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Episode 26: Nerdist Podcast
Scott Sigler
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast #26: Scott Sigler

Scott Sigler is the NY Times Bestselling author of Contagious, Infected and the latest smash hit Ancestor. He has also been giving audiobook versions of his work in the form of a FREE PODCAST (that medium will NEVER catch on) for the last five years. Now that is some forward thinkin’ right there…

In this ep we chat about extra-terrestrial sports, self-marketing and how he would have written Aliens.
Find him, appropriately, at

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  1. athenaktt says:

    I know this comment is way late, but I recently discovered the Nerdist and I’ve been spending the last couple months catching up on the podcasts. But I just wanted to say I was really happy to hear Scott Sigler mention Scrivener!

    I agree it is one of the best writing programs a novelist/writer can have, and it is quite affordable. It is even better now that Scrivener has a PC version out now too! Also Scrivener is a sponsor of NaNoWriMo, so how can one not love them?!

    Speaking of NaNoWriMo, have you guys ever considered doing a little interview with the LA Region Municipal Liaisons since LA is one of the largest regions participating in NaNo with over 10,000 participants last year? Also last year LA managed to raise over $9,000 for the Office of Letters and Light. We’re going to try for $10,000 this year. Go LA!

    Great job on the podcasts, guys! And as an aspiring writer, you guys are an inspiration. Thanks!

  2. Mo says:

    I just want to first of all thank you for all of these great interviews and podcasts. I only started listening a couple of months ago and now all I’ve been listening to as I drive are the nerdist podcasts I’ve missed out on.

    yesterday I listened to this particular episode and decided, “Damn it, that’s what I’m going to do!” Taking a page from Sigler’s playbook I started a podcast today and am going to serialize my own books to help get them out there.

    Listening to your show has often helped to inspire me to get off my duff and get back to work on my creative aspirations when you speak to writers and comedians about what drives them and their processes. And now you’ve helped inspire me again to help improve myself.

    Love the show, keep up the great work, and a shout out to buy my books on for the Kindle service would also be killer.

    However, you pricks have caused me to eat more burritos, some of which I do NOT enjoy.

  3. Mike says:

    Just stumbled upon this interview, I’ve been a long time listener of Scott’s podcasts from the beginning. This guy is great, his production goes far beyond the typical audiobook narration. Adding sound effects, voice morphing etc. Great storyteller as well, I can’t count the number of times I reached the end of that weeks podcast yelling at my iPod “Dammit!!! F*#$* You Sigler!!!” when I realize I have to wait a week for the next episode.

  4. Todd B. says:

    Love the show and sorry for the late response. I’m just getting caught up on all my strenuous podcast listening. On the topic of Nielsen ratings. I’ve recently been invited to participate and there is no box. Absolutely no use of modern technology. They give you a TV diary. A paper TV diary. You fill it out with a writing utensil. Like a fucking savage.

    In this diary they have a page for you to write in all the channels you have access to. I have satellite. I also said fuck it after listing 35 channels. They then want you document when you watch TV and if you DVR (hell yeah I do), when it was recorded from which channel.
    The times are broken down to 15 min intervals. Shit.

    It is time consuming and cuts too deep into my valuable idiot box staring time. My viewing period was a few weeks ago and I’m still putting off filling the damn thing out.

  5. Nick Puleio says:

    Great show. I just have to say Scott Sigler sounds like Tom Hanks to me. I love both of your work keep it up.

  6. Yeahso, I JUST got to finish listening to this like ten goddamn days late and OMG <3s! Thanks for all of the shoutouts, you crazy kids. Hearts and ponies and sparkles!

  7. Grant says:

    Chris, I’d be interested to hear about what productivity and time management books you recommend (you made a reference to reading them insatiably in this episode). It’s something that I struggle with professionally, as I never really developed those skills growing up (I just sort of coasted through school). A post with some recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

  8. N17pr says:

    LOVE THE SHOW. It may be the very best thing on the internet period. I have always been a nerd and slightly ashamed of it, but after listening to the NERDIST (great name – never change it) i feel… well… privileged.

    Please do this forever Hardwick, I can’t believe you put out such an outstanding show for free.

    P.S. You should have Burnie Burns from Roosterteeth on. Nerdy podcast union = win.

    P.P.S. just wanted to ask other listeners: am i crazy for listening to each Podcast 4 times? or do other people listen to it as much?

  9. teezecrost says:

    Chris, the show keeps getting better and better. Can’t WAIT for the Fred Willard episode!!

    *Also, I don’t know how enthused you are with the idea of advertising, but I have a business I’m trying to get off the ground, and I’d love to do some kind of advertising on your show, or site, or what have you. If you happen to read this, please drop me a line!

    PS totally agree that podcasting need a rename, and thought Scott was a great guest. Kudos to him for embracing the format!

  10. Kait MacMurray says:


    It was Battlestar Pegasus, Scott. Sheesh!

  11. Locke says:

    Update: I listened to the CRAP out of the interview and it was good.

    The Joan Rivers part was AWESOME. I think she’s focused her career on being this “over-opinionated hag” character for ages. I heard in an interview that she suggested that her daughter pose in Playboy. Not that I’m some sort of boob-driven mule, but the fact that Joan claimed she tried to push Melissa to show ’em makes me have daydreams about driving around a posh country club with her and a pair of paintball guns…high on martinis.

    However, I think the most important part of this episode was the topic of tabletop RPGs. Dungeons and Dragons?!?!? Champions?!?! I’m -trying- to do a little bit of writing myself and I’ve totally used my D&D groups as test-zones for various plot devices. Totally cool to hear that this is/was a part of Sigler’s lab.

    Thanks for the Ep.

  12. Gabrielle says:

    Another interesting conversation! Between hearing this yesterday and then reading the post on watch mechanics, it got me thinking: when it comes to authors, would love to hear you wield that interviewing prowess with… (*drum roll*)… Neal Stephenson.

  13. Rachel says:

    This was definitely one of my favorite Nerdist podcasts yet. Good job, Scott and Chris.

  14. The Ginger says:

    As a homo I didn’t find Scott’s use of the word “gay” offensive. Sadly, it’s worked it’s way into a social norm of being used negatively, and we mo’s just have to accept it. Well, I cringe a little anytime it’s used that way, and I ask people to try and use a more appropriate word, but that’s about all I can do. No sense getting worked up, especially when it’s coming from such an amazing writer. After listening to this cast I downloaded Infected and I got hooked! Thanks again for another great podcast! Hurry up and put out another!

  15. Shane says:

    I listen to siglers podcast while on road trips, I hate driving long distances, but they are so good i am frustrated when i get there because the stories have you so drawn in….he and J.C. Hutchins both tell great suspenseful stories that you can’t stop listening to.

  16. Scott Sigler says:

    Matt DH: Sorry if the “gay” comment was offensive. My bad. That said, I agree with Chris about Joan Rivers. She shits on people for no reason, simply because of what they like to wear. I think that’s a vile way to make a living. It sucks, because she’s a brilliant comedian and has actually produced great content for most of her life.

  17. Chris Hardwick says:

    Matt DH: If you feel the word “gay” was misused, I can totally understand that and I apologize.

    Your Joan Rivers gripe, however, is…well…idiotic. I’m sorry! I tried to think of a gentler way to express that but I just can’t find one! How could anyone tear into poor Joan Rivers? Because she has made MILLIONS of dollars by verbally shitting on people. FOR DECADES. At this point, anyone can say whatever they want about Joan Rivers because that is the dynamic she herself has established. Also she looks like she is made of taffy now. Salty painted taffy.

    And thanks to everyone else who enjoyed the show!!! I’ve been traveling quite a bit, so this ep was recorded in SF, ergo no Matt & Jonah.

  18. Matt DH says:

    What a rude guest. He used the word “gay” as a synonym for stupid, which immediately turned me off. And then he tore apart Joan Rivers for some reason? Why? Won’t be looking into his books or future projects, he really said some very unkind things.

  19. SK says:

    Holy shitballs Scott Sigler is awesome. Just hearing him talk about how he does what he does was incredible. He was an absolute delight to listen to and you guys had a great rapport. I’ve (embarrassingly) never listened to an audiobook before but I’ll definitely be checking his stuff out.

    I think another positive aspect to putting out free content is that it generates a lot of goodwill from your followers. Fans are appreciative of the generosity you show in providing the content for free, and we’re often more than willing to spend the money to support it when that time comes. If it’s a great quality product that I enjoy and would love to see grow, I’m thrilled to be able to support it in whatever way I can.

  20. Sonya says:

    I have been looking for something new to read. I am definitely going to check out Sigler’s books.

  21. jessica says:

    soooooooooo good.

    i am now downloading his books from his ‘cast and i am so eff-bombing excited.

    i, too, missed Matt and Jonah.


    you did a great job, Nerdist, and <3#Hardwick4Hulk<3

    exes, ohs, things,

  22. bob says:

    Yes. More of this, please.

  23. Selene says:

    Another amazing podcast! ^_^

    BTW, why weren’t Matt and Jonah on the podcast?

  24. Scott Sigler says:

    Chris, thanks again for having me on the show. And to all y’all who are buying my books because of this episode, I hope you enjoy the reads!

  25. Geoff says:

    another great podcast. thanks chris.

    i was also very excited to hear that you are a Stephen King fan and would want him to come on the podcast. that would definitely be a great episode!

  26. Lee says:

    I read a negative iTunes review of one of Scott Sigler’s podcast that painted him as some talentless ego maniac before I listened to it and to make things worse I listened to an episode where he talked about his excitement over a new project and I totally misread his excitement as an inflated ego.

    I’m glad I caught this interview. Sigler seems like a great guy and I’m going to check his stuff out again. If I like it I’m defiantly forcing it on my friends and gushing about it on twitter like I do my other obsessions.

  27. R. Lee Blackwell says:

    Had never heard of this dude before today, have been listening to Infected for the last few hours and plan on buying Ancestor or whatever of his I can find on my way home tonight. Thanks for clueing me in and and thanks Scott for putting your stuff out there like that. I prefer reading to listening so using the podbook to lure people like me in is a great idea. Though I do love the character voices in the audio version

  28. Brad says:

    I’m enjoying the podcast immensely, keep it up.

    Nerd-out: In regards to the chess mistake, I think Scott got the criticism backwards. Saying that a knight can’t block a rook makes no sense, but saying that a rook can’t block a knight makes perfect sense in that a knight makes it’s l-shaped movement without regard to what pieces lie in the intervening spaces.

  29. Ian Trout says:

    I just got done with podcast and I’m going to go download his books as soon as I get home. I also agree that you should come up with a new term instead of podcasting.

  30. Hurricane Ditka says:

    Thank you Scott for using reality in your writing! AND I DONT EVEN READ!!!!! that much

  31. John says:

    Contrary to popular belief, Radiohead was NOT the first band to release a free album. The Smashing Pumpkins released Machine II back in 2000 free to all.

    Sorry, I had to make the Internet yell at you.

  32. Locke says:

    I was surprised to hear the Sigler mention on the Maria Bamford podcast, doubly so to see that you’re actually doing one with the MAN. I’m a pretty big fan of Sigler’s work, and I think it’s downright awesome that he’s really pushing his way forward and getting his work out there to everyone.

    I’mma listen to the HELL out of this podcast at work today.

  33. Stacy says:

    Giving the books away on a podcast is kind of like the reverse of Hitchhiker’s Guide, where Adams put out the radio show and then wrote the books. Scott, I look forward to checking out your books!

  34. Bonnie says:

    Thank you, Chris and Scott! This podcast just made my morning!

  35. SpicyCupcake says:

    EEEEEEEAAAAA! (nerd rage noise)

    I know, maybe I’m still too old to be in the post table top generation. I’m 24 and still run a DND game every week! Haha-Oh… I’m reassessing some decisions I’ve made in my life. –Insert Nerdist theme for time fill- No, I’m pretty ok with this. It’s just a different level of fantasy, freedom, and depth of story. Or maybe it takes a narcissistic control freak to collect a group of people, force them to sit around a table for a decade and control what’s going on in their minds for a decade plus.

    When I get off work I will definitely search you out Sigler! I will see if I like your books, but I will likely shout “damn you Sigler!” at awkward times for the rest of my life. You shall be my Arch Nemesis! Now I have accounting to do-OH!…That’s what I did wrong. =)

  36. Young Words says:

    I’m a writer who’s recently been shopping around this novel I wrote and this podcast helped solidify my desire to go the indie route. I know a lot’s changed since Mr. Sigler started in 2005 and the “podiobook” market is a lot more crowded, but I’m confident in my book and I can’t wait to maybe share some of it with the Nerdist commuinity! (It’s not lame, I promise.)

  37. A Kovacs says:

    Yeah, I’m not going to lie, I’m quite tickled to hear my shout-out on this ‘cast! Thanks guys!
    I know I’m not the first to say it, but it’s a great thrill to see Sigler on The Nerdist. Two of my favorites, talking smack about Ira Glass … another favorite!
    I’ve been trying to convince Sigler to watch “Jane White is Sick & Twisted” for about two years. Now I have a fighting chance!

  38. Kijan says:

    oh, and #Hardwick4Hulk

  39. Kijan says:

    you’ve already made me so happy with all your guests! I love the podcast! If you have Marc Maron and Brendon Small on i will be eternally grateful!