Michelle Miller, a former banker at JPMorgan, just landed a six-figure book deal based on her self-published online series “The Underwriting,” a 12-part weekly serial found on theunderwriting.com.
The corporate thriller is being billed as “The Social Network”-meets-“The Wolf of Wall Street” and takes place at an online dating startup, according to the AP.
The story, scheduled for a May 26 release, will take on both Silicon Valley and Wall Street and explore office politics, sex, and murder at a San Francisco startup preparing for an IPO.
Miller, who received an MBA from Stanford University, plans to write five books for the series; the Penguin Random House imprint has only acquired the first two books.
Lauren Weisberger, author of the “The Devil Wears Prada,” says of Miller’s series:
Michelle Miller’s debut novel reads like a salacious, ripped-from-the headlines tell-all of Manhattan’s young, wealthy, and uber-successful. From the very first page, I felt like I’d met these characters in real life: Todd, the hot, rich, d-bag banker; Tara, the striver perfectionist who can’t quite please everyone; Kelly, the good girl with a secret, and Josh, the creepy savant genius who just might change the world.
What do they all have in common? A certain location-based hookup app that alters each of their lives in shocking ways. Get ready to settle in-you won’t be able to put down this book.
Here’s more from ‘The Underwriting”s website:
The Underwriting initially aired on this website as a 12-part weekly serial in the spring of 2014. Episodes, which took about 30 minutes to read, were released each Wednesday, free to read for 24 hours, or available for purchase as text or audio files. The series was accompanied by DJ playlists, photography, finance tutorials and brand sponsorships, and found a global audience whose loyalty to the story and its delivery was, for its author, the stuff of much skin-tingling.
“I really wanted to create a new type of publishing model,” Miller told Elle magazine in March. “I wanted to create a project that mimicked the world that I was talking about, and to do that, I felt it needed to function like a start-up. So I set up an LLC, raised money from venture capitalist investors for equity, and basically, they get a piece of whatever I would have gotten if I had just done it as an individual writer. To me, you can invest in content the same way you can invest in an app, and maybe it works, and maybe it doesn’t.”
Miller told the magazine that there a few misconceptions about Silicon Valley and Wall Street:
I worked at JPMorgan’s private bank in the Palo Alto office, so we were managing assets for the new wealth at Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest and other Silicon Valley tech companies. Wall Street is not as conniving and sexy as people think it is. And Silicon Valley is not as heroic and well-intentioned as it’s often written out to be. I find Silicon Valley to be a much more difficult place to work than Wall Street, especially as a woman. In Silicon Valley, there’s this general “I think I’m better than you” attitude. I also think that Silicon Valley gets let off the hook, because there’s almost this high school mentality of it’s mean to pick on the nerd, but at the end of the day, there are some really difficult personalities that don’t necessarily make for good companies or good working environments. It’s not all just broomball tournaments and free food and hoodies. There’s some real undiscussed tension that’s honestly like Wall Street 20 years ago. I mean you can look at company websites and you see the white dudes running the business, the immigrants doing the engineering, and cute girls doing HR and ad sales. That’s as much as you’re ever going to get as a girl there.
Watch the trailer for Miller’s “The Underwriting” series below: