?
Possibly! If there is some place you know of, work for, or run that would like to organize an event with me, please get in touch with me at bearflavored @ gmail dot com.

What If I Donated To Your Indiegogo Campaign?
You are truly a hero, and thank you for helping to make a vital section of the book possible. If you were one of the supporters on my Indiegogo campaign back in 2014, I will already be mailing you a copy of the book directly. If you also got a t-shirt through the campaign, I will eventually ask you what size and stuff you want, or go ahead and just let me know now.

What If I'm Impatient, And Wish To Hear More Right Now, But In Audio-Only Format?
I'm glad to hear you are so eager. Go ahead and listen to a podcast I just did with Fuhmentaboutit, a lovely fermentation podcast that interviewed me on a broad range of book-related subjects.

Thank you all very much for helping to support my writing career and fermentation education efforts. July 19th will be here very soon! Until then (and after then), follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more regular updates.


  1. Congrats Derek! Can't wait to pick up a copy.

  2. I knew becoming literate would pay off some day. This is THE day.


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