PDF version of Memories of the Future Volume One available now

Before I get to the "Hey, I released Memories as a PDF because you asked for it" portion of this post, I wanted to share some early feedback on Memories of the Future Volume One:

"@wilw's MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE is my TNG DVD commentary of choice. Fun and funny and a blast to read all around. nice work, man." – Matt Fraction

"If you remember ST:TNG with equal amounts of nostalgia and facepalm, you need @wilw's new book, MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE." – Antony Johnston.

"Wil is a funny writer, and funny writers can make anything entertaining, including reviews of Star Trek episodes, especially when he was acting in them as a kid and forced to wear the worst clothes anyone outside of a max-security prisoner or someone from the 1970s forced to wear. I therefore commend your attention to this book as a Funny and also Interesting book that is otherwise about a tv series I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch. Put another way: I wouldn’t keep the tv episodes in the house, but I would keep the book. Yes? Yes." – Warren Ellis. (Who, incidentally, is responsible for the title of the book. Thanks, Uncle Warren.)

Excuse me while I squee, just a little bit…

…and now we're on to business:

In case you missed it on Twitter yesterday, I have made Memories of the Future Volume One available for DRM-free PDF download. It's just $10, and it's available from Lulu.

I had planned to wait a week, so the digital release could coincide with Monday's podcast, but so many people were asking for it – especially people who can afford $10 but not $19.87 and people who are in far off lands where packages are still delivered by steam-powered autogyro – I went ahead and released it last night.

When I did the PDF version of Sunken Treasure, I wrote a FAQ for it. The FAQs are pretty much the same, so…

Q: Can I read it on my iPhone?
A: Yeah, it's a regular old PDF file, so it will totally work on your iPhone's PDF reader.

Q:How will it look on my iPhone, though?
A: I don't own an iPhone, so I can't say from firsthand experience, but I've heard from a lot of people who have read it on their iPhones, and they were happy with the experience. Trying to read it in Stanza is wonky, though.

Q: What about other formats?
A: I'm looking into it. I know lots of people want it for [DEVICE THEY OWN] and when I have the time, I'll figure out a way to make those formats available. At the moment, though, it's not my top priority.

Q: Why not just sell it through Amazon for the Kindle?

A: I may eventually do that, but right now I don't know if I can sell enough copies to make up for the massive cut of revenue I'd have to give Amazon. I'm happy as hell to be selling in the hundreds, but if I went that way, I'd have to either increase the price significantly, or hope to sell in the thousands. I'm not sure that there are thousands of people who a) want to read this and b) also own Kindles.

Q: If I buy this, can I convert it to a different format?

A: Sure. You can use calibre to convert it to a ton of different formats. Calibre is free (speech and beer) by the way. Incidentally, if you're one of the Kindle owners, you can use calibre to convert the PDF to a Kindle format. People who bought Sunken Treasure on PDF used Calibre to convert it to Kindle format, and the images I saw from them looked fantastic.

Q: I already bought the print version. Can I get a copy of the digital version?
A: Sure you can. It's just ten bucks.

Q: I see what you did there.
A: That's not a question, but thanks.

Q: Can I give this to my friend/husband/wife/mom/girl or boy I'm trying to impress?
A: Once you have it, I can't stop you from doing whatever you want with it, and I certainly wouldn't expect you to treat it any differently than you would a paper book. However, I hope that we all understand the difference between sharing with our friends/spouses/famies and "sharing" with an entire forum, or hundreds of people simultaneously. I'm not trying to be a dick about this, and I'd rather people read it than not, but it's only $10, you know? 

Q: If I buy this, can I make my own print copy?

A: As long as you don't sell it, absolutely. However, the economics of it may work out to make it cheaper for you to just buy the print copy. Having said that, if a print shop doesn't want to print it for you, show them this: I give you permission to make one printed copy of Memories of the Future, Volume One, for personal, non-commercial use.

Q: If I make my own print copy and bring it to a con, will you sign it for me?

A: Hells yes I will. That'd be pretty cool, actually.

Given recent events, some of you reading this may be surprised to hear that I remain committed to releasing my books in non-DRM digital formats. For those who have chosen to make me some kind of proxy target for our totally justifiable outrage at the insanity of the RIAA and MPAA over the last decade, I guess that would be a surprise. But consider this, which I wrote when I released Sunken Treasure in a digital format:

[After I released the PDF,] I admit that I had a brief flash of doubt. "Did I just screw myself? Did I just sell one and end up giving away a hundred?"

"No," I reminded myself. "People who will steal from me were never going to support my work, anyway. You're doing the right thing. You're making it available to people at a really fair price, in a super portable format. And maybe people will like it and want a paper copy for themselves or to give as gifts."

I hoped that PDF sales would be solid … well, they were solid, for about ten minutes, and then they exploded. In less than an hour, the total PDFs sold exceed 1/5 of the total print copies sold. People were e-mailing positive feedback, people were Twittering positive feedback, and people were starting to talk about it on their blogs.

"Okay, this is awesome," I thought. "I definitely did the right thing."

I realize that the same people who claim I've lost all credibility due to my unhappiness at recent events may have a hard time reconciling this with my disappointment at seeing unauthorized copies of my work being distributed by douchebags who want to profit from it. I'm not going to spend a lot of time trying to change their minds, which appear to be made up, and stuck in an infinite loop arguing the semantics of the word "steal."

To everyone else, though, I hope you'll enjoy the book in whatever format you choose, and once you've had a chance to read it, you'll let me know – honestly – what you think. Thank you, so very, very much for your support! I am doing everything I can to continue earning it.

70 thoughts on “PDF version of Memories of the Future Volume One available now”

  1. Anyone tried to make the transfer to Kindle yet? I’d like to know if the conversion works wel before committing to the PDF version. If that fails, I’d rather have a perfect dead tree version than a bugged digital version.
    Still, can’t wait to be 12 years old sitting on ye ole shaggy carpet in my parent’s living room again. :)

  2. Oh, I hear ya. I used to try to do that with my friend as a kid. 2 VCRs, a Radio Shack mixer, equally bad microphone and a bad Hercules movie. We were just never good enough. Damn you MST3K/rifftrax/Cinematic Titanic crew!!! Your movie riffing Fu is strong.
    On another note: Thanks for the reply! I know, from reading your stuff, that you’re a cool guy and that you respond to folks yadda yadda yadda…But I have to geek out a just little bit. aaaAAANNNNDD engage: SQUEEEEEEE! Okay, I’m done. :-)

  3. The timing of this is SO great. I scored a box of about 50 VHS copies of TNG episodes, including many first season, and had been enjoying watching them, when I started listening to the Futurecast. Now I’m enjoying them even more, and people are looking at me funny at the traffic lights. Why? Because it’s rare to see a man pissing himself in the car next to you, while he;s listening to a podcast!
    So now hopefully I’ll be the first in Tasmania, if not Australia to have a paper version (today was a good day to die for those trees). Thank you Wil for your work – it’s pissing-your-pants funny!

  4. Who in their right mind would ever have a problem with you getting your book out this way or objecting to someone stealing it.
    Copy protection is dumb. Copyright is not dumb.
    Personally, I don’t think copyrights should be renewable past 50 years anyway and after that it should go into the public domain. The author(s) and/or performer(s) of whatever, be it book, movie, song, will have made their money by that time and will also have had a decent chance for their children or their estate to get money from the piece by that time too. After that, it should be fair game for anyone.
    Copyrights for software shouldn’t even last that long. Rather, just a few years (don’t ask me how many – 5?) after which technology has changed enough for the original not to be optimal for the newer hardware anyway so off to public domain it goes. Perhaps then we can finally find out ALL the bugs in operating systems!

  5. Currently at work. I sent an e-mail to myself as a reminder. The e-mail subject was Wil Wheaton, the message was “Go to site. Buy things”
    Can’t wait to go home.

  6. Well then, you’re in luck. Go to the book’s page a Lulu, and you’ll find an extensive preview of the interior of the book, including two full chapters, so you know exactly what you’re in for should you choose to buy it.

  7. I tried with Stanza for my iPod touch and it came all all wonky.
    But I picked up the GoodReader PDF app for 99 cents and the book looks awesome on my iPod Touch, Wil!!
    Thanks for doing the PDF thing again…with GoodReader, I’m not able to re-read Sunken Treasure in a less-convoluted format than Stanza!

  8. I see what you did with the pricing of this book 😉
    First, I just want to say thanks for releasing the PDF version of your book. I am still hoping you will release your older books in PDF format as well.
    As for the pricing, I scanned thru the comments and did not see anybody else mention this, so maybe I am the first.
    When you announced that the paper version of the book was released and selling for $19.87 I thought that was kind of an unusual price (usually it’s $19.99). So I figured there had to be some reason for that particular price, and then it hit me (and it really hurt), Star Trek TNG debuted on September 28 1987. So I’m guessing that if JC was born 1,000 years later the book would’ve only cost $9.87 😉
    Anyway, thanks again and do I win a “No Prize” for that observation or is that just all in my mind?

  9. I’ll happily jump through the hoops, but you should know that Lulu is messing with you/me more than a little.
    1) Searching for “Wheaton” or “wil wheaton” produces two hits, neither of which are Memories of the Future
    2) I can’t for the life of me find a way to pay you for 2 copies of the PDF at one time. The one time I got Lulu to add a second it very helpfully insisted in automatically reducing the quantity to 1 since I already had that item in my cart.
    Anyway, I’ll just make two seperate orders since it doesn’t cost me anything extra (no shipping for bits, imagine that!) so that I can legally give 1 copy to a co-worker as a gift.

  10. Just so you know, it won’t actually LET ME pay you twice! ARGHHH!! Now that I’ve paid for 1 copy, every time I try to add it to my cart it refuses to do so.
    I guess I’ll just have to buy something else from you to make it even!

  11. Oh, by all means scheme away. I’ll anxiously await the results. In fact, I’m amusing myself by imagining them now.
    Also? You figure prominently in a recent contest entry over on Scalzi’s blog. Said entry won said contest, and it was written by a dear friend of mine.
    Here it is, if you’re interested.
    OH, and did I mention the prize for this contest is a DVD set of the original The Prisoner? Huh?

  12. A few Sundays ago, I finally decided to plunk down a few shiny rocks for a pdf of Sunken Treasure.
    Bad idea, and by bad I mean good. I devoured it and wanted more, so know that the sampler idea worked on me (even if it was only a damn Hot Cocoa Sampler box). But my entertainment budget was down to zero, so I decided my next book would be this blog, from its start. I began with Where’s My Burrito, got through the Multipost Challenge, and eventually made my way to the current format. I just caught up a little while ago, and as with all good books – er, written work, I wish I would have savored it for a just a little bit longer.
    How does one respond to 8 (?!?) years worth of blogging? I’ll just type the short version: Thank you. Very much.
    Memories of the Future pdf and The Happiest Days of Our Lives audiobook have been purchased – it’s my own personal budgetpack.
    And now that I feel like the world’s biggest dork, I’ll just quietly slip away…

  13. I have no more rooms for books period (I live in a twenty by twenty foot efficiency, and I’d say it looks like Read or Die in here). So I’ve been filling my hard drive and not my living space buying ebooks. Thank you SO much for making this available as a PDF. I bought it immediately upon seeing your post and devoured it. Can’t wait for the next installment! Please please continue to make them available in PDF format – it is much easier to spend my money on your awesome books if I don’t have to worry about my collection avalanching and killing me in my sleep. Thank you Wil Wheaton!

  14. Wil, you could answer those who clamor for a Kindle edition by letting them know that Kindle owners can, for free, convert the PDF version to Kindle format by emailing it to at free dot kindle dot com, downloading it in the email they get back, and transferring it to the Kindle via USB. I do this with PDF books all the time and it works VERY well.

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