How to Keep Your Secret Project Secret

That’s right. I’ve written a novel.

No, this is not an April Fool’s joke.

It’s called Off to Be the Wizard. It is about hackers, time travel, and wizards, and it is definitely NOT an April Fool’s Day joke.

It’s available for the Kindle (US, UK) the Nook, and in old-school, dead tree form. If you don’t feel like risking four to ten dollars on a first time novelist, you can download a free sample.

I’ve always wanted to write a novel. Now I have, and I am ridiculously proud of it. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it.

Thank you for your time, and for understanding that THIS IS NOT AN APRIL FOOL’S DAY JOKE!

Oh, and thanks as always for using my Amazon Affiliate links (USUKCanada).

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Reader Comments (63)

Were you too excited to wait until Monday, or were you genuinely afraid people would assume it was an April Fools' Joke?

By the way, for the other readers, I'm one of Scott's subscribers, so I learned about this project a couple of weeks ago. I read the sample and got so hooked that I immediately picked up the ebook version, and stayed hooked right through a refreshingly satisfying ending (and I would love to elaborate on that, but doing so would involve spoiling one of the most hilarious double-takes a book has ever given me). Anyway, "Off to Be the Wizard" is great fun. Myself, my wife, and my six year old kid have all decided that Scott knows how to tell a good story.

Note from Scott: Aw, shucks. Actually, I always post comics at 6PM eastern time, the day before the official posting date. I considered posting this one earlier, but decided to be patient.

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMason

Liking the book so far. Will probably buy it. For some reason though, my coccyx aches in sympathy....

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I believe I just had a fangasm.

I will read the hell out of your novel.

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZaidValRoa

Saying the book is not an April Fool's joke three times can only make people question if it's an April Fool's day joke. I think once would have been enough. I hope it's real though, I want it.

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJacob

Of course it's not an April fools' day joke! April fools' day is tomorrow, it's a pre-April not-fools' day joke.

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTimothy

This made me LoL: "He spent a lot of time thinking about himself and had come to the conclusion that he was definitely not self-absorbed." Sold! (Seriously, I bought it just now. Everybody buy it; the cool kids are doing it.)

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterX

I laughed when I saw "Rocket Hat Industries" on the Amazon page.

I laughed even harder when I did a Google search for it, and the first result said Jenkins! - I guess your site wasn't ready the last time Google's robot paid a visit.

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

I can't help but suspect that this is an April Fool's joke...

But seriously, I am super excited right now! I shall buy your book with nary a doubt in my mind of its excellence!

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

So the free part of the book has piqued my interest, but I'm wondering: as a European (a Dutchman, to be precise), what are my options for acquiring this wondrous collection of words, sentences & paragraphs combined into a solid mass of entertainment?

Note from Scott: I only had affiliate links to the US and UK versions of Amazon, but I believe that if you search your localized Amazon page, you should find the book there.

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoris

@Timothy -- Shouldn't that be:
"a pre-April not-fools' night joke" ?

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNit(e)Picking4fun

Saw that you wrote novel. Stop
Followed affiliate link, purchased same. Stop
Hope you will do likewise for me someday. Stop
Fondest regards, best wishes

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Is it possible to download the free sample in simple .txt format? I do all my ebook reading on an old device that doesn't show PDFs very well.

Note from Scott: Sure. here's the download URL.

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEsn

What, no hardcover bonded leather edition? I just don't know if I could actually put a paperback on the shelf with all my nice, impressive looking volumes. But how can I resist...

On the comic, love panel one. It's disturbingly true. I've had to just force myself to stop being on the computer so much in order to be more productive. Of course, there's still TV and video games, so that hasn't quite worked out very well, but still.

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChaos

After reading the sample, I get the distinct impression the story got some ideas from Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court".

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTed

Has to be one of the most novel book launches ever - by an scan one comic! I Bought it and looking forward to a great read.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIan

Well I guess it's time for me to make my first e-book purchase.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Do nothing more efficiently? - or more EFFECTIVELY?

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaddy

I write for The Numbers and every week we have a box office prediction contest. If I bought three copies, could you sign them so I could away two of them as part of these contests?

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterC.S.Strowbridge

Obviously, from the comments posted so far, saying "This is not an April Fools joke" on April Fools day is a lot like Harcourt Fenton Mudd saying "I am lying" to the robot.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Walters

If computer programming in mediaeval England is your thing, may I also recommend the "Wiz" series of books, by Rick Cook?

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Enjoying the sample so far, but I don't have a Kindle or Nook, but also don't want to wait for delivery. Is there any way to just buy a .PDF download (or similar)?

Note from Scott:Sadly, not at the moment. Sorry.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaf

I just downloaded the book to my iPhone! So I can do nothing (except read) while on the go!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermohrorless

@Scott, which version do you make more money from, e-book or dead tree-book? Or is it virtually the same?

Note from Scott: I calibrated the price so it's pretty close to the same, but the dead-tree version bought from the CreateSpace page is the most profitable. I appreciate you asking, but I'm far more interested in you reading and enjoying the book, then (hopefully) telling everyone you know about it.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDane


April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterResuna

OMG that was AWESOME. I'd like to record your audiobook for you. Where can I send you a sample?

You'll have to get in the audition line behind me. :) ~Missy

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBI Fan

I won't read the sample. Ill go and buy at once. Will there be book signings?

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercisco

No love for Google Play? I'll still buy it on Kindle or Nook. (Which one gives *you* the most money, Scott?) But I wish it had a PlayBooks edition.

Note from Scott: PlayBooks is something I'm looking into for the future. Sorry it's not there at launch. Anyway, since you asked, the most profitable version for me is the paper version, purchased through CreateSpace directly, but really, don't worry about it. If you want to help me out, please just buy the book in whatever format you're most likely to enjoy reading it, then tell people if you liked it. (Reviewing it in whatever store you bought it from wouldn't hurt either.)

Thanks for asking.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan Carey (SeaMonkey)

I read the sample and immediately bought the book on my kindle. Can't wait to read the rest! Comic was hilarious as usual.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattKaiser

I'm not familiar with CreateSpace and don't have an account. Do I use my existing ID or do I need to make a new one?

Note from Scott:I think it's just youy Amazon account, but if you're nervous about it, the paper version is also available directly from Amazon.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereager2buy

After reading and loving the sample, I posted a comment on Facebook alerting my friends and family to how much I enjoyed it and how I'm looking forward to reading the full print version (nothing like holding an actual book in your hands and enjoying seeing it on the old bookshelf). A friend saw my post and immediately bought the Kindle version, thinking it was a book she'd heard about that was written by a relative of mine. She was just being nice, but it certainly paid off for her. She's loving it! Sometimes good deeds pay off for the good-deed doer.

Note from Scott: Sounds like everybody won! Thanks for helping spread the word.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Darn you, Scott! Just when I thought I'd finally broken my reading addiction, you come along with a something like this - and the first hit was free, too! I'm sorry, I'm too weak to resist!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGreenegg

"Martin Banks" is the name of a prestigious (US) law firm specializing in workers' compensation. Was this deliberate?

Note from Scott: No, it was not.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoss Presser

I just read the sample and immediately ordered the hardcopy version from Amazon. Great reading and I can't wait to dive into the full book.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

@Ross Presser, I doubt it was deliberate. They probably named their law firm before this book even came out.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Banks

Tell us how it sells! And, while you're at it, how many people read this webcomic? I have my own minor on-line fan-base, and want to have an idea what fraction of them might buy a novel from me.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

I might not ever read it, but i am happy to throw a few shekels your way, and this seems a decent approach.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterceolaf

Wow, a great page turner. Well written, couldn't put it down. Hope you're already working on a sequel or an equally interesting new story! :)

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie knight

Hey Scott,

The link to buy your book is not immediately obvious to this person reading the sample and then coming to the front page and looking for the link to buy the book.

Just FYI.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Lightholder

I enjoyed the sample, grabbed the ebook, and wolfed down the rest, half on my phone while pretending to do other things -- well done Scott!

I notice possible though tenuous links to another book I've enjoyed thoroughly... have you read HPMoR? If not, google is your friend, and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoyed, or indeed authored, Scott's novel!

Note from scott: i have not read that, but I will look it up. I'm delighted that you nejoyed my book!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobW

Got it on Kindle. Have you thought of turning it into an audiobook? can help with that. Full disclosure, this fan works at

Note from Scott: I had no idea that existed. Genuinely interesting. Thanks!

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHassan
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