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Baen Books

Genre fiction is extremely popular in e-books, publishers find
June 26, 2013 | 6:56 pm

red planet jupiterSpeaking of Baen, Wired misses a perfectly good opportunity to speak of Baen in an article about why big publishers seem to think genre fiction is the future of e-books. The article looks at how all the recent digital-only imprints the Big Six have been launching lately all seem to focus on genre fiction—science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance. Traditionally, these markets’ sales have always lagged behind “mainstream” literary fiction. However, Random House VP and digital publishing director Allison Dobson says that the digital marketplace has different priorities. Genre fans were the biggest e-book “early adopters” and even now some genre titles...

Baen fans organize fundraiser to give Kindles stocked with Baen e-books to injured soldiers
June 26, 2013 | 5:28 pm

Political/military SF publisher Baen and its fans have long been gung-ho about supporting our troops, and since 2009 some fans have been running a yearly campaign called Operation Baen Bulk to raise money to send goodies to soldiers in need. This year’s campaign is aimed at sending Kindles pre-loaded with over 100 Baen e-books to soldiers recovering from service-related injuries in military hospitals in Fort Bragg, Camp LeJeune, and possibly other facilities if they beat their fundraising goal. They are campaigning to raise at least $3,500 toward that end. Each $100 they raise will pay for buying and shipping...

Baen soon coming to iBooks, finally posts announcements of changes to web site
January 24, 2013 | 8:13 pm

A month and a half since Baen made the jump to Amazon availability, the publisher is about to add another feather to its cap. On her forum on the Baen Bar, publisher Toni Weisskopf has mentioned that Baen e-books will soon be available DRM-free in Apple’s iBooks store. A formal announcement will be made when the exact timeframe has been nailed down. As with the current Amazon deal, EARCs and monthly discount bundles will continue to be exclusive to Baen. The time since the program happened has seen some minor controversy erupt on the Baen Bar. After December 15th,...

Baen/Amazon deal takes effect December 15
December 12, 2012 | 11:31 pm

Since I originally posted about Baen’s deal with Amazon, a couple more details of about the deal have come to light. First of all, the deadline for buying any of the old Baen bundles is Saturday, December 15th. That’s when the deal with Amazon goes live, and the old $10, $15, and $18 monthly bundles vanish, replaced by the higher-priced single books only. If there are any old bundles you might want, better look at and snap them up now. They’ll soon be gone. Second, there has been some discussion over what is to happen with the monthly serialized...

Baen inks deal with Amazon, makes major changes to Webscriptions and Free Library
December 9, 2012 | 11:22 pm

Toni Weisskopf has posted a series of messages to the Baen Bar indicating major changes in the offing for the Baen Ebooks (nee Webscriptions) store. Baen is finally on the verge of getting its titles placed directly into Amazon (and is negotiating with others such as Barnes & Noble, etc.) The problem is, that comes with pesky contractual obligations. The changes amount to the following: “Old” bundles containing books that have already been published will no longer be available for bundle-priced purchase. (Already-purchased ones should still be available for download, though it is possible some books may...

E-Book Review: Echoes of Honor (Honor Harrington #8)
June 26, 2012 | 8:15 pm

EoH_6It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but I still mean to get the whole series reviewed so it’s time I got around to another one. As with prior reviews in the series, in each review I’ll include spoilers for previous books or stories but not spoil the ending of the current one. (Too much, anyway.) Remember that if you should want to read this or other books in the series based on my reviews, all the books up through Mission of Honor are available as free e-books via the Fifth Imperium Baen CD site, from...

Crain’s New York Business profiles Tor DRM-free e-book store plans
June 26, 2012 | 7:06 pm

Crain’s New York Business has a profile of Tor’s plan for a DRM-free e-book store. (The article is paywalled, but you can read it via Google News search.) It summarizes the situation with the DoJ antitrust lawsuit, and points to that suit and the success of the DRM-free Harry Potter e-book store as the reason publishers are seriously considering DRM-free options. That said, there is some new material here. Tor founder Tom Doherty and manager of science fiction Patrick Nielsen Hayden talk about wanting to build the kind of “diverse retail economy” you see in bookstores, and are in...

D2C offers benefits, challenges for publishers—but most US publishers have not signed on
May 24, 2012 | 1:09 am

manifesto-artwork_-copyPublishing Perspectives has another of those guest-column-cum-self-promotional pieces it runs every so often, this one from Jonas Lennermo, creative director of Publit—the company who provides the e-commerce solution used by Harlequin Scandinavia, as well as several large and 200 small publishers in Scandinavia. Lennermo discusses the benefits of publishers selling their books D2C (Direct To Consumer), bringing up O’Reilly and McSweeney’s as examples. (But not Baen, for some reason. Everyone always seems to forget about Baen.) But while O’Reilly and McSweeney’s are publishers who know how to do D2C with smashing success, they also use proprietary, self-developed systems that...

Libraries change with the digital times
May 20, 2012 | 10:15 pm

ghostbusterslibraryI watched Ghostbusters with my parents recently, and as I was watching the first five minutes, featuring a ghost in a big old library, I was struck by how dated that part of the movie is now, with those big card catalog drawers opening and cards spewing out all over. You’d be hard-pressed to find a physical card catalog in many libraries these days; even the small public library from the town where I grew up is all computerized now. And that thought again came to mind when I came across Ars Technica’s look at the present and future...

If publishers cannot control e-book retail prices, how should they set their own?
May 18, 2012 | 12:45 am

On the Columbia Journalism Review, Ryan Chittum has a rebuttal to a number of recent posts about e-book production costs and price, including the post by Mathew Ingram that I covered here. Though the article is replete with quotes and counter-arguments, but the central thrust seems to be that publishers ought to be able to charge what they want to—but they really should be wanting to charge less. At base, copyright holders have the right to ask what they want to get for their work (which is why they were so concerned about Amazon selling ebooks...

The miracle of self-publishing
May 17, 2012 | 12:49 pm

We live in an age of miracles. When you look at the current state of technology, of medicine, of transportation, that’s true in general (even if few people realize it), but it’s particularly true when it comes to publishing. I’ve lately been working my way through Barry Malzberg’s Engines of the Night, a collection of essays about the state of science fiction publishing prior to 1980 (republished by Baen as the first part of Breakfast in the Ruins), and wow is it pessimistic. An oft-repeated theme is how many works of high-quality SF never saw print because the magazine...

Backslash backlash: In Carpe Diem, an e-book markup error also affects print editions
May 15, 2012 | 12:57 am

Carpe Diem - Sharon LeeWe’ve all encountered e-book scanning and markup errors , but most of these errors only affect the e-books themselves. It’s a rare error that actually feeds back into the print editions of the books, too! However, I recently came across just such an error. I was working on the TVTropes page for Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden Universe stories (warning: TVTropes links may be hazardous to your free time) when I got into an argument with another troper over the applicability of a particular trope to the series. Over the course of the argument, it came out that...