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Old 12-11-2012, 01:57 PM   #31
bill_mchale
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This is why I hate clauses like the one Apple forced on publishers (most favoured nation). Baen should be free to continue selling books on their own site without the 30% rise to cover Amazons royalties (or whatever the % they have to pay is).
I don't know of any retailer that will tolerate the supplier selling to the general public at a lower price than the retailer will offer. If anything, the supplier often sells at a higher price.

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Old 12-11-2012, 03:42 PM   #32
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You know what, it bears repeating that even though the window will be shrinking, you can still get half-a-dozen or so books for about three bucks apiece if you're willing to pre-order. Baen gets to keep their best deal - and with the shrinking window, the deal itself has just got better.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:05 PM   #33
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So Baen no longer the poster child of a successful and profitable e-book business standing apart from Amazon? A beacon to other publishers? An argument against the reality of all-powerful Amazon?

Looks like Baen might still end up in those particular discussion threads, but perhaps utilised by the other side of the debate.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:44 AM   #34
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I just today noticed that while Goodreads lists seven places to buy Baen ebooks, Baens own site is not one of them.
The booklinks on Goodreads don't automatically vary with the book's publisher, they can be customized by every user (using edit profile > book links) for the stores that one prefers to use (Baen is an option).
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:49 AM   #35
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The booklinks on Goodreads don't automatically vary with the book's publisher, they can be customized by every user (using edit profile > book links) for the stores that one prefers to use (Baen is an option).
Cool! I did not know this!
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:19 AM   #36
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So despite the two parties involved being Amazon and Baen, and despite this not being a mainstream Agency publisher, it is still Apple's fault?
No and I never said that.

I just said I hate the clauses _like_ the one Apple forced on publishers. I didn't say this is in anyway related to Apple nor that apple were the first to do so. It's just that everyone tends to know about MFN clauses _because_ of Apple and the recent DoJ investigation, so I mentioned Apple in case someone didn't know what clause I was referring to. It's an easy case to google for arguments about MFN.

Last edited by JoeD; 12-13-2012 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:22 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by bill_mchale View Post
I don't know of any retailer that will tolerate the supplier selling to the general public at a lower price than the retailer will offer. If anything, the supplier often sells at a higher price.

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You mean like every single supplier who sells any physical item to any store at a wholesale price?

There's a reason stores can sell products as a loss leader or reduced price, Amazon do it all the time (it's what kicked up the fuss about moving to agency in the first place), supermarkets do it all the time to get feet through the store. Lot of fuss over several high profile game releases this year that were sold well below cost for a few days at various supermarkets to get people in the store. Much like with publishers, the game companies complained that it would devalue their products.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:28 AM   #38
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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.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:45 AM   #39
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That is the wholesale/retail model. But Baen is both. so their retail side can't have sales, like other retailers, because they're part of the wholesaler?
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:45 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
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.
The MFN clause doesn't end there though. It prevents Amazons competitors from offering the book cheaper because they have a more efficient business or fewer overheads for services offered and don't need to charge authors a 30% cut.

It's MFN when applied across the same layer that is an issue, ie between retailers.

Although i still think Baen should be free to sell on their own site at any price they like. Amazon provide more value added services, the price is a little higher because of it.

Edit: Dumped the rest of the text since it's only going to cause circular arguments

Last edited by JoeD; 12-13-2012 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:07 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
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.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:18 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Darqref View Post
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.
Baen isn't the only one who has tried such. And now it's in contracts that you won't sell cheaper (list) anywhere else. The retailers control almost all sale prices. It's kind of an ongoing...oh, I won't say problem, but it's an issue for those who have their own sites. We want to be able to give a discount. I do it similar to Baen: I discount for a week or two on my own store before release. But then after release, sometimes Amazon discounts. And I get emails saying, 'You said it would be priced at x and Amazon put the price at Y."

I don't know about with Baen, but I suspect Amazon doesn't tell them if/when a book will go on sale. And the general reader has no idea who sets sale prices so it's confusing for a lot of people. So then I get emails asking why it's not on sale at B&N. Right after I tell them I don't control the sale price, B&N will match...which is great, but makes me look like a dork.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:23 PM   #43
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I have no problem with the new pricing for Baen. They've done their best to make ebooks affordable for us for years, and the various omnibus editions have always been a bargain. If this deal helps to ensure that they stay in business as a viable concern, then more power to them. Too many of the small publishers have already gone out of business, with the resultant tie-ups in publishing rights that has prevented upcoming books from being released. I'd hate to see that happen to Baen.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:18 PM   #44
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I will most probably buy more Baen books if they are available at Amazon since I buy most of my ebooks from them because they have the most convenient delivery among the stores that sell books to me.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:59 PM   #45
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Official Announcement/Press Release:

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Baen Ebooks Kindles Relationship with Amazon


Best-selling Baen Authors David Weber, John Ringo, Lois McMaster Bujold
Available on Amazon.com for First Time in Ebook Format

RIVERDALE, NEW YORK- Ebook pioneer Baen Books is making its ebooks available in the Kindle Store on Amazon for the first time beginning in mid to late December 2012. Science fiction and fantasy publisher Baen Books has sold its own ebooks for over fifteen years at Baen's retail site, Baenebooks.com, where ebooks have always been downloadable totally free of digital rights restrictions. They will also be DRM-free in the Kindle Store. The move to third party distribution is new territory for Baen, which has built a name for itself in the ebook arena with an innovative e-Advanced Reading Copy program and limited time monthly discount bundles. These programs will continue, according to Toni Weisskopf, Baen's publisher.

"Now that we're selling on Amazon, it will be easier than ever to download your favorite Weber, Ringo, or Bujold ebook to your Kindle or free Kindle reading app," says Weisskopf. "But you can be sure we will always maintain our famous ebook pioneering spirit and customer-first orientation."

Baen's well-known monthly discount bundle program, previously known as Webscriptions, and its eARCs-advanced copies of upcoming titles in "galley" form-will still be available exclusively at Baenebooks.com, according to Weisskopf. "As part of the change, we will also be raising ebook royalties to our authors by 25 percent so that they not only get the benefit of the expanded audience but a larger cut, too."

Baen is known for its New York Times bestselling science fiction and fantasy, including David Weber's Honor Harrington series, Eric Flint's Ring of Fire alternate histories, Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International urban fantasies, and Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga, Baen's most recent entry on the bestsellers lists. Baen's paper titles are distributed by Simon & Schuster.

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