@wayrad -- I'm not just including the Free Library, but the free cd's hosted on the Fifth Imperium site with knowledge and approval by Baen. Hundreds more ebooks than are in the library. And it's in those cd's that books I've bought appear for free shortly later.
BTW, I'm not angry about that. The $6 I've paid for the new ebooks at Baen have been more than worth the cost. And yes, I like supporting my favorite authors.
What I'm saying is that I have a good number of authors I like to support and limited funds. So I find myself really questioning "Do I buy this David Weber book for $6 or do I just get the free ebook later, and buy the Orson Scott Card book from Tor?".
I was hooked on the Honor Harrington series after the first book. For sure by the third. But I read like 15 of them for free before buying the last 3. Then I find the last three were free too.
Not pirated. Free. Provided for free by the author/publisher.
Part of me says "Lee, keep quiet and just enjoy". But I just have to wonder if what made sense 10 years ago with this philosophy -- if it still holds true today. Today I have NO DESIRE WHATSOEVER to have a paper book. I do not buy, and will likely never buy, any paper book that I've read as an ebook. The ebook IS the book as far as I'm concerned. That's got to be different than the way folks thought before they had the quality ereaders like the Kindle, Sony, Nook and iPad.
I'm just saying that someone like me -- who really feels the need to support the authors I like -- even _I_ find it hard to pay for something that's given away free. Not stolen. Not pirated. Given away. Why would I not just take the free ebooks from my favorite authors who give them, and then BUY the books from my favorite authors who do not give their books away?
If I was going to have to wait a year or two -- yeah, then I'd pay for the ebook. And be happy to do so at Baen's $6 price with no DRM. Knowing they'll release that ebook for free a month from now, or two -- well, I can wait. And while I'm waiting, spend my limited resources on another author who's book I desire to read.
Yeah - I feel conflicted.