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Baen Books

Ryk Spoor launches Kickstarter to fund new Oz novel
March 15, 2014 | 5:27 am

polychromeHere’s a worthy-looking Kickstarter project. Ryk Spoor, one of the Baen stable of authors, is looking to self-publish Polychrome, his modern-day pastiche on the public-domain Oz setting. He’s already offered it to multiple publishers, but none of them seems to have been able to figure out quite what to do with it. He hopes to raise at least $5,000 to cover the cost of having the book professionally edited, formatted, and polished up for self-publication. Of course, you can make the argument that he could just self-publish it as-is, for free; if it’s good enough for a zillion other...

Surprise! Most consumers buy e-books from a single retailer
January 22, 2014 | 5:33 am

At Digital Book World, book industry research firm Codex Group has some news for you that will completely shock and surprise you: in a survey of just over 2,000 people who buy e-books, 86% buy them from only one retailer. Those who buy books from Amazon tend to keep buying them from Amazon, etc. Oh, wait. Maybe that won’t shock and surprise you after all. Maybe it’s completely what you expected given that most major e-book vendors have erected walled gardens around their content to keep you from taking it out to another garden. If you buy books from...

Baen’s new mobile site and app show promise
December 23, 2013 | 4:51 pm

Screenshot_2013-12-23-16-09-21Today I was reminded that Baen has a mobile version of its website and mobile apps under development. I’ve been trying out the Android version, which can be found in the “Baen Mobile” forum on the Baen Bar. It offers some interesting features, but is a bit rough and unpolished as of yet—it is early beta, after all. The app promises a convenient way to access both your library and the Baen Bar, but it seems to have some way to go yet. The feature that lets you download books into the app to read them there has a...

Fiction Bundle joins the DRM-free pay-what-you-want e-book bundle crowd
November 30, 2013 | 9:54 am

Fullscreen capture 11302013 94959 AM.bmpThe Humble Indie Bundle has done a lot to put independent and even some big studio software titles on many people’s virtual gaming shelves, but I haven’t seen all that many game bundle sites spring up in imitation of it. I can recall maybe one or two, but not more than that. But once the idea jumped over to e-books, it seems as though you hear about a new e-book bundle every other month. Humble has done it not just once (raising a respectable $1.2 million!) but twice, Storybundle has done it a few times, and Snug Nugget, Tomely,...

Refurbished Nook Simple Touch: $40 on eBay
September 24, 2013 | 4:48 am

If you’re looking for a good cheap e-reader, an eBay seller is running a $40 with free shipping special on refurbished Nook Simple Touch units. This is B&N’s 2011 model, a 6” 800x600 unlit Pearl e-ink reader that can do EPUB, including Barnes & Noble’s and Adobe Digital Editions’ DRM. It has 2 GB of onboard storage, plus an SD card slot for loading more media. If you’re invested in Barnes & Noble’s content ecosystem (for example, you have a lot of e-books from eReader/Fictionwise that got imported to B&N after it shut those stores down), or just want something...

E-commerce services can let authors avoid the 30% ‘Amazon tax,’ but is that worth it?
August 13, 2013 | 1:54 am

On Forbes, Michael Wolf has an article looking at four ways to avoid the “Amazon tax,” the 30% agent fee (or 65% if your book’s price falls outside a certain range) that Amazon takes for selling a self-published book. Wolf notes that some authors are famous enough on their own that they drive many sales themselves, without Amazon’s help, which means that 30% fee is a “heavy tax” on the sales they do make. So what can they do? Well, in today’s democratized publishing world, there are an increasing number of payment and delivery platforms that...

Can e-books be made worthwhile for everyone?
August 10, 2013 | 12:05 pm

siloOn Studio Tendra, Baldur Bjarnason has been writing a series of posts on e-books relating to the missed opportunities that make e-books not as good as regular books. In his first two posts, about e-book silos (“silo” being the term for an ecosystem that locks the user in), he discusses the way that the current crop of one-size-fits-all ereader applications cater to the lowest common denominator but fall short where readers for special needs could help students, researchers, writers, comic book fans, and so forth. They also make it difficult to export notes and annotations made while reading the book...

Baen places e-books in Sony store
August 9, 2013 | 11:06 pm

Fullscreen capture 892013 100234 PM.bmpAnother brief Baen update: Baen e-books have started appearing on the Sony e-book store. It’s hard to tell how many, because it’s apparently not possible to search by publisher, but a number of Baen David Weber, David Drake, and other titles have started to show up. Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf said on the Baen Bar that a press release had been approved and was supposed to go out today, though I don’t find any sign of it on Google News yet. The biggest surprise for me in all this is really that Sony is still selling e-books at all....

Baen news: Changes to bundle gifting; Baen Bulk fundraiser update
August 8, 2013 | 7:55 pm

Here are a couple of news items from the Baen Bar. The first and most important has to do with the way in which Baen e-book buyers are able to pass along freebies to their friends. Until now, the way it worked was that someone would buy one of Baen’s monthly bundles of e-books, in which a half dozen or so books were sold for $18 together, and would then be able to pass the exact same bundle along free in an email to any friend who was not already a Baen member. That friend could then log in and...

The ‘Cuckoo’ calls for e-books
July 18, 2013 | 8:12 pm

Laura Hazard Owen (you know, if my middle name was as cool as “Hazard,” I’d probably use it all the time too) has an article over on paidContent discussing the splash that The Cuckoo’s Calling has made unexpectedly among bookstores and and e-book stores alike. Joanna mentioned this article earlier, but missed the most exciting part: This is freaking out bricks-and-mortar booksellers who fear that by the time that they finally get print copies in, everyone will already have read it on Kindle. The New York Times quotes one store owner: “People who can’t get it...

When e-books hand you a lemon, make lemonade
July 16, 2013 | 3:15 am

insights_lemon_carFor some reason that’s unclear to me, cars seem to be one of the favorite metaphors for intellectual property. You can’t read very many discussions of piracy without some misguided soul spouting, “You wouldn’t steal a car, would you?” (And occasionally someone points out the inadequacy of this metaphor by replying, “No, but I’d happily duplicate the car and drive off in my copy of it!”) But on the blog Studio Tendra, Baldur Bjarnason compares e-books to cars in a different and rather intriguing way. They are, he says, essentially all lemons. Bjarnason is speaking in context of...

New children’s e-book program Nintendo’s first official foray into e-books, but far from first for the Game Boy
July 4, 2013 | 4:47 am

Happy Fourth, to those of our readership who observe it! Rocketnews has a comprehensive English-language report on some new Nintendo-related e-book news. Nintendo is launching an e-book program for its 3DS handhelds aimed at grade-school kids, with 300 Japanese children’s books available. Whereas Nintendo used to be the undisputed king of console and mobile gaming, and still does well in Japan, its numbers have been declining abroad as more and more kids turn to smartphones and tablets and the gaming possibilities they represent. Hence, it’s starting to explore new markets. On The Digital Reader, Nate Hoffelder mentions...