The Happiest Audiobook of Our Lives

HD_banner1.jpgAs promised yesterday, you can buy the audio version of The Happiest Days of Our Lives right here, for just $19.72. “Why $19.72?” You ask? Because that’s the year I was born, and since nobody else is the boss of me, I can do that sort of thing. “How long is it?” You say? “That’s what she said!” I reply. Then I tell you that it’s about three and a-half hours long, and we laugh and laugh before the episode ends with a hilarious freeze frame.

Like the audio version of Just A Geek, this is a super-annotated edition, filled with tons of what I call “audio footnotes” for lack of a less stupid-sounding term. I hope we’ve created something that’s more like sitting down in a room with me while I tell you stories, than it is a typical audiobook. I don’t think a traditional publisher would let me get away with doing it this way, which is a big reason I do these things on my own. If you’ve ever heard me perform my work at a show, or listened to any of my podcasts, you should have some idea of what you’re getting into.

Unlike the audio version of Just A Geek, the audio performance of The Happiest Days of Our Lives will only be available as a download. We found that the costs associated with creating and shipping physical media for JAG:tA vastly outweighed the benefits, and most people just rip the CDs to their favorite digital format, anyway.

Now, I’m sure most of you reading this don’t need to hear it, but I’m a dad, and that means I often say things at great length that don’t need to be said, so I’d appreciate it if you pretended to listen. I’ve made it really clear that I despise DRM and think it’s stupid, and I will never willingly infect something you buy from me with DRM. In accordance with my philosophy, there is no DRM or restriction of any kind on this audiobook. I don’t think I’ll lose any sales of The Happiest Days audiobook to piracy, because people who would steal from me aren’t people who wouldn’t buy it, anyway, but I need to say this. If you’re considering trying to steal it in some way, there’s very little I can do to stop you – it’s a game of whack-a-mole that I don’t have the time or resources to play – but I hope you’ll consider that when you steal from me, you’re not sticking it to a giant company with millions of dollars in annual revenue. When you steal from me, you’re directly hurting my family, because this is how I support the four of us (and our dogs, who say that they love you no matter what, because they’re dogs and that’s what they do.)

I hope everyone who wants to hear me perform The Happiest Days of Our Lives will get a chance to enjoy to it, and I think that I’ve chosen a price point that’s fair, reasonable, and affordable. I know the economy isn’t great, so if you’re looking to hear me perform my work for free, you can find stuff in my podcasts, listen to me perform Blue Light Special at the 2008 Phoenix Comicon or wait until early next year when I’m releasing, for free, performances of all the extra material I’m adding into Subterranean Press’ special expanded edition of The Happiest Days of Our Lives.

Okay, end of dad voice. Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoy my performance of The Happiest Days of Our Lives. Let me know if you review it, because I’ll be compiling a page of stuff like that. You know, for kids.

(Epic thanks to Val for the incredibly cool graphic. Wait until you see the flyers and banner images she made!)

50 thoughts on “The Happiest Audiobook of Our Lives”

  1. A lot of people are wondering if they can buy this through Audible, so let me just put that FAQ right here: No. You can only get it directly from me.
    Okay, let me try to explain: Audible takes a significant portion of the sales price and shoves a bunch of stupid f-ing DRM into the files you buy from them, whether the publisher wants the DRM to be there or not.
    If I were a huge company, and I were making tens of thousands of sales on dozens of different books a year, I could give up a big portion of the sales price and make it up on volume. But I’m a teeny tiny publisher who won’t sell anywhere close to 10,000 in a year. I mean, I’d love to sell that many, but it would be a serious miracle if I did.
    I’ve made the price as low and affordable as I can, so if I gave up a big portion of that to a third party, it would really hurt my bottom line. (Hurr hurr ‘bottom line’ hurr hurr.)
    And, as we’ve all seen over and over again, DRM doesn’t deter piracy, and it only hurts actual paying customers. I despise DRM as a consumer, so I’ll always look for the DRM-free option, if one is available. If Audible ever goes DRM-free, and doesn’t want to take an unreasonably large percentage of the sales price, I’ll consider it. Until then, it’s just you and me, baby.

  2. I hate DRM as well, Wil. I totally support that stance. I don’t buy from audible for that reason. I can’t wait to hear the expanded edition when I get the Subterranian edition.
    All the best to you and your family for Christmas and New Years as well.

  3. I am so excited!!!! As soon as my movie finishes I am playing this. I am actually really glad this is coming straight from you rather than a third party. I think it makes it more special :). Thank you for all of your hard work, I know that your fans really appreciate it. I know I do.

  4. hey wil, happy holidays – just ordered a copy of your audiobook – looking forward to getting it and listening to it as i write.
    happy holidays to you and your family and thanks for the cool christmas gift :)

  5. My husband and I caught your talk at PAX and we loved it! You said this content will be like your talks, so I bought it.
    Actually, I bought this audiobook for my husband for Christmas, but I can’t wait to listen too.
    I used the image from you post to make a lightscribe label for the CD I’m making with this on it. (I needed something to wrap up!) I’m no photoshop expert, but I’d be happy to share if there’s an easy way to do so. I could post the image I made to flickr (or somewhere else) with your permission Wil.

  6. I hate DRM too because it’s so useless — if one geek can come up with a scheme another geek can find a way around it. Just like when we found out that the engineers who design radar detectors by night have day jobs designing police radars!

  7. AAAAWWWWWWWWWW I just finished (as in it stopped 2 seconds ago) The Butterfly Tree 2 and I think it just made me like you more!! Standing up for the little guy is so important. I just wanted to share that with you. Thank you again for the great Christmas Gift you have given us all.

  8. so I just ordered the mp3 file, went through the paypal stuff.
    didnt see a “click here to get mp3 file” thing. so I figured I would get an email with a URL for the thing. no yet anyway. (45 minutes or so) will I?
    or did I miss something on after paying?

  9. For those on the fence ordering was dead simple for me. From order to starting to listen to it took less than a half hour.
    Still love blue light special the best. I never liked Lando until Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode 2. “This deal is getting worse all the time”

  10. I meant to come on at 8pm GMT and put my order in, but I ended up enjoying “Enchanted” and completely forgot about it.
    Anyway, there we go, all ordered. I must say it’s the first time I’ve ordered a book and had to wait for the publisher to finish working on a major TV series before it gets processed. At least I can bug him on twitter if it takes too long 😉
    I’m really looking forward to listening to this, if the quality of the “Just a Geek” audiobook is anything to go by.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  11. That Darth Vader costume missed a prime opportunity for infinite recursion. Darth vader of course would never have a picture of himself on his chest, but since this costume took that ridiculous step it should had a pic of Darth Vader on Vader’s chest rather than the Star Wars logo. Which of course, would have had another picture of Darth Vader on ITS chest, which of course would have had a picture of Darth Vader on ITS chest… in an infinite loop of Darth Vader Bustiness.
    BTW Darth loves DRM.

  12. and there was much rejoicing as the email with a URL to download arrived safely. now I have something to listen to on that deaded flight to the inlaws.. :)

  13. Hmmm, something seems out of place….
    As promised yesterday, you can buy the audio version of The Happiest Days of Our Lives right here, for just $19.72. “Why $19.72?” You ask? Because that’s the year I was born, and since nobody else is the boss of me, I can do that sort of thing. “How long is it?” You say? “That’s what she said!” I reply. Then I tell you that it’s about three and a-half hours long, and we laugh and laugh before the episode ends with a hilarious freeze frame. Sit, Ubu, sit. Good Dog.
    There, fix’d it fer ya. :)
    Bought the audiobook today and am looking forward to adding it to the holiday survival kit that I’m assembling. Many thanks for the early Christmas present, Wil.
    And just so you know, anytime I spot anything of yours on any of the filesharing sites I visit, I report it immediately to the admins and have it removed. I may be a pirate (arrrr), but I be a pirate wit a heart o’ gold…. :)
    Happy holidays to ye and yer family. Arrrr….

  14. I hope you’d consider iTunes when it goes DRM-free for audiobooks, that is if the iTunes Plus is DRM-free enough for your taste.
    (ObDisclaimer: I work on Infinite Loop, though not on iTunes.)

  15. OH MAN!
    you just made my day… well week… emm holidays!!!
    I love just a geek and I still listen to it again and again. and I am still writing on my review of it, but hey… someday hopefully, just got to much work at the moment. anyway. so looking forward to listen to it! thanks so much man!!!

  16. Thanks Wil, an early Christmas present for me!! I’ve been waiting (not so patiently) for the Subterranean copy, but could hardly resist this one.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  17. Read the news – snagged a copy immediately!
    I have the white label CD version of “Just a Geek”, which I do like having in hardcopy form for long-time keeps, but this MP3 version I just got of “Happiest Days” will be great on the ol’ Sansa Clip (I love that little thing).
    At any rate, thanks for doing the recording, thus making the audiobook format available. Great for the ride to and fro work. ;>]

  18. Woohoo – I’m so going to be buying this thing, as I loved the audio version of Just A Geek; you have a fantastic narration voice.
    Just one thing though – how big is this file? I understand that you can’t do hardcopy, but some of us live in rural Scotland (I moved from the city since JAG came out,) and the max speed of my download is 5k (and that’s on a good day,) so this is going to be an overnight job, over several nights – does your download service allow us to pause and restart because I don’t think I can do several hundred Meg in one sitting.

  19. WOW!
    I am very excited about getting this book on audio now. I purchased the hardbound book last year – in fact, I am one of the 300! and I enjoyed it.
    So – why the heck purchase the audio book, too? I mean – how redundant is that? (question to people asking, why).
    Because of your audio book JUST A GEEK – I am sold that you are a very good storyteller and you helped me during my morning/afternoon commute – it was truly a pleasure listening to your voice, your stories as they unfolded, and the extra annotations during the reading were worth their weight in gold!
    For $19.72, a year I was born also, this is a quite a bargain and also… a nice little christmas present to myself!
    Have a happy holiday with your family and a blessed new year!
    Bill Teeple,
    San Jose, CA

  20. RE: “audio footnotes”
    I’ve always called this “asides.” It sounds a little more theatrical, however, “audio footnotes” is easier to understand.
    The American Heritage Dictionary definition of “aside” included “parenthetical departure; a digression.”
    “parenthetical departure” has a nice connotation of taking a trip.

  21. I bought your audiobook. But your ordering process is annoying. I appreciate the humor of the confirmation page, but it gets in the way of actually telling me what will happen. I can’t tell for example, how soon I will get the file. I can’t tell if it will be emailed (I hope not) or if it will just be a link. (My mail server eats huge files for lunch, so this is an issue.)

  22. Just finished it. I wanted to take my time and savour it, but noooooo. Took me just two sessions to listen through it completely. Loved it, made me laugh and made me cry. Great, great work. And I just love the “annotations” with David.
    And, by the way, as a professional web monkey – the ordering process might not be as intuitive as, say, Amazon or Audible or somesuch, but I understand completely why it is the way it is. And I totally support the way you work. I’m happy that my $19.72 do not have to move through the greedy hands of some useless middlemen (except PayPal).
    Have a wonderful christmas with your family!

  23. day. Wake up. Remember to buy the audiobook. Been sick since Thursday but this morning I’m starting to feel better. The fever is breaking and I’m in one of those horrible/awesome fever dream semi-conscious states when I start listening.
    I fade in and out. Bizarre dreams which feel like hours but I find are only a few minutes when I wake up and glance at the computer. Listen for a while then back to dreams of gaming, music, gone but not-forgotten pets, and general geekdom.
    It’s evening now. I’m actually feeling well and about to start listening properly. I’ll have to take breaks to check my ebay auctions. I’ve already won 1st ed. AD&D DMG, Monster Manual, and Unearthed Arcana. PHB and Fiend Folio end soon. I’m sure I’ll get outbid on Deities and Demigods (with Cthulhu mythos), but ah well.
    I had no plans on tracking these down before my audiobook/fever induced dementia, but I’m glad I have.
    Thanks Wil.

  24. Having the Lando action figure isn’t all bad. You need a bad guy in your story lines.
    I was the tomboy girl with the extensive action figure collection, in an official box (not any of the heads though, but it was a Star Wars box with compartments for lots of action figures).
    And I had Hoth, and the Millenium Falcon.
    But the trade off is, that in order to play with that stuff, you’d have had to play with a girl.

  25. So for those of us fans who are deaf…are there any options here? This sounds like it’d be interesting so I’m curious, but…

  26. Wil, The Happiest Days audio was a massive pleasure. although I’d read these stories, hearing them read– and by you– makes them new and more special. the audio version often reminded me of the band 2NU– whose music resembles Shatner’s.
    I totally would have paid another 28 cents for this treasure. As a fellow geek and long time appreciater of your acting and writing, I needed to take a moment to seriously and sincerely thank you for your Awesome.

  27. Wil, The Happiest Days audio was a massive pleasure. although I’d read these stories, hearing them read– and by you– makes them new and more special. the audio version often reminded me of the band 2NU– whose music resembles Shatner’s.
    I totally would have paid another 28 cents for this treasure. As a fellow geek and long time appreciater of your acting and writing, I needed to take a moment to seriously and sincerely thank you for your Awesome.

  28. Didn’t realise that was the other voice on the audiobook till i googled!
    @bbock I guess what BEG is asking is “are there any options here for the extra material on the audiobook that doesn’t appear on the book to also be text based”
    I know Wil mentioned he would make the extra material available but would that be in a medium for deaf people?
    Managed 3 sittings to get through the audiobook and it was most on the first sitting.
    Many thanks Wil

  29. Just finished listening to this during an 11-hour road trip. All I can say is that Wil’s writing continues to impress me, and his reading on this as well as the conversations with his producer were incredibly entertaining. It sounds corny but I was inspired to add a couple things to my New Years’ resolution as a result of listening to “Happiest Days.”

  30. It would be nice if someone who has ordered and received their copy could let us in on the approximate wait time.
    I just ordered my copy and it’d be nice to know if I’ll get my download link in an hour or a couple of days

  31. @Paulius: I’m not sure if things have to be handled manually (I don’t run that stuff myself) or if it’s been automated by now.
    If it’s automated, you should have your download link within a few minutes. If it’s still being processed manually, it will take a little bit longer, especially on weekends or late at night.
    Thanks for your order! I hope you enjoy the performance.

  32. Rats!
    I’m assuming it’s a manual process because it’s been about four hours since I placed my order and no download link yet.
    Oh well. Guess I’ll be waiting til Monday :-(
    Thanks for the info anyway Wil, and buy yourself something nice with my $19.72!

  33. Just thought I’d answer my own question for the benefit of anyone else ordering.
    I placed my order at 11pm on saturday night and the download link arrived in my inbox at 6.30am the following morning.
    In other words, it doesn’t look like the system is automated…but bloody quick for a manual one.
    Basically, if you want this audiobook for a trip or something, order it the day before or make sure you order during business hours on a workday.
    Thanks Will! Can’t wait to listen to it.

  34. I just bought my copy, and it’s the first audiobook I’ve ever bought in my life. Your stance on DRM tipped me over, when I’m not sure anything else could have. I’m looking forward to listening!

  35. Just ordered, can’t wait. Enjoyed my paper copies of DB and JaG, really looking forward to actually hearing these in your voice. As an aside my wife has been going through a serious ST:TNG fix lately with marathon sessions over the holidays. My 10 and 12 year old daughters are now hooked and keep asking “Is Wesley in this one? He’s cute.” The only thing better than being a geek is being able to share it with your kids.

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