(Updated 12/31/2016 – see this blog post)

Mission Critical SQL Server is available for preorder here. Below you’ll find all of the information you need about it. And if this doesn’t answer your questions, post a comment or contact us.
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1. Why am I publishing the book on my own this time?

This is not because I had a falling out with Apress; we’re on good terms. We just didn’t agree on the vision for the content. I wanted a larger no-compromises book more like my Pro SQL Server 2005 High Availability one; they did not. It’s really that simple. With all of the changes in Windows and SQL Server just through their 2012 versions (as well as SQL Server 2014), this is not going to be anything approximating a 300 page book; that’s too tiny and would be too incomplete. You guys benefit from my being unwilling to compromise here, but I get to drive myself nuts in the process being the perfectionist I am. After this book I may do another for Apress again if this book doesn’t beat me!

2. What versions of Windows and SQL Server are covered in the First Edition?

See the product description on the store for details.

3. What electronic format(s) will Mission Critical SQL Server be available in?

Initially, the eBook and all associated content will be in the ubiquitous Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) format. Most platforms have programs that can read this for free even if your preferred platform isn’t Windows. I hope to offer it in other formats like Kindle/Mobi, ePub, and maybe iBook in the future.

4. Will there be digital rights management (DRM) on the PDF file(s)?

This is a sticky wicket. DRM makes life hard and I respect people do not want it. Passwords make it difficult to put on reading devices. Non-DRMed files make it easier to consume. At the same time, I also don’t want to see my content thrown up for free on some torrent site, nor do I want people to be able to easily republish it. Each copy will essentially be watermarked for who buys it and restrictions as laid out in Mission Critical SQL Server Store and Content Terms apply.

5. Will I only be able to buy Mission Critical SQL Server at http://sqlha.contentshelf.com/shop?

For now, yes. I hope to offer the book elsewhere over time. As noted in #2, the goal is to convert the content to other popular formats such as ePub and Kindle/Mobi – maybe even iBooks. That would need to happen before I can offer the content elsewhere. With the number of graphic elements in the book, that may prove to be both challenging and expensive. If you are wanting another format, contact us. The more evidence I have, the more likely it will be to happen. Converting it to other formats will be costly, so if there is not enough interest, I may not be able to do it. I am being realistic here.

6. I live in <insert country here>. Can I buy the book?

Yes. As long as you can check out, it’s a digital download making it easy to get to you. All prices are in US Dollars.

7. I live in <insert country here> and do not read or speak English well. Will you be offering non-English versions of the book?

There are no plans for the book to be translated to other languages.

8. Will there be a physical/print version of the book?

I would love to be able to offer one. Once the book is complete and I know a page count, I may reconsider a print version if it is possible and the cost will not be astronomical. Stay tuned.

9. What is an updated content subscription and why are you offering one?

Books are like snapshots: they are a moment frozen in time. Updating them is difficult and usually there is a long time between releases. A lot can change in a few months, a year, two years.What I’ve decided to do to combat that is to offer a subscription where you will get all the updated content as it is finished. For example, once SQL Sever 2016 and Windows Server 2016 are released, those updates could be incorporated before doing a major edition of the book which would be a year or two out. This gets you newer content quicker – if you want it.

Also, since the release cadence is changing for the Microsoft server products, traditional publishing just may not be possible for specific versions. By the time you’re done writing it, it’s obsolete. I want to have a good foundation to build upon and just extend it. Hope that makes sense.

10. How long does a subscription last?

It’s a yearly subscription which you will manually have to resubscribe to.

UPDATE 5/21/2015: If you preordered the book with an update subscription prior to May 31, 2015, look for an e-mail from me soon. Post-May 31, it will be only one year from the date that this edition of the book is published. So if it is officially released, say, on 10/1/15, your subscription would end on 9/30/16 if not renewed.

11. How much is a subscription renewal?

It’s $25/year. And as pointed out in the previous question’s answer, you elect to renew or not. My goal is to provide high value content so that you want to.

12. Do I need to buy the book again when you publish a new edition and I already have an updated content subscription?

If you have an active subscription, no. The goal is to only have you buy one major edition of the book and then you get updates as they happen. Information changes over time, and I’m trying to be agile and deliver you content ASAP and not have to wait years between releases. If you only want to consume major versions, just buy the new edition of the eBook when it is published. Simple.

13. If I buy the book from anywhere else but your store, can I get a updated content subscription?

No. If I do convert the book to other formats and offer it for sale elsewhere such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., those stores will only get the major edition (i.e. First Edition, Second Edition, etc.).  I have to give myself some sort of exclusive, right? I may change my mind on this once the book is available elsewhere and offer something. Time will tell, but do not hold your breath.

14. Can I get access to pre-release content like other publishers offer?

Yes. It’s not free, but it is pretty cheap considering you’ll get to see things months in advance. Two of the bundles offer this option. There is currently pre-release content with more coming. Remember that the pre-release content has not been reviewed or edited, so it’s going to be raw and could contain errors.

15. Why are things priced the way they are?

I can tell you from authoring books in the past I make pennies on the proverbial dollar taking into account all the work and hours I put into the final product. This time, since I’m self-publishing, I make even less PLUS I’ve got very real, very tangible costs I need to deal with such as editing as well as costs for hosting and selling the book (including fees associated with subscriptions). I am not rich. I can’t operate at a substantial loss. I also know that I can’t charge $100+ for an eBook. I’ve priced the main eBook competitively with other similarly priced books even though it will be larger than most of them. I think it represents good value for the price you’ll pay.

16. Do you offer discounts or coupons?

I run specials, so check the store.

17. Can I use the PDF(s) I get from you directly on any device I own?

Absolutely! See our Mission Critical SQL Server Store and Content Terms for more detail. There’s a reason I chose this format.

18. Can I buy multiple copies of the for multiple people such as a class, seminar, DBA department, etc.?

Contact us and we’ll see what we can work out for your bulk needs.

19. Can I share the PDF(s) of the content with people I know? They’re really nice people and need some information on these subjects. I vouch for them.

NO! The copy you purchase is only licensed for the person buying the book (hence the watermark). I didn’t put DRM or passwords on it. Respect me and ensure that everyone buys their own copy. And if you upload the content to some nefarious site, I’ll see the watermark. It’s things like this that would make me never do this again. I know I can’t stop it 100%, but you hurt me more than you help me.

20. What if I am unsure if I want to buy it? Will you have some sort of a sample for me to look at?

I am planning on providing this as things get finished and posted; nothing is ready yet. If you have read any of my other books or writings, though, you have an idea of what you’re in for. 🙂

[Updated 5/21/15] 21. It’s May 2015. Is the book done?
See this blog post for more details.