The Delightfully Inevitable Fan Video of “Redshirt” Featuring Star Trek Redshirts

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Well, that didn’t take long at all. It was made by “Trekpropguy.” Nicely done, sir.

Also, because I feel like putting it on my own site, the video of my covering “Redshirt” on the ukulele. If you haven’t watched it, stay with it until the end of the song for extra silliness.

Yes, I’m a goofball.


The DRM Thing and Redshirts

As noted in the FAQ I just put up, Redshirts is going to be released as an eBook here in the US without digital rights management software (DRM), meaning what when you buy it you can pretty much do what you want with it. Tor, my publisher, announced that all their eBooks would be released DRM-free by the end of July; I support this and asked Redshirts be released DRM-free from release date, so I think it might be the first official DRM-free release from Tor, which is in itself the first major publisher imprint to forgo DRM. In that way, Redshirts is a bit of a canary in a coal mine for major publishers.

If you were to ask me how I would want you to use your DRM-free eBook of Redshirts, I would say the following:

1. Hey, it’s yours, do what you want with it for your own personal use. Meaning: want to put it on every single electronic doodad you’ve got? Do it! Want to share it with your spouse/significant other/child/roommate/pet? Have fun. Want to print it out and use the physical pages as wallpaper? Live that dream. If it’s for you or immediate household folks, it’s all good.

2. Share with friends, but please have a sense of proportion. Want to pop it over to a friend who you think would like the book? Well, all right, then. Popping it over to all of your coworkers? Please don’t, although by all means point them in the direction of the free five chapter sample, which is enough for most folks to know whether they want to read more. Basically, share it like you would share a physical book — and encourage your friend, if they really liked it, to buy a copy to show their approval. My daughter’s college education thanks you in advance.

3. Please don’t put it out on the Internet for everyone to have. This is the thing all the publishers are terrified about, that the day the book is released, it’ll be on Teh Intarweebs where anyone can totally steal it, d00d. Well, two things: one, it would be anyway, because people who do that sort of thing can crack DRM pretty easily, and two, that’s probably not you. I don’t really expect that most people who buy the book have any ambition to punt the thing online; they just want to read it. But just in case you’re tempted: I would prefer if you did not. Point folks to the free sample instead; again, it’s enough that they’ll know whether they want to read more.

4. Remember there are humans on the other end of the book. As in, hi: I make my living writing the thing you’re reading. And so does my editor, my copyeditor, my page designer, my cover designer, the people who put the book in boxes (or servers) and the people who sell the books. We support ourselves, our families, our pets and our communities with the money we get from the work in your hands. Please remember that we’re there, and why we hope you’ve paid for our work, and encourage others to do the same.

Aaaand that’s it.


The Redshirts Pre-Release FAQ

Because as we get closer to release date of Redshirts I am getting peppered with questions, mostly on Twitter, I am making this FAQ to refer people to prior to Tuesday. After Tuesday much of the information will be self-evident.

1. What’s the release date of Redshirts?

For the English speaking world: In the US and Canada, June 5. In the UK, November 15. I don’t know when it will be officially available in Australia/New Zealand as I don’t have a direct publisher in those countries.

2. Will the eBook version be available on June 5 as well?

In the US and Canada, yes.

3. Will there be an audiobook version of the book as well and if so when and who is narrating?

There is an audiobook version, from Audible. It is narrated by Wil Wheaton. It will be available in the US on June 5. I believe it will also be available in Canada at the same time, but don’t hold me to that.

4. Does it matter to you which format we buy the book in? Which one gives you the most money?

It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest which format you buy the book in; I’ll get paid regardless. I appreciate you paying for it. That being the case, get it however it works best for you.

5. Any foreign language editions?

To date Redshirts has been sold in German and Spanish and Hebrew. The German version will be out November 12; I don’t know about the other versions.

6. You mentioned earlier that the Redshirts eBook would be DRM-free. Is that still true?

Yes. Tor, my publisher in the US and Canada, is releasing the eBook without DRM (digital rights management) restrictions everywhere it is sold. I can’t speak as to whether my publishers in other countries and in other formats intend to do the same. Here are some additional thoughts on DRM and Redshirts.

7. Are you going on tour?

Yes. Here are the tour dates. Please double check with actual venues for times; things are still changing around and the venues will have the most up-to-date information.

8. Will you sign books on the tour?

Yes. I will also have no objection to signing books you bring with you to the event, although it is always a very good thing to buy a copy of a book of mine from the bookstore hosting my event (it’s how they stay afloat. Please support them).

9. You are not coming to a town near me on your tour. Why not? How may I get a signed book? 

Tour stops are chosen by my publisher who chooses the stops by various criteria, including which bookstores out there are excited to have me come around. If you want me to come to your town for a future tour, encourage your local bookstore to ask Tor to have me drop in. I have very little personal control over which cities I visit on any particular tour. Please do not be angry with me if I do not visit your city. Your city is awesome.

As for getting signed books, contact one of the bookstores on my tour and order the book from them and ask them to have me sign it. I will be happy do so. You may also order a book of mine from Jay and Mary’s Book Center in Troy, Ohio (my local independent bookseller). I’ll be signing their stock of Scalzi books either this weekend or next Thursday.

10. I live in the UK and I may explode if I don’t get to read Redshirts immediately. What do you suggest?

Here’s the thing: If my UK publisher doesn’t see interest in the book, then I will get dropped and then selling other books of mine into the UK will become even harder, which will make reading me there even more difficult in a general sense. My thought is that if you pre-order the UK version of the book from your favorite bookstore (online or off), then also somehow happen to read a version of the book ahead of its UK release date, I as the author will not complain in the slightest.

11. Wait, did you just advocate —

I advocate nothing but pre-ordering the book from my UK publisher. I am also not stupid. But, look: It really is important to me that you encourage my UK publisher to keep publishing me, and I suspect for future releases the release dates will sync up more precisely and this will not be a problem. In the meantime, Redshirts will make a lovely holiday gift.

Other questions? Leave them in the comments. I may add them to the document as we go along.

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