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Old 08-20-2007, 03:54 PM   #1
nekokami
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Baen-Tor deal back on?

Folks here are probably aware that Tor was supposed to start offering ebooks through Baen in March 2006, but the deal was blocked by Tor's parent company, Holtzbrinck. Now, according to Wikipedia, the deal is back on. (Unless you believe Wikipedia's article about Webscriptions, which still says the deal is off.)

Has anyone heard anything about this? It would be excellent news, if true. Unless the other rumor, that all the books are priced at hardcover levels, also turns out to be true. So far I see one David Weber book for US$18. What's up with that?
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
Folks here are probably aware that Tor was supposed to start offering ebooks through Baen in March 2006, but the deal was blocked by Tor's parent company, Holtzbrinck. Now, according to Wikipedia, the deal is back on. (Unless you believe Wikipedia's article about Webscriptions, which still says the deal is off.)

Has anyone heard anything about this? It would be excellent news, if true. Unless the other rumor, that all the books are priced at hardcover levels, also turns out to be true. So far I see one David Weber book for US$18. What's up with that?
Just checked Baen's board and there are no news; I plan to ask Ms. Weisskopf in her forum, but I will give it a day or two, just in case something is up and they do not want to talk yet.
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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David Weber may be a special case, since he is already a Baen author. I am certainly assuming the e-book price will come down when the paperback is available, and I am waiting for that to happen before buying the e-book.

I don't have a problem with publishers pricing e-books relative to the least expensive paper version available, I just won't buy until that version is the paperback. With the usual Baen approach of always pricing the e-book inexpensively I buy new releases immediately. In fact, I buy the monthly webscription at $15 if it contains even a single book I want to read because the other 5 books are usually good enough to make this worthwhile. I'm not sure I am doing the author's a favor with this approach though.
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:47 PM   #4
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I've never liked hardcover pricing, but I suppose if the author really does earn more from hardcovers than paperbacks, I don't mind paying a bit more. But I don't know about $18 for any ebook. Baen sells ARCs at $15 -- I can more readily see people being willing to pay that, as these are books one can't borrow from a library. I guess I'd be willing to pay twice as much as the standard ebook price to buy the ebook a year before the paperback comes out, when the only other option is the hardcover, but more than 4 times as much? I don't think so.
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:50 PM   #5
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I routinely hang out at Baen's Bar and I've not heard such. However, it would be nice to be able to get the third in Charlie Stross' "Family Corporate" series.

Derek

Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
Folks here are probably aware that Tor was supposed to start offering ebooks through Baen in March 2006, but the deal was blocked by Tor's parent company, Holtzbrinck. Now, according to Wikipedia, the deal is back on. (Unless you believe Wikipedia's article about Webscriptions, which still says the deal is off.)

Has anyone heard anything about this? It would be excellent news, if true. Unless the other rumor, that all the books are priced at hardcover levels, also turns out to be true. So far I see one David Weber book for US$18. What's up with that?
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:02 PM   #6
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Are we talking about David Weber's Off Armageddon Reef? I bought that e-book from webscriptions for $18 back when it came out. I did think it over for a while, due to the price, but I finally went for it. My reasoning at the time began with the knowledge that I was going to buy the book -- and sooner rather than later -- so it was a choice between $26 for the hardback and $18 for the e-back. Added to that was the fact that I wanted the e-back more than the hardback (lower weight, greater flexibility, smaller size), and that I could chalk the 'extra' cost (beyond what I consider to be a reasonable e-book price) up to an early reading premium and an encouragement to Tor donation.

The $18 was a bit easier to swallow with those thoughts.

Even after I saw the book in the ConnStore for ~$10 I didn't feel cheated because the copy I had was DRMless, and it's Weber, so I know I will re-read it for years to come.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:21 AM   #7
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My reasoning was the same as yours, Nat. How could I not buy a new David Weber?
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
Are we talking about David Weber's Off Apocalypse Reef? I bought that e-book from webscriptions for $18 back when it came out. I did think it over for a while, due to the price, but I finally went for it. My reasoning at the time began with the knowledge that I was going to buy the book -- and sooner rather than later -- so it was a choice between $26 for the hardback and $18 for the e-back. Added to that was the fact that I wanted the e-back more than the hardback (lower weight, greater flexibility, smaller size), and that I could chalk the 'extra' cost (beyond what I consider to be a reasonable e-book price) up to an early reading premium and an encouragement to Tor donation.

The $18 was a bit easier to swallow with those thoughts.

Even after I saw the book in the ConnStore for ~$10 I didn't feel cheated because the copy I had was DRMless, and it's Weber, so I know I will re-read it for years to come.
The Sony price is $12.50 and the MobiPocket price is $20.50 from BooksOnBoard. I cannot find a LIT format for this from other vendors.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:15 AM   #9
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"Off Armageddon Reef"
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quite right, Robert, thanks for the correction!
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:22 PM   #11
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IIRC, at Minicon SF convention last spring, Patrick Nielsen Hayden said that since the original experiment last year, there's been a change in management at Holtzbrinck, and the new head of the company doesn't believe in DRM. He didn't comment on whether negotiations between Baen and Tor were ongoing, but I inferred that if negotiatons were ongoing and successful, they wouldn't be rejected outright by Holtzbrinck.

I'm hoping that they can come to terms, and have a program with pricing comparable to Baen's current pricing. I'd probably buy all the Vinge and Stross books they offered last year and many more.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The Sony price is $12.50 and the MobiPocket price is $20.50 from BooksOnBoard. I cannot find a LIT format for this from other vendors.
You can get it in mobipocket format for $17.39 from www.paperbackdigital.com.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:40 AM   #13
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DRM was no problem in the Baen-Tor deal. All was set up and even started with a few books when a Holtzbrinck manager decided that no price less than 75% of the hardback price was acceptable.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:50 AM   #14
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Even for books that are available in paperback? That would explain why the deal fell through.

If an author actually owns the rights to electronic editions of books, could they contact Baen directly/through their agent? I'm in touch with an author who normally publishes through Tor, may be interested in getting into ebooks, and is wondering what their options are. I know with many books in the past few years the electronic rights have been specifically purchased by the publisher, but there are some older books involved here, some of which are out of print in paper.
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:42 AM   #15
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but there are some older books involved here, some of which are out of print in paper.
I know that Baen is ePublishing some of Andre Norton's older books.
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