Originally Posted by HarryT
I understood Bill to be saying that book retailers wouldn't be happy if Baen sold books on their own (Baen's) site at a lower price than they were supplying those book to the retailers at. That's a very different situation to a retailer deciding to sell something as a loss leader.
This is really reaching into the dark ages, but....
I have in my library some very old Baen paperbacks. In the back of those, where most mass pbs have some advertising, Baen offered to sell books by mail. The prices they listed undercut the cover price. As a result (for a period anyway), most retailers stopped ordering Baen books in retaliation. This experiment only lasted a couple of months, as I understand, Baen stopped the sell-by-mail, and things went back to normal. With that corporate history, Baen doesn't want to get frozen out again.
The only way to do this now (that I can immediately think of, anyway) is to have a coupon code, which is never posted on the same page as the actual book listing. You'd probably have change it regularly, and probably have at least some periods where it's not available. That way, a big retailer can only web-scrape the list price, and not the coupon price.
The only real effect this will have on me, is to force me to buy ahead. You can browse the publishing schedule at Baen for months ahead, so it's never supposed to be a surprise. And you can buy monthly bundles for almost a year in advance. Once purchased, you should still be able to download any time, when they finally become available. In the past, I was just lazy, and never bought the bundle until it was already available to download.