Status Report: Liars and Outliers

After a long and hard year, Liars and Outliers is done. I submitted the manuscript to the publisher on Nov 1, got edits back from both an outside editor and a copyeditor about a week later, spent another week integrating the comments and edits, and submitted the final manuscript to the publisher just before Thanksgiving. Now it’s being laid out, and I’ll have one more chance to read it and correct typos next week.

It really feels great to be done. This is the hardest book I’ve written, and the most ambitious. Now I have to see how it’s received. I know I should be thinking about creating a talk based on the book, but I want some time away from the ideas. I’ll get back to that task in January.

Meanwhile, the publisher and I have been working on the cover. We settled on the art and layout months ago, but there’s the back cover copy, the inside flaps copy, the author’s bio, and the blurbs. I’m really happy with the blurbs I’ve received, and we’re deciding what goes on the front cover, what goes on the back cover, and what goes inside on the first couple of pages of the book. Much of this text will also be used at various online bookstores as well, and at my own webpage for the book. I’ll post the whole cover when it’s final.

After that, the publisher will create the various e-book formats. I’m not sure how the figures and tables will translate, but I’ll figure it out. Publication is still scheduled for mid-February, in time for the RSA Conference in San Francisco at the end of the month. I’ll be doing a short interview about my book in something called the “Author’s Studio” on Wednesday, and will have a book signing at the conference bookstore sometime that week. If there is any exhibitor wanting to use my book as a conference giveaway and have me sign them, e-mail me and we’ll work something out.

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 6:25 AM33 Comments


Z.Lozinski December 1, 2011 8:39 AM

Well done.

I’ve ordered my copy long since, we’ll see if it shows up ahead of the official publication date. (Amazon sometimes does this, but I won’t complain.)

Prohias December 1, 2011 9:47 AM

I could swear I saw this blog post earlier (3 days ago?). It vanished and seems to have come back today. Anyone else notice that – or am I in a time-warp?

Sophia Katt December 1, 2011 10:31 AM

Inviolable Seattle book tour rule: all tours should include local beer. Please make a note, and head here soon!

Nick P December 1, 2011 10:54 AM

I’m with Sophia. I’m going to up the ante & say that all autographed books should include a local beer. 🙂

Daniel December 1, 2011 11:07 AM


No, it was posted and disappeared. I assume Bruce writes some posts ahead of time (I know I did when I had a blog) and just posted it accidentally ahead of schedule and then removed it. A simple error to make.

-B December 1, 2011 12:19 PM

Congratulations. I look forward to reading it. Every author I know says that “being done” is the best feeling and often swear to “never do that again” – until the next time.

John Doe December 1, 2011 2:04 PM

As a loyal follower of your blog, will I get a free copy?

But that would probably mean that I need to tell you who I am and I’d rather remain anonymous…


Steve Parker December 1, 2011 4:40 PM

Congratulations, Bruce! Wiley published my first (and only?) book in August; it’s hectic work, and such a relief when it’s finished!

For myself, I must admit that I found it really difficult to know how to wind down, and how what to do with all the free time (what other people might call “having a life,” of course!)

QnJ1Y2U December 1, 2011 4:42 PM

> I submitted the manuscript to the publisher on Oct 1

I think you meant to say Nov 1.

Looking forward to the book!

Bruce Schneier December 1, 2011 6:27 PM

“Will you have copies for Boskone, do you think?”

I don’t know. It might be too soon.

They’ll be ready for the RSA Conference at the end of the month, but I don’t know how much earlier.

Dirk Praet December 2, 2011 3:31 AM

Totally looking forward to read it as an iBook on my new iPad 2. And I’ll be buying you a beer if ever you’re doing a signing session somewhere around here.

Bruce Schneier December 2, 2011 7:54 AM

“Totally looking forward to read it as an iBook on my new iPad 2.”

The publisher estimates that about half the sales will be ebook versions.

grumpy December 2, 2011 9:04 AM

I suggest that you put your PGP signature on the first page of the ebook versions. That way we can all have a signed copy. 🙂

Joe Clark December 3, 2011 8:13 AM

They will probably give you lousy typesetting. Mail me a PDF of one of your chapters and I’ll come back with more corrections total than you’ve seen for the entire book thus far.

James Ulvog December 3, 2011 3:25 PM

Thanks for sharing the updates during the year. It has been fun watching the progress and observing the timeline.

TF December 9, 2011 11:53 AM

Here’s hoping that Wiley offers it without DRM. I don’t buy e-books with DRM and I rarely buy dead-tree editions any more.

Josip Medved December 14, 2011 11:43 PM

Make a XOR of each letter (ASCII) of user name. Give books to those that yield highest number (byte). E.g. for “Josip Medved” total score would be 0x54.

Brandon December 15, 2011 12:16 AM

You should give the books away as rewards for a security-related competition. Put up a honeypot and see who gets in…

Seth Johnson December 15, 2011 7:38 AM

Perhaps the give-away method could be related to finding statistical outliers among the blog’s readers. It could be based on self-reported characteristics (first name in terms of frequency of use, shoe size, etc.). Of course there’s some incentive to lie, but if they have to be an outlier within the self-reporting group rather than the population at large then they have to lie in a way significantly different from everyone else.

Seems like a lot of work though.

El Viejo December 15, 2011 9:03 AM

Your twenty free copies should go to the top twenty most important homeland security posts. (at your discretion) And don’t forget drone secure communication specialist.

ArkaNet December 16, 2011 6:21 AM

You could put that books into a site like, so anyone interested would be able to read it. And plus the books will be travelling around the world.
Just an idea.

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