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Old 08-20-2008, 04:55 AM   #1
pdurrant
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The Baen Free Library and WebScriptions

Over 100 free eBooks!

The Baen free library contains mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy books by authors published by Baen Books. They are available in HTML, eBookwise, Mobipocket, Microsoft reader, Sony digital and RTF formats. (Not PDF nor eReader.) And they are available for free, as the name implies.

http://www.baen.com/library/ is the original website, where you can read about it in essays by Eric Flint. The books in the library can be downloaded from that site, but are also available for download from http://www.webscription.net/

For some of the newer additions to the library, going to the download page for the book at the original library will re-direct (in a frame) to the appropriate page on webscription.net.

So what is webscription.net? Given the confusion in a recent thread about how webscription.net works, I thought a clarifying message might be helpful.

Webscription.net is a web site run by Arnold Bailey that sells ebooks without DRM in a wide range of formats (but not PDF or eReader), mostly from Baen Books, but some from other publishers.

Webscription.net has been running since late 1999. Nearly all books published by Baen Books since January 2000 are available on the web site for purchase as individual ebooks for prices from $4 to $6.

The ebooks are also available in monthly bundles. Buying a 'month' of books gets you all the books in the bundle for a single payment of $10 (for months up to December 2001) or $15 (for months from January 2002)

The $10 bundles usually include four ebooks, the $15 bundles include four new ebooks, and one, two, or more ebooks from the back catalogue.

The 'scription' part of webscription.net comes into play only with books that haven't been published yet, and only applies to the monthly bundles. There's still only a single payment for a month of books, but since the books haven't been published yet, you don't get them immediately.

For example, as I write in late August 2008, the December 2008 WebScription is available for purchase for $15

http://www.webscription.net/p-869-w2...scription.aspx

and includes seven books. Buying the month today gets the three books from the back catalogue now, and will get you the four new books as follows:

Between 15th and 20 September, the first half of the books will become available in HTML format for reading on-line or downloading.
Between 15th and 20th October, the first three quarters of the books will become available in HTML format for reading on-line or downloading.
Between 15th and 20th of November, the complete (final text) books become available, in HTML, eBookwise, Mobipocket, Microsoft reader, Sony digital and RTF formats.

The price of the December month as separate eBooks is $42. The retail price of the seven books in paper (hardback or paperback where available) is over $110.

You get the four new books about two weeks before they hit the bookshop shelves.

For $15.

It's always seemed a pretty good deal to me!



And then there are eARCs. For example, in November 2005, I got a a newsletter from webscription.net (yes, I had signed up - no spam from webscription.net.) It said (read it carefully):

"SPECIAL OFFER from Baen WebScriptions
"In Fury Born
"$15. NO WAITING!

"You can do better ($6.00) by waiting, but if you are a true Weber and Alicia Dierdre DeVries fan we want to take advantage of you.

"Order In Fury Born, now instead of when it debuts as a WebScription title, (April 2006)"

Now there's honesty in advertising. And it sets out the deal pretty well. If I can't wait to read a book, and if there's an eARC available, I can read it in full several months before the publication date - for a price.

Mostly I wait for the webscription release - after all, I still get it a couple of weeks ahead of the paper publication. But sometimes I can't resist and splurge on the eARC.

Paul
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:04 AM   #2
Riocaz
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As as aside there is also:

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/

Which is an archive of the Baen CDs containing far more books than the free library (And as said CDs were explictly stated to be freely distrabutable this is also perfectly legal).
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