View Full Version : Are there publishers like Baen but for other genres?


ficbot
04-20-2010, 05:03 PM
I love the business model of Baen books and would enjoy something like Webscriptions where there is a package you can get every month, DRM-free, at a great price like that. And the free library is a nice touch too.

But I don't read a ton of sci-fi. And not THAT kind of sci-fi. If only Baen published mystery instead of sci-fi, they would probably be my favourite ebook store. Are there any publishers doing something like Webscriptions but for mystery and other genres?

Xanthe
04-20-2010, 09:22 PM
"THAT kind of scifi"? What do you mean by that? Baen has a pretty broad range of the whole genre, including fantasy.

But to answer your question, no I don't know any other genre publisher like that.

fjtorres
04-20-2010, 09:57 PM
Short answer: no, nobody else is anywhere near as ebook-savvy as Baen.

Long answer: take a closer look at Baen. The free library. Maybe pick up a book or two.
You might be surprised if you actually *try* some of the content. (Dunno if you have, but... It doesn't sound as if you have.)

Upfront, try Lois McMaster Bujold's MOUNTAINS OF MOURNING from the free library.

It's, technically, a murder mystery. But just technically. There's a lot more going on in there than a whodunnit. (Bujold has several other similar volumes in the Vorkossigan Series; Cetaganda, Memory, Komar, Diplomatic Immunity, all highly aclaimed. Though personally my favorite work of hers is A CIVIL CAMPAIGN, which is pretty much unique; you don't see too many comedies of manners in any genre these days, much less SF.) The lady can write. Period.

You may also want to Check out LORD DARCY, a collection of somewhat "different" murder mysteries. ;)

Take a look at the fantasies and humor. (The Retief stories are fairly droll, PANDORA'S PLANET is a romp--wild and convoluted but funny if you enjoy screwball comedy). And then there's Esther Friesner anthologies...

Even their hard science SF is quite approachable; you don't need to be an SF regular to enjoy stuff like BOUNDARY (a paleontological mystery about a very odd fossil in a very odd place) or INHERIT THE STARS (a corpse is found on the moon. Human. 50,000 years old. It's been described as CSI: Clavius. Even better is Hogan's THRICE UPON A TIME. About a triple murder mystery where the victim is humanity itself. Three times.)

There's a lot more to Baen than just adventure SF and there's a lot more to SF than just adventure and space opera. Give it a try; that's what the free library is for, after all.

What do you have to lose beyond an hour or so of time?

murraypaul
04-21-2010, 09:04 AM
"THAT kind of scifi"? What do you mean by that? Baen has a pretty broad range of the whole genre, including fantasy.

I think it is a fair comment that Baen is mainly focussed on military sci-fi.

fjtorres
04-21-2010, 09:27 AM
I think it is a fair comment that Baen is mainly focussed on military sci-fi.

There is that *perception* but it is inaccurate.

The Webscriptions catalog is well vested in fantasy, urban fantasy, hard sf, spoofs and romps, alternate history, mystery, juveniles, and other genre variants. They may be home to some of the more prominent practicioners of military sf, but it hardly consumes them.

Edit:
Here, check this list of their more prominent series:
http://www.webscription.net/c-9-series.aspx

76 different series, hardly focused on military sf.
Not with stuff like:
PIGS DON'T FLY
CHICKS IN CHAIN MAIL
FAFHRD AND THE GRAY MOUSER
WITCHES OF KARRES
HALFLIFE CHRONICLES
ETHICAL VAMPIRES
VORKOSIGAN SAGA
BARD'S TALE
GRANTVILE GAZETTE/RING OF FIRE

Or sample their Free Library:
http://www.baen.com/library/
Free books, no strings attached. Except the stories might prove to be starter drugs. ;)

So no, their is a lot more to Webscriptions and Baen than military SF.
Just look at the authors they carry:

John Joseph Adams
Jerry Ahern
Sharon Ahern
Aaron Allston
James G. Anderson
Poul Anderson
Christopher Anvil
Catherine Asaro
Chuck Asay
Neal Asher
Nancy Asire
Robert Asprin
Paolo Bacigalupi
Jim Baen
Kage Baker
Margaret Ball
Laird Barron
Elizabeth Bear
Greg Bear
Clare Bell
Gregory Benford
Nigel Bennett
Ben Bova
Steven R. Boyett
Leigh Brackett
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Jeff Bredenberg
Poppy Z. Brite
Damien Broderick
Mary Brown
M. M. Buckner
Lois McMaster Bujold
Jaqueline Carey
Lillian Stewart Carl
John F. Carr
Jeffrey A. Carver
Paul Chafe
Jack L. Chalker
A. Bertram Chandler
C. J. Cherryh
Julie Cochrane
Hal Colebatch
Stoney Compton
Glen Cook
Rick Cook
Seamus Cooper
Sharon Cooper
Larry Correia
John Dalmas
Ellen Datlow
L. Sprague deCamp
John DeChancie
Virginia DeMarce
Andrew Dennis
Bradley Denton
Gordon R. Dickson
William C. Dietz
Thomas M. Disch
Chris Dolley
James Doohan
L. Warren Douglas
David Drake
Dave Duncan
Doranna Durgin
Rosemary Edghill
George Alec Effinger
Greg Egan
Harlan Ellison
P. N. Elrod
Terry England
Linda Evans
Philip Jose Farmer
Bill Fawcett
Leslie Fish
Eric Flint
Michael Flynn
Judy Forward
Robert L. Forward
Leo Frankowski
Dave Freer
David Friedman
Esther Friesner
Randall Garrett
Roberta Gellis
Mark Geston
Scott Gier
James C. Glass
Tom Godwin
Arlene Golds
Paula Goodlett
Roland Green
Martin Harry Greenberg
Dave Grossman
James E. Gunn
Ellen Guon
Joe Haldeman
Edmond Hamilton
Matthew Harrington
Robert A. Heinlein
John Helfers
John G. Hemry
P. C. Hodgell
James P. Hogan
Cecelia Holland
Sarah Hoyt
Matthew Hughes
Dean Ing
Les Johnson
Graham Joyce
Richard Kadrey
William H. Keith Jr.
Caitlín R. Kiernan
Jeffery D. Kooistra
Marilyn Kosmatka
Paul Kozerski
Tom Kratman
Henry Kuttner
Mercedes Lackey
Jay Lake
John Lambshead
John Langan
Joe R. Lansdale
Keith Laumer
Tim Lebbon
Sharon Lee
Fritz Leiber
Murray Leinster
Edward M. Lerner
Holly Lisle
Brian Lumley
Nathalie Mallet
Barry N. Malzberg
Mark O. Martin
Anne McCaffrey
Robert McCammon
Jack McDevitt
Charles C. McGraw
Shirley Meier
Steve Miller
Elizabeth Moon
Modean Moon
Howard L. Myers
Larry Niven
Ted Nolan
Andre Norton
Jody Lynn Nye
Norvell W. Page
Jerry Pournelle
Cherie Priest
Hank Reinhardt
Mike Resnick
John Ringo
Richard Roach
Spider Robinson
Selina Rosen
Joel Rosenberg
Rudy Rucker
Fred Saberhagen
Pamela Sargent
John Scalzi
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
James H. Schmitz
Martin Scott
Mark Sebanc
Charles Sheffield
Mark Shepherd
Susan Shwartz
Robert Silverberg
Dan Simmons
William Mark Simmons
Cordwainer Smith
L. Neil Smith
Walter Spence
Wen Spencer
Ryk Spoor
D. W. St. John
Marc Stiegler
S. M. Stirling
Johnathan Strahan
Charles Stross
Tim Sullivan
Michael Swanwick
Howard Tayler
Travis S. Taylor
Mark Teppo
Brian M. Thomsen
Mark Tier
Harry Turtledove
Mark L. Van Name
Patrick A. Vanner
A. E. Van Vogt
Vernor Vinge
Karl Edward Wagner
Lars Walker
David Weber
T. K. F. Weisskopf
K. D. Wentworth
Steve White
Liz Williams
Walter Jon Williams
Michael Z. Williamson
Robert Charles Wilson
Timothy Zahn
Roger Zelazny

Its not quite a who's-who of the genre but it's a darn good start.
And yes, they do carry some of the big names in combat sf, but even those folks tend to "dabble" in fantasy, political intrigue, and plain old adventure sf from time to time.

mikaelalind
04-21-2010, 01:29 PM
I agree with you that Baen is much more than Science fiction. Unfortunately, some of the books are too long for my taste :(
Oh. I do recommend Tinker by Wen Spencer, it is a great read :).

garygibsonsf
04-22-2010, 11:43 AM
I'm not sure whether angryrobotbooks.com use DRM, but they do publish their ebooks in Epub format and sell them for only £3 UK in most cases. I haven't bought one - yet - from them, so can't say if geographic restrictions apply. But they're clearly an up and coming sf imprint (as well as being part of Harper Collins) and are about as close to the Baen model, certainly in terms of competitive pricing, that I've seen yet. Anyone bought anything from them?

fjtorres
04-22-2010, 05:49 PM
I checked out their web site and it doesn't look like they actually sell off the site (I found no shopping cart or checkout) but rather use it to promote the books and authors in both p- and e-. They do offer free sample chapters in epub, pdf, and mobi.
More like Tor.com, I think, than Baen's storefront.
But a good move by Harper Collins UK.

catsittingstill
04-22-2010, 08:49 PM
There is that *perception* but it is inaccurate.

The Webscriptions catalog is well vested in fantasy, urban fantasy, hard sf, spoofs and romps, alternate history, mystery, juveniles, and other genre variants. They may be home to some of the more prominent practicioners of military sf, but it hardly consumes them.

(snip)

Checking out the webscriptions they're generally about 50% military SF and 50% all-the-rest.

Which is a pretty heavy concentration on military SF, really. Wouldn't a bookstore that was 50% vampire books seem like it was mostly vampire books? Wouldn't a store that was 50% urban fantasy seem like it was mostly urban fantasy?

Don't get me wrong; I like Baen very much. But I don't care for most military SF which means the Webscriptions themselves are generally not a good value for me. Sure you can find non-military stuff on Baen, but you have to look for it, which usually means you have to already know which authors you want to check out. There's no equivalent of the "If you like this book you might like" sorts of pages you get on, for example, the Amazon web site.

On the other hand, I would *love* to have other publishers do what Baen is doing--making a wider selection of books--mysteries, westerns, historical fiction-- available at Baen style prices with Baen style terms would do nothing but good for e-books and readers.

HorridRedDog
04-22-2010, 11:04 PM
I think it is a fair comment that Baen is mainly focussed on military sci-fi.

Checking out the webscriptions they're generally about 50% military SF and 50% all-the-rest.

Which is a pretty heavy concentration on military SF, really.
....

Sci Fi has a long tradition with military backgrounds. Even "The Time Machine" (1895 ) has mention of armys and war.

Hominids (http://www.amazon.com/Hominids-Neanderthal-Parallax-Robert-Sawyer/dp/0765345005/ref=pd_sim_b_2#noop) byRobert J. Sawyer is a very good book. It does have an anti military slant, but then again the military is mentioned.

I don't know if there is a way to completely filter out EVERYTHING with some mention of the military.

But if you want to devote your life to creating a website where people can go for "military free" reading recommendations I think that you should do it.

fjtorres
04-22-2010, 11:20 PM
Different folks have different definitions but not every story featuring soldiers or even war is Military SF. That end of the SF spectrum has a lot of variation that is not immediately apparent. Military SF in the strict sense is a very specific sub-genre, where the military aspect is milieu, theme, character, and plot.

The prototype is STARSHIP TROOPERS.
(The book, not the horrendous movies.)
A lot that outsiders describe as "military SF" is actually old-fashioned Adventure SF, Space Opera, or character-based drama that happens to tap into some military element.
The argument is in fact positively ancient as the perception of mainstream SF as "overly millitaristic" goes back to its pre-Campbell origins in the 20's and 30's, but not many folks would go as far as lumping Buck Rogers (Armageddon 2419, actually) or the Skylark Novels, in with STARSHIP TROOPERS or WEST OF HONOR.
Ultimately it really doesn't matter what the stuff is called; just whether it is good writing. And BAEN does have a lot of it.
To say nothing of Webscriptions, which, let's not forget, carries non-BAEN titles.

As a minor example, my most recent purchase from them was for Harlan Ellison's DANGEROUS VISIONS and AGAIN, DANGEROUS VISIONS. I'm hoping they'll soon add the LAST DANGEROUS VISIONS so I can complete the set in ebook form to match my original SFBC hardcovers. :-)

HorridRedDog
04-23-2010, 01:03 AM
Different folks have different definitions but not every story featuring soldiers or even war is Military SF.
.... :-)

I could easily be wrong but it was my impression that they objected to SEEING any military reference while looking on Baen (for what little they do have).

As catsittingstill said "Sure you can find non-military stuff on Baen, but you have to look for it...."

So maybe they just dislike having to see any "military" references.

And as you say "Ultimately it really doesn't matter what the stuff is called; just whether it is good writing. And BAEN does have a lot of it.".

And Baen has a lot of my money.

In Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer you will see the American government and the military are bad. I'm used to seeing that kind of stuff.

The book, though, is otherwise very good.

Many authors use the military background of a character as shorthand to say “here is a capable person”.

Others say “I emote, therefore I exist, and I have relevance. I am as good as anyone.”

Saying that a military, or ex-military person, would be better at handling adversity is anathema to an emotoid.

Worldwalker
04-23-2010, 04:19 AM
I generally like military SF. However, oddly enough, that's not what I've been buying from Baen. My last purchases were the complete Lankhmar collection (even though the last one sucks), and P.C. Hodgell's new book (and all the rest in that series). I've gotten some of Rick Cook's "Wizardry" series, the Harve Rackham stories by Dean Ing, and one or two others. Now, granted that one reason I didn't buy any military SF is that I have most what I want on dead trees, and most of that duplicated from the Baen Free Library and the CD collections, but still, my recent purchases should be some indication that there's a lot more there.

Heh ... talking about Baen gave me an itch for books ... thanks to y'all, I'm now $20 poorer, and have a few more books. Because two thousand books just wasn't enough.

ficbot
04-23-2010, 08:29 AM
I appreciate the recommendations. I don't know much about what ;military' SF is. I did get a free month of webscriptions from someone and I know none of the included books really worked for me. I am more of a straight mystery reader and the only sci-fi I really like is what would probably be more 'paranormal' than straight sci-fi. I was hoping there was a mystery publisher who was doing something like what Baen does.

fjtorres
04-23-2010, 09:11 AM
I could easily be wrong but it was my impression that they objected to SEEING any military reference while looking on Baen (for what little they do have).


I think you may be reading a tad too much into it. ;)

All I saw was a lack of familiarity with the actual books and I was cautioning that appearances/reputation/inferences from promo blurbs can be deceiving.

David Drake, for example, is an esablished author of alout military SF and ne of his more prominent series, the RCN/Leary&Mundy stories, has all classical trappings of the same, yet within the series (about a young, dashing, womanizing starship captain and his best friend, a slightly older, female librarian) you'll find all sorts of different kinds of adventures ranging from the oh-so-common "escape from behind enemy lines" to stories of political intrigue in a very Classical-rome milieu, to an outright, 19th century-style travelogue narrative full of colorful planets, cultures, and peoples. As a whole, the RCN series gets classified as military SF (fair enough as far as that goes) but an individual story like the FAR SIDE OF THE STARS most definitely is not, even if it does feature a space battle climax. But the only way to appreciate this is to actually read the thing. Easier to say all the RCN stories are military SF and move on, right? Except for the fact that it is a very good story and an example off the kind of experimenting BAEN does. (It is available for free on one of the BAEN Promo CDs available at the FIFTH IMPERIUM website and the promo CD includes a free audiobook version of the story in DRM-free MP3 format. I nice reading, too. As I said, those folks experiment with publishing tech; they don't stand still pretending its the 19th century out there.)

Now, examples/anecdotal evidence is easy to find for any position, of course, but the issue of SF militarism is intrinsic to the genre. Simply put, good drama/adventure comes from conflict and/or danger. SF, naturally, tends to play out large; large in ideas, large in milieus, large in ambition (world-building is usually the smallest part of the author's job), and off course large in scale. And large-scale conflict is but another definition of war.

Lost in all the debate (which will not be settled any time soon--it is 80-90 years old I suppose) is that good SF is all about humans (we're the readers and the writers after all) and their ideas, their conflicts (even if often wrapped in alien metaphor) and that humans are by nature tribal. We *always* seek to define ourseves in terms of the familiar vs the alien, us vs them, in every large scale activity. (Even if we have to invent artificial distinctions like sorts team affiliation.) And when these "tribes" come into conflict we invariable end up with War.

We are used to thinking of large-scale conflict as war and of war as something to be avoided. Which it is.

But the reality is that things that should be avoided can't always be avoided and rarely are. That too is human nature. And it can be discomforting to be confronted with that reality too closely, too often. And since SF at its best aspires to examine/illuminate the so-called human condition by looking at human issues and concerns from other angles, other viewpoints, through story-telling (which, as I've said, involves large scale conflict), good SF is going to inevitably poke at the sore spots that make us uncomfortable.

Hence the long-standing debate ad sensitivity about the "militaristic" nature of SF. Which teds to make us long-term consumers of the genre antsy because we are familiar with the genre's aspirations, conventions, and subtleties that are not apparent from the outside, and because a lot of the charges of militarism have *historically* come from outsiders with no real interest in the genre's aspirations.

Doesn't mean we're ready to go to war over it but we do get defensive about inaccurate charges. After all, we *have* to defend our tribe, no? ;)

fjtorres
04-23-2010, 09:19 AM
My last purchases were the complete Lankhmar collection (even though the last one sucks), and P.C. Hodgell's new book (and all the rest in that series). I've gotten some of Rick Cook's "Wizardry" series,

I haven't gotten around to Hodgell's series (it's in the one-of-these decades queue) but I was thrilled to finally see legal ebook versions of FAFHRD AND THE MOUSER--gave me a chance to re-read LEAN TIMES IN LANKHMAR, my all time favorite fantasy. Leave it to Leiber to posit a fantasy world with a working economy and show what happens when a recession hits. :2thumbsup

Also loved Cook's Wizardry books. Fun romps.
("First thing, we've got to save the dragon from my wife!")

Wonder why he hasn't gone back there...
<sigh>

Too many books, too little time...
I need Prolong.

HorridRedDog
04-23-2010, 06:32 PM
....

Lost in all the debate (which will not be settled any time soon--it is 80-90 years old I suppose) is that good SF is all about humans (we're the readers and the writers after all) and their ideas, their conflicts (even if often wrapped in alien metaphor) and that humans are by nature tribal. We *always* seek to define ourseves in terms of the familiar vs the alien, us vs them, in every large scale activity. (Even if we have to invent artificial distinctions like sorts team affiliation.) And when these "tribes" come into conflict we invariable end up with War.
....


Perfectly said

catsittingstill
04-24-2010, 03:21 PM
Sci Fi has a long tradition with military backgrounds. Even "The Time Machine" (1895 ) has mention of armys and war.

Oh, I wasn't counting everything that mentioned armies as military SF--on the contrary.

Take the November 2010 Webscriptions. I was counting _Hammers Slammers_, _Live Free Or Die_ and _One Good Soldier_. Did I get it wrong--are they not military SF?

I agree that _Hominids_ is a very good book, and I don't count it as military SF either.

When you talk about the impossibility of filtering out everything with SOME mention of the military you are arguing against a position much more extreme than the one I took.

I don't mind some Vampire books; I don't mind some Urban Fantasy books, I don't mind some Military SF books I don't mind some High Elven books, whatever.

But when any of these minor subgenres are half of the books a publisher offers, it's perfectly reasonable to see that publisher as offering "mainly" that subgenre.

And let's face it, if you're not into football, one touchdown is very like another. If you're not into cat shows, one Siamese is very like another. And if you're not into military SF, one ravening space-beam is very like another.

So naturally some people would like to see other publishers, with other balances of subgenres and genres, take up e-books in the same way Baen has.

If Baen fills all your e-book needs, and you don't care if any other publisher joins them, that's cool.

catsittingstill
04-24-2010, 03:47 PM
I could easily be wrong but it was my impression that they objected to SEEING any military reference while looking on Baen (for what little they do have).

As catsittingstill said "Sure you can find non-military stuff on Baen, but you have to look for it...."

So maybe they just dislike having to see any "military" references.

The impression I got from the original poster was that zie preferred mysteries to science fiction, and in particular to military science fiction. The jump from that to zie disliking having to even *see* any references to the military seems to have been made without much supporting evidence.

Baen offers a few mysteries (the Lord Darcy books were suggested, and that was helpful) but a mystery-lover is naturally going to be somewhat disappointed by the thin selection of mysteries on the Baen website. And Baen, while doubtless well-intentioned, doesn't even have a "Mysteries" tag, (the way they have a "Non-Fiction" tag and a "Fantasy" tag) which would make it slow going to pick them out.

So let's face it, for a reader of mysteries, Baen does leave a little something to be desired, and hoping for a publisher who concentrates on mysteries to have taken to e-books in the way Baen has seems perfectly reasonable.


Saying that a military, or ex-military person, would be better at handling adversity is anathema to an emotoid.

This seems to have gotten a bit personal. Nobody has called you a...um... "militoid" for enjoying military fiction. I don't see why it is necessary or appropriate to try to put down people who don't share your taste in reading material, and who are looking for something else.

catsittingstill
04-24-2010, 04:26 PM
As a whole, the RCN series gets classified as military SF (fair enough as far as that goes) but an individual story like the FAR SIDE OF THE STARS most definitely is not, even if it does feature a space battle climax. But the only way to appreciate this is to actually read the thing. Easier to say all the RCN stories are military SF and move on, right? [QUOTE]

Life is short and there are many books. If the original poster read everything that *seemed* like military SF in order to make sure it actually *was* military SF, zie would spend all zir reading time reading a genre zie doesn't like to make sure zie wasn't missing anything.

This doesn't strike me as a good use of reading time.

[QUOTE=fjtorres;882243]
....humans are by nature tribal. We *always* seek to define ourseves in terms of the familiar vs the alien, us vs them, in every large scale activity. (Even if we have to invent artificial distinctions like sports team affiliation.) And when these "tribes" come into conflict we invariable end up with War.

Unless we're going to widen the definition of "war" to include March Madness and the World Series, I would have to differ on that.

And plenty of excellent SF is not military SF. I recommend Sherri S. Tepper to your attention. C.J. Cherryh's "Foreigner" series. Connie Willis. Charles Stross. David Brin. Wen Spencer. Most of Heinlein.

Military SF (by which I mean the military is the setting, the majority of the characters, and most of the plot--not just that a few uniformed soldiers are seen in the background as three resourceful teens race across the city on their bikes to rescue Spots the Beagle from invading space aliens) is a subgenre of Science Fiction.

HorridRedDog
04-24-2010, 07:01 PM
"This seems to have gotten a bit personal. Nobody has called you a...um... "militoid" for enjoying military fiction."

What I enjoy is reading stories where I end up careing for the characters. Belive it or not but that can happen in exceptionaly good "militay" books like "The Corps (http://www.amazon.com/Corps-Book-Semper-Fi/dp/0515087491)" or books with very slighty anti-US government, anti-military books like "Hominids (http://www.amazon.com/Hominids-Neanderthal-Parallax-Robert-Sawyer/dp/0765345005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272140522&sr=1-1)".

I have both the corps series and the Neanderthal series and have read them twice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

When I lived in Minneapolis I worked with a person who would go on a rabid tear whenever the military was mentioned.

He worked in the hospital with me, and in most ways was very nice. He, his wife and two girls lived out in the country. They had no tv because they didn't want the children exposed to guns or violence.

The most recent person is one that I work with now. I NEVER mention the M word to him. I really, really mean irrational on that subject.

So when I say that some people don't want to see any military references I do mean that.

I started to grow up at the end of the "beatniks" in the 50s. And went through school as a "hippy".

I can't say that I'm that much smarter now, so much as I can say I gradually gained a little more knowledge.

You do need police and the military. There are some very bad people out there.

When people emote rather than think, like I too did in the 60s, I think "just grow up".

Lets just say that I'm sorry for offending anyone.

And if someone wants to devote their lives to peace, I encourage you to do so. Really.

But think a little too.

Ralph Sir Edward
04-24-2010, 07:10 PM
Back to the original question. There isn't a mystery equivalent to Baen's. Harlequin is doing some Baen-like stuff in romances (so I've heard), but that's about it.

Worldwalker
04-24-2010, 08:23 PM
I really wish a mystery publisher would do the same. I'll admit, my secret weakness is mysteries. The problem is, I generally only read them once (a few like the Brother Cadfael books being the exception) and they start piling up on the shelves. I don't want to get rid of them, so they continue filing up my shelf space. *sigh* I'd love to be able to buy them as ebooks for five or six bucks a pop, like Baen SF, and have them storied tidily away on an SD card, not filling up my cubic footage.

fjtorres
04-24-2010, 08:37 PM
Oh, I wasn't counting everything that mentioned armies as military SF--on the contrary.

Take the November 2010 Webscriptions. I was counting _Hammers Slammers_, _Live Free Or Die_ and _One Good Soldier_. Did I get it wrong--are they not military SF?


One for sure and two probables.

On the other hand, the May 2010 Webscription features:
http://www.webscription.net/p-1173-w201005-may-2010-webscription.aspx

Much Fall of Blood - A Fantasy by Mercedes Lackey at al
Migration - A post apocalypse hard SF adventure by James P. Hogan
The darkling fields of Arvon - A fantasy by James G, Anderson and Mark Sebanc
Storm from the Shadows - David Weber's Honorverse, yup! Military SF
Grand Central Arena - by Ryk Spoor, looks to be old fashioned action/adventure
The Rolling Stones - Heinlein's classic

June features two Liaden Universe volumes, two Military fiction titles (Ringo and Drake), an Andre Norton Omnibus, a solid hard SF adventure from Flint and Spoor (I bought the eARC and don't regret it), and an action adventure (I think) volume from Mark L. Van Name.

March and April have similar mixes. Personally, I'm looking forward to the October package (MYTH, Inc!) and november (a new Vorkosigan volume).

I'm not singling anybody out or looking for an argument, just pointing out that yes, BAEN features a lot of Military SF but that is hardly the extent of their catalog. And that is is possible to overgeneralize on the basic of factual data.

Nor was I advocating reading every book to weed out the non-SF; BAEN does offer free online sample chapters, after all. So it *is* possible to weed out non-combat fiction if the author isn't familiar.

And finally, BAEN's catalog is not wedded solely to the Webscriptions packages; they do offer up single book sales at the baseline US$6 price. Me, I favor webscriptions simply because I find it a cheap way to explore authors I'm not familiar with. :)

I agree with the recommendation of Tepper, Cherryh, Brin, et all; good writers all. I'm particularly fond of Brin's UPLIFT and Cherryh's Morgain sagas. I'd also offer up Tanya Huff, Elizabeth Scarborough, and for humor, John Moore (let's say; BAD PRINCE CHARLIE and HEROICS FOR BEGINNERS).

And no, BAEN isn't my sole source of fiction (much less the other 50% of my reading material), although for the next year or so I *will* be boycotting all content from the Agency-Model 5 (e- and p-) but that is a whole 'nother discussion. :cool:

Have fun, folks!

HorridRedDog
04-24-2010, 11:30 PM
I really wish a mystery publisher would do the same. I'll admit, my secret weakness is mysteries. The problem is, I generally only read them once (a few like the Brother Cadfael books being the exception) and they start piling up on the shelves. I don't want to get rid of them, so they continue filing up my shelf space. *sigh* I'd love to be able to buy them as ebooks for five or six bucks a pop, like Baen SF, and have them storied tidily away on an SD card, not filling up my cubic footage.

My first thought was to ask if you have checked out your library.

I then checked The Philadelphia Free Library for anything from "Edith Pargeter". No luck.

I then checked the web and came up with this "Edith Pargeter: Ellis Peters (http://www.powells.com/biblio/17-9781854111296-0)".

"An introductory biography of the life and work of Edith Pargeter, author of sixty books, but internationally known as Ellis Peters, author of the popular Cadfael Chronicles...."

So I searched The Philadelphia Free Library for anything "Ellis Peters".

They have two audiobooks "Dead Man's Ransom" and "The Hermit of Eyton Forest".

Although you may not want audiobooks you might want to redo you search using "Ellis Peters".

Good luck.

PS I downloaded "The Hermit of Eyton Forest", and another search found the pbook "The Hertic's Apprentice".

Worldwalker
04-25-2010, 12:26 AM
Okay, I'm not understanding something here. I complain about the lack of a mystery publisher with the same business model (free samples, no DRM, reasonable prices) as Baen Books, and you think I'm trying to find out the name of the author of books that I have on my shelves, and specifically ones that I said I've read more than once? Either one of us is speaking Martian, or I need more caffeine than I thought I did.

And, unfortunately, I'm not sure how knowing that a library hundreds of miles away from me has audiobooks of novels which I already own in paperback will solve the problem of there being no mystery publisher selling the ebooks I want in a form that meets my needs and a price that fits my budget. I'm not interested in borrowing audiobooks (even if I was a patron of the relevant library); I want to buy ebooks.

But in any event, Baen Books is doing quite well for themselves despite giving away numerous books, and not only giving them away, but encouraging the recipients to give them to everyone else, too. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a Calibre tag for separating the free from the paid, so I don't inadvertently give away the wrong ones. Given that mysteries share with SF a very strong series orientation, I'm really surprised that someone isn't doing the same in that genre. I can think of three different series that I started buying because I picked up one volume for a buck off the charity book table at my local supermarket, two more that I read some random volume of at my mother-in-law's place, and several others I found via short stories included in big shovelware collections (mostly the "Mammoth Book of..."). I'd think that "give them the first one or two, and they'll buy all the rest" would be as effective a business model for mysteries as it is for SF/fantasy and narcotics dealing. Of course, that is contingent on selling them for a reasonable price, which the big publishers seem to be unable or unwilling to understand.

In another thread, it was revealed that publishers make about 90 cents on a $26 hardcover, once everything from printing costs to returns has been accounted for. Let's say that for ebooks, they're paying 25% of cover in royalties, and $1 for overhead. Let's also assume, for the sake of discussion, that they're selling through a retailer with a 100% markup, just as they do for pbooks, so that they actually gross 50% of cover. And, further, let's assign that book a $6 cover price. So, from that $6 cover price, after the $1.50 in royalties and $1 of overhead has been accounted for, they're making 50 cents.

That's a loss, right? Only if you assume that the demand for books is totally inelastic. That is, of course, not the case. Books compete with other forms of entertainment, and if the cost to the buyer drops, the demand will increase. Few people spend all of their leisure hours reading. They have more time to read if reading becomes more attractive than, say, going to movies. So if the price of books drops, sales will increase.

Now back to our 50-cent-profit ebook. For the list price of one HC, I could buy 3 ebooks (and have enough left over for a bagel). So instead of 90 cents (the profit on one HC), the publisher has made $1.50 from me (the profit on 3 ebooks). The author, instead of the $3.90 he would have gotten from the 15% royalty on that one HC, has cleared $4.50 from me. The publisher wins. The author wins. The retailer loses very slightly, because of that $2 left over that I bought a bagel with. If we re-price that pbook to $24, so that it's equal to the price of the three ebooks, they break even. The printing plants, the trucking companies, and the warehouse landlords all lose, of course, but such is life. Maybe they can get work building, storing, and shipping ebook readers.

HorridRedDog
04-25-2010, 12:05 PM
Okay, I'm not understanding something here. I complain about the lack of a mystery publisher with the same business model (free samples, no DRM, reasonable prices) as Baen Books, and you think I'm trying to find out the name of the author of books that I have on my shelves, and specifically ones that I said I've read more than once? Either one of us is speaking Martian, or I need more caffeine than I thought I did.

Have some more coffee.

"The problem is, I generally only read them once (a few like the Brother Cadfael books being the exception)"

The Cadfael books sounded interesting to me too, so I looked them up.

"and you think I'm trying to find out the name of the author of books that I have on my shelves"

I have no knowledge of what is on your shelf, and don't know if you have the complete collection.

Then too I was trying to be helpfull - If you are searching for books under the name "Edith Pargeter" and I wanted to mention that she is " internationally known as "Ellis Peters"

So I say -"My first thought was to ask if you have checked out your library."

"and specifically ones that I said I've read more than once? "

Did you not say "(a few like the Brother Cadfael books being the exception)"

And, unfortunately, I'm not sure how knowing that a library hundreds of miles away from me

Here you are right. I had assumed that an example of one library system having any of the books that you are interested in might inspire you. (My first thought was to ask if you have checked out your library.)

After all if a library doesn't have a particular book in it's own building it may have it in their system.

has audiobooks of novels which I already own in paperback will solve the problem of there being no mystery publisher selling the ebooks

(Sigh) I have no knowledge of what is on your shelf.

I wanted to download one of those in ebook format too. With none available I figured that I could at least find out if I liked the books.

I want in a form that meets my needs and a price that fits my budget. I'm not interested in borrowing audiobooks (even if I was a patron of the relevant library); I want to buy ebooks.

Some libraries (like The Philadelphia Free library) do have ebooks (1,425 at the moment). And you don't even need to live in Pennsylvania to download them.

....

I really would like to help you, but it doesn't seem like I can

Worldwalker
04-25-2010, 03:52 PM
Well, that's the problem: the only one who can help me is a publisher.

Specifically a publisher getting a rush of brains to the head and saying "hey, that little nobody house Baen became a major player by inventing that business model; let's try it with our mystery line." Well, that or Baen opening a mystery division and luring my favorite authors away from their current publishers. Also, the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny may show up at my front door lugging a basket of books. That's probably the most likely option.

By the way, the Brother Cadfael books I own all say "Ellis Peters" on the covers; it wasn't until I'd read a fair number of them that I found out the author's real name ... and, oddly, that I didn't much like her other books.

My local library system isn't far past the stage of stone tablets and baked slabs of clay. Paper books are enough of a modern miracle for them.

HorridRedDog
04-25-2010, 04:48 PM
Are there publishers like Baen but for other genres?

Which begs the question - Has anyone written to them? info@baen.com

Also - "PS. One final note. Users of the Library are welcome — encouraged, in fact — to send in their comments and questions, on any subject which is relevant to the Library and its contents. Write to me at: Librarian@baen. com"

just askin'

Xanthe
04-26-2010, 11:06 PM
I appreciate the recommendations. I don't know much about what ;military' SF is. I did get a free month of webscriptions from someone and I know none of the included books really worked for me. I am more of a straight mystery reader and the only sci-fi I really like is what would probably be more 'paranormal' than straight sci-fi. I was hoping there was a mystery publisher who was doing something like what Baen does.

Baen free offerings that are my favorites and that are character-driven, with the military aspect of the story being just one of many elements in it (not overwhelming it):

Eric Flint's "1632":
In the year 1632 in northern Germany a reasonable person might conclude that things couldn't get much worse. There was no food. Disease was rampant. For over a decade religious war had ravaged the land and the people. Catholic and Protestant armies marched and countermarched across the northern plains, laying waste the cities and slaughtering everywhere. In many rural areas population plummeted toward zero. Only the aristocrats remained relatively unscathed; for the peasants, death was a mercy.

2000 Things are going OK in Grantville, West Virginia. The mines are working, the buck are plentiful (it's deer season) and everybody attending the wedding of Mike Stearn's sister (including the entire membership of the local chapter of the United Mine Workers of America, which Mike leads) is having a good time.

THEN, EVERYTHING CHANGED....

When the dust settles, Mike leads a small group of armed miners to find out what's going on. Out past the edge of town Grantville's asphalt road is cut, as with a sword. On the other side, a scene out of Hell; a man nailed to a farmhouse door, his wife and daughter Iying screaming in muck at the center of a ring of attentive men in steel vests. Faced with this, Mike and his friends don't have to ask who to shoot.

At that moment Freedom and Justice, American style, are introduced to the middle of The Thirty Years War.



Catherine Asaro's "Primary Inversion":
In an unusually masterful first novel, physicist Asaro combines hard speculative science and first-rate storytelling to look at the galaxy's distant future. Earth's peaceful Alliance shares power with two other empires, those of the Skolians and the Traders, who are mortal enemies of each other. Heir apparent to oversee the Skolian empire, Sauscony Valdoria is a bioengineered fighter pilot who has inherited rare psychic abilities that link her to the powerful "psiberspace" Skolian Web. Taking shore leave on a neutral planet, Sauscony encounters Jaibriol, an heir to the throne of the sadistic Trader Empire. During a fortuitous melding of minds, Sauscony not only recognizes Jaibriol as her psychic soul mate but realizes her new love has been bred specifically to give Traders the power to vanquish the Skolian empire. Asaro innovatively blends computer technology and telepathy into the electrifying, action-rich drama she creates.


David Weber & John Ringo's "March Upcountry":
Roger Ramius Sergei Chiang MacClintock didn't understand.

He was young, handsome, athletic, an excellent dresser, and third in line for the Throne of Man ... so why wouldn't anyone at Court trust him

Why wouldn't even his own mother, the Empress, explain why they didn't trust him Or why the very mention of his father's name was forbidden at Court Or why his mother had decided to pack him off to a backwater planet aboard what was little more than a tramp freighter to represent her at a local political event better suited to a third assistant undersecretary of state

It probably wasn't too surprising that someone in his position should react by becoming spoiled, self-centered, and petulant. After all, what else did he have to do with his life

But that was before a saboteur tried to blow up his transport. Then warships of the Empire of Man's worst rivals shot the crippled vessel out of space. Then Roger found himself shipwrecked on the planet Marduk, whose jungles were full of damnbeasts, killerpillars, carnivorous plants, torrential rain, and barbarian hordes with really bad dispositions. Now all Roger has to do is hike halfway around the entire planet, then capture a spaceport from the Bad Guys, somehow commandeer a starship, and then go home to Mother for explanations.

Fortunately, Roger has an ace in the hole: Bravo Company of Bronze Battalion of The Empress� Own Regiment. If anyone can get him off Marduk alive, it's the Bronze Barbarians.

Assuming that Prince Roger manages to grow up before he gets all of them killed.



All three of the books mentioned above are the beginning books of their series. Don't be misled by covers that emphasize weapons and space ships; I found that I became completely invested in the characters and that in any scenes that could be deemed "military" the emphasis is on the characters, not on reams and reams of techno-geek babble. These authors all know how to create a universe that is totally believable.

rleguillow
04-27-2010, 04:31 AM
Found this site: http://www.ebooksjustpublished.com/ via a link from an author on another thread here at MR. New, DRM-free ebooks, some of them free. Including mysteries. Maybe you'll find something to your taste here.
:D

Worldwalker
04-27-2010, 02:25 PM
I'm looking through the mystery section and some of those blurbs for the books scare me. If an author can't write a grammatically correct paragraph when it's that critical -- when it's the one thing that will make a prospective reader check out the book or move on -- what will I find inside the book? Do they care that little about their own writing?

For example:

Having lived through the horrors that can come from the hands of someone you thought loved you; she decided never loving again would prevent more emotional scarring.
Somewhere, a comma is crying.

I'll admit, sheepishly, to being a fanfiction reader (and worse, an occasional writer of the stuff). Sturgeon's Law is not only fully in effect in fanfic, it's probably squared. Maybe cubed. Bratty teenagers who have proven themselves unable to construct a simple English sentence often defend their broken writing with "You know what I'm saying, so how I put the words together doesn't matter. Besides, the idea is the only thing that's important, not how I write it." It's highly disturbing to see the same type of poor writing in the work of would-be professionals. I wonder, if questioned about those badly-written blurbs, would they make the same excuses?

Is this what writing is coming to? A few decades from now, will publishers' catalogs look like fanfiction.net? The mere thought of it makes me shudder.

SensualPoet
04-27-2010, 08:33 PM
This is one of the most remarkable threads ever! The OP asked clearly in the title: "Are there publishers like Baen but for other genres?" and then went on to praise the webscriptions model of Baen, specifically asking about the "mystery genre".

Several posts later the OP was accused of pooh-poohing "military SF". It didn't matter if the OP returned to notes this was a new term. Later it was suggested the OP write to info@ Baen to see if they knew of another publisher ... good grief!

The simple answer is "No" and several think it's a fine idea -- and some smart publisher ought to do launch such a thing. And that includes me.

Angst
04-29-2010, 03:04 PM
It's not an exact match for what you are looking for, but if you like short stories you can buy Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Interzone Science Fiction Magazine and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine subscriptions at Fictionwise.

SameOldStory
04-29-2010, 11:01 PM
This is one of the most remarkable threads ever! The OP asked clearly in the title: "Are there publishers like Baen but for other genres?" and then went on to praise the webscriptions model of Baen, specifically asking about the "mystery genre".

Several posts later the OP was accused of pooh-poohing "military SF". It didn't matter if the OP returned to notes this was a new term. Later it was suggested the OP write to info@ Baen to see if they knew of another publisher ... good grief!

The simple answer is "No" and several think it's a fine idea -- and some smart publisher ought to do launch such a thing. And that includes me.

New here. What’s an "OP"?

Excuse me for saying this but ALL of the threads on this site wander all over the spectrum. I was just reading a thread about national IDs. Now THAT was remarkable. Talk about animosity!

HorridRedDog does have one good question - Has anyone written to them? info@baen.com

I like Baen books and even though their web site is screwy they do have good prices.

But if they aren’t carrying the books that you want why not write to them and ask them to expand into mystery or whatever?

Worldwalker
04-30-2010, 12:02 AM
"OP" = Original Poster.

I suspect Baen knows the market far better than we do, especially their corner of the market, and knows what their customers want. They do SF/fantasy, and they do it very well, and if they're smart, they'll stick to their strengths. I've seen plenty of companies (several of them former employers) who tried to do otherwise. The outcomes were not good. They're no longer in business.

Besides, all the mystery series I really want to read as ebooks belong to other publishers already. Even if the authors aren't under contract for future books, they wouldn't be able to take their backlist to Baen for years.

It might be more practical to write to the publishers of those series and plead with them to release books that are both reasonably priced and not DRM-restricted. There are two chances of this happening, though: fat and slim.

Blue Tyson
04-30-2010, 02:24 AM
Ereads has a multi-genre approach - and also some books at webscriptions. DRM free. So check them out, too.

DawnFalcon
04-30-2010, 08:45 PM
But if they aren’t carrying the books that you want why not write to them and ask them to expand into mystery or whatever?

They don't have the capacity. Heck, they're backlogged with their core market as it is. But.

Webscriptions | Baen. While Baen is their largest customer, they're not the only one, and if a mystery publisher approached Webscriptions...

Critteranne
05-04-2010, 12:32 AM
I know people have mentioned E-Reads in this thread, but have you checked out their site? They have a Mystery category:
http://ereads.com/ecms/genre.php?cat=14

And a suspense category:
http://ereads.com/ecms/genre.php?cat=19

Unlike Baen, they don't publish new books as far as I know. The E-Reads titles are all previously published books that came out in print first, sometimes quite recently, some years ago. For example, they have everything from cozy mysteries by Jacqueline Girdner to the early Destroyer novels.

Also, Belgrave House started out reprinting out-of-print Regency romances, but they have some mysteries as well, including historical mysteries:
http://www.belgravehouse.com/bookstore/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1019&zenid=s9ef937efggqokjtmcs6d2rro0

I liked Lora Roberts' Murder in a Nice Neighborhood, by the way. I read it when it first came out in paperback. :) The heroine is unusual because she is essentially homeless, a freelance author living out of an old VW bus.

Like Baen, both publishers put out DRM-free editions in multiple formats.

Now we need more print publishers putting out affordable non-DRM e-book editions of new books. :)

Worldwalker
05-04-2010, 03:46 AM
I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but when I went to buy a book from Ereads (which, by the way, wouldn't even give me a price), depending on format I got transferred either to Sony or Fictionwise. Both DRM-restricted. So either Critteranne is missing something, or I am.

Blue Tyson
05-04-2010, 07:20 AM
I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but when I went to buy a book from Ereads (which, by the way, wouldn't even give me a price), depending on format I got transferred either to Sony or Fictionwise. Both DRM-restricted. So either Critteranne is missing something, or I am.

You were buying at the ereads site then, not the webscriptions site, presumably?

Blue Tyson
05-04-2010, 07:22 AM
Don't think you were doing anything wrong, the ereads one is a fictionwise software sub-store type thing.

AnemicOak
05-04-2010, 12:13 PM
I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but when I went to buy a book from Ereads (which, by the way, wouldn't even give me a price), depending on format I got transferred either to Sony or Fictionwise. Both DRM-restricted. So either Critteranne is missing something, or I am.

All the eReads books I've ever seen at Fictionwise are Multiformat. Multiformat books are DRM free. Which book were you looking at that had DRM?

Worldwalker
05-04-2010, 04:16 PM
This is the book I was looking at:
http://store.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b1161/?si=37

It makes a big deal about how printing is disabled, read-aloud is disabled, etc., in the various formats. I didn't investigate further, since they want nine bucks for a cheap summer read, but that seemed to me to indicate that they were locked formats.

Elfwreck
05-04-2010, 04:34 PM
Multiformat is unencrypted/non-DRM'd. The ebooks may have printing/read-aloud turned off in their settings, but should be convertible to other formats without those restrictions. Multiformat PDFs are locked to prevent editing (and read-aloud etc.), but there's software available that will remove the lock.

I don't believe PalmDOC PDB can have that kind of restrictions. And some of them only have them "disabled" because the software that reads them, doesn't have any kind of read-aloud or print function. (.RB and .IMP don't have read-aloud software.)