Two people familiar with the project said Jackson was trying "clear up his legacy," the Tribune reported Wednesday.
"He has nothing else to do right now," one source said. "He's desperately trying to change the narrative of his life story."
Jackson, 47, is to be sentenced June 28 for illegally using at least $750,000 in campaign funds to buy, among other things, a Rolex watch, celebrity memorabilia, furs, a cruise and two stuffed elk heads. He pleaded guilty Feb. 20 in federal court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements.
His wife, Sandi Jackson, a former Chicago alderman, pleaded guilty to separate charges of filing false tax returns. Her sentencing was set for July 1.
Jackson, who has bipolar disorder, took a medical leave of absence from Congress in June and resigned in November, after winning re-election.
Although a published author -- he wrote a financial advice book, "It's About the Money" with his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson -- Jackson might have difficulty finding a publisher, Gail Ross, a lawyer and literary agent in Washington, told the Tribune.
"To get big money you'd need a publisher who is really, really interested in his story," Ross said. "Most people I work with don't want to line the pockets of a crook. Maybe someday he'll write the redemption story but he can't write the redemption story until he's redeemed."